web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



See What Happens When You Don’t Pay Attention?

Share Button

         I’m not quite ready yet to shut the door on Purim. Perhaps it’s my way of avoiding dealing with Pesach, and the physical and emotional effort that comes with it. Or perhaps I am reluctant to let go because I was born three days before Purim and it is the holiday I am most familiar with, although my first Purim was spent being “hatched” in an incubator reserved for preemies (which my twin brother and I were). I like to think that we made a quick exit just so we could enhance the simchah, allowing my mother to begin her Pesach cleaning with literally a load off her chest.

 

         At any rate, I learn something new each time I peruse Megillat Esther – and this time was no different. The beauty of our holy texts is that no matter how many times you read them, you gain a new insight.

 

         From reading the megillah, we all know that Haman “had it all,” but was unable to enjoy the impressive largess he was blessed with. In chapter six Haman gripes to his wife and friends/advisers that he has great wealth and lots of sons, and enjoys an elevated social and political status; even the queen seems infatuated with him. But he grumbles that it doesn’t mean a thing to him because of Mordechai, whose presence ruins it all for him. Haman’s attitude exemplifies the flip side of the passuk in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) that points out that one is rich due to his satisfaction with his lot in life. Therefore, he who isn’t content can be considered poor. With a disgruntled Haman unhappy with his “lot” (except for the one he later cast regarding the destruction of the Jews), his fame and fortune seemingly did not exist for him.

 

         In the midst of Haman’s whining, griping and complaining about how all that he has attained has no value, he clearly refers to his nemesis as Mordechai the Jew (5:13). In the next passuk his wife and cronies, who the megillah refers to as “those who love him,” tell him to build a gallows and ask the king for permission to hang Mordechai.

 

         However I noticed that later, when he describes to these very same people – his wife and “those who love him” – about the fiasco of ending up publicly honoring Mordechai in the city’s streets, they say to Haman that if Mordechai was a Jew, then whatever Haman plans against him will fail. In their view, Haman himself will fall!

 

         Thus my burning question: Did they not hear him when he clearly stated that he could not enjoy his fame and fortune because of Mordechai the Jew – right before they gave their good friend and soulmate the very bad advice regarding how to get rid of Mordechai? Weren’t they listening?

 

         Either Haman’s wife and close buddies had severe short-term memory loss, or they weren’t paying attention. Whatever the reason was for this failure to communicate, this lack of listening resulted in Haman’s downfall. As soon as Haman told them Mordechai was a Jew, they should have immediately warned him not to mess with him because it would backfire. But it was too late for them to share this bit of vital information with him.

 

         Here’s the valuable lesson for anybody in any kind of relationship to internalize: pay attention when someone is speaking to you – be it a spouse, child, colleague or service person. Hearing someone, without listening to what they are saying, can have grave consequences. Just ask Haman.

 

         While on the topic of Haman, the megillah mentions several times near its conclusion that Haman’s 10 sons were hanged. I have wondered about that since words are usually not wasted in our holy texts. The 10 sons are actually named (9:7-9), yet after receiving this information their hanging is repeated in verses 13 and 14.

 

         I believe that this is a warning to the physical and spiritual “sons” of Haman – past, present and future – whose main focus is the destruction of the Jewish people. The triumph of the Jews over their enemies as represented by Haman’s offspring was not a one-time fluke.

 

         In this case, the “named” sons of Haman were vanquished. But the repetition of Haman’s 10 sons being slain might very well represent future generations of Amalek.

 

         The message is clear: Try destroying the Jews and you will be destroyed!

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “See What Happens When You Don’t Pay Attention?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.
Arab Violence Closes Temple Mount to Visitors Again
Latest Sections Stories
Tali Hill, a beneficiary of the Max Factor Family Foundation.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas’s deans, Rabbi Moshe Katz and Rabbi Zev Goldman, present award to Educator of the Year, Rabbi Michoel Paris.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

Your husband seems to have experienced what we have described as the Ambivalent Attachment.

The goal of the crusade is to demonize and hurt Israel.

The JUMP program at Hebrew Academy was generously sponsored by Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/see-what-happens-when-you-dont-pay-attention/2008/04/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: