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Haman's Luck

Haman's Luck

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How do you vanquish a lucky person; a person on an incredible hot streak? Well no one is completely invincible. Everyone has their unlucky days. Can't pinpoint your foe's unlucky day? Duel him on your luckiest day.

That was precisely the strategy employed by Amalek. It was apparent to them that the Israelites had all the stars on their side. How else could they have defeated the mighty Egyptians? How else could a nation of millions survive in a desert?

What would Amalek do? They would send to battle people on the day of their birthday; saying: not quickly will a person fall on his birthday [the constellations are advantageously aligned on a person's birthday]. What did Moses do? He shuffled the constellations. (Jerusalem Talmud, tractate Rosh Hashanah 3:8)

It's nice to be lucky. It's even nicer to be connected to G‑d.


This time though, he faced a nation that was a shell of its former selfThose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Fast forward nearly one thousand years. Again our nation was threatened by Amalek—Haman, the scion of that hateful nation.

This time though, he faced a nation that was a shell of its former self. They weren't the winning bandwagon. They were an oppressed exiled nation.

But Haman wanted to be absolutely certain of his success. So he threw a lottery to determine a lucky date. He was absolutely thrilled when the lottery pointed to the month of Adar. His knowledge of Jewish history told him – correctly so – that this was their unluckiest month. Furthermore, it was the month when their greatest leader and protector, Moses, passed away.

But once again, connection to G‑d scored a victory over luck.

This Shabbat we remember Amalek – both the ancient and the modern-day varieties – and strengthen our resolve to eradicate such evil. Let us also remember the time-tested secret weapon at our disposal.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor, and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.
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Discussion (2)
June 27, 2009
HamanAhmadinejad
Shalom Naftali-
Haman and Ahmadinejad are one and the same, in character, location and maybe even in lineage! You nailed it Rabbi! May Ahmadinejad come to the same end! Of a rope that is! My answer to him is for me and my 5000 or so friends to go again to Washington and lobby in behalf of Israel. This is my third year with CUFI and I am PROUD to stand for Israel, and don't care who knows it. May the L-rd bless you so much that you cannot contain or understand it all. I ask Him in Heaven to bless Israel with the gifts of faith, hope and love. Sincerely,
Jim in Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach, Florida
July 8, 2008
Is Ahmadinejad Haman's successor?
Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, like Haman, must surely be a descendant of Amalek. It would explain his obsession with trying to wipe Israel off the map. It is indeed scary the parallels between Ahmadinejad and Haman. Haman, Hitler and Ahmadinejad must surely be of the same Amalekite stock.
Anonymous
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