Adam and Haman

by Yaakov from GYE (See all authors)

Adam and Haman

The Gemara in Chulin (139b) asks, where can we find “Haman” (from the story of Purim) in the Torah? Says Rav Masnah, "from the pasuk after the sin of the Eitz Hadaas when Hashem asks Adam: 'Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?'” In Lashon Kodesh the words are: “Hamin ha’etz etc…” The word “Haman” and “Hamin” have the same letters.

The question is, what connection is there between this Pasuk and Haman? The Balei Mussar give an interesting and powerful answer. Haman had everything a person could dream of. Many children, riches beyond imagination, and tremendous power. But because one single person didn’t bow to him, “all this is not worth anything to me”! He wanted everything. And this was ultimately his downfall.

When the Gemara asks, “Where can we find Haman in the Torah?” they mean to ask, where can we find the root of this Midah to want everything? Answers Rav Masnah, in the first man – Adam. Hashem placed him in Gan Eden and gave him every pleasure imaginable, commanding him only against ONE fruit. But he couldn’t hold back and had to have that too, leading to his downfall.

Hashem blesses our lives with so much good, but he has commanded us against forbidden sexual relations. We don’t need to learn from the school of “hard knocks” and try to partake of everything in life. Let us learn from Adam and Haman’s downfall and be HAPPY with what Hashem has given us!