Challenge: Where do we find Haman in the Torah?
Hint: To find the Devil, look for Evil.
The first instance of evil in the Torah is on the very first day of man’s creation. The wily serpent convinces Chava to eat from the Eitz Hadaas, and give Adam too. Later, Hashem asks them, ‘Have you eaten from the tree? – Hamin Ha’etz…’
Hamin = Haman. There we go. We meet up with the source of all bad, the evil one who fights against us with all his might and tries to draw us into his trap.
What makes him tick? What’s his essence?
Let’s continue a little further in the story to find his core. Hashem curses the serpent, and punishes Chava, the mother of mankind, with the price we are all familiar with, whereas Adam is told ‘'בעצבון תאכלנה... As in עצבות – depression.
Here lies our answer. Haman’s root is depression. Understandably, the opposite side – Kedusha, is simcha. Haman-Amalek fights against our being happy; they are freethinkers and nonbelievers from whom depression is drawn, and they are envious of our simcha. They have no problem with us doing the mitzvos and keeping the Torah, but they can’t stand our happiness. What they don’t understand is that our happiness stems from doing the mitzvos.
‘For a Yid who believes in Hashem simply, nothing even comes close to the simcha of doing mitzvos; that we are zoiche to bring nachas to Hashem, that we earn eternal everlasting life just through the strings of tzitzis that we buy for pennies (for our husbands and sons) and thereby get included in the infinite light… Is there any bigger simcha than this?’
R’ Nosson explains further how anyone with the least bit of sense realizes that the pleasures of this world are transient and fleeting, we are all destined to die and our treasures will be left behind. Therefore, the philosophers and freethinkers have no real happiness, they are full of depression and misery. When Haman saw Mordechai’s happiness, how he and the Yidden were so joyous with fulfilling the mitzvos, his jealousy so overwhelmed him until he wanted to wipe them off the face of Earth.
The prime time to triumph over Haman-Amalek is on Purim, R’ Nosson tells us, since this is when he is overcome. Therefore, the main mitzvah of Purim is to be happy at all times, because this is how we win him.
Now comes the million dollar question. How can we be happy at all times? What if we’re not in the mood? Deep down, we know that sometimes, we can get a teensy weensy bit depressed (and other times a slight bit more). Sometimes, we get caught in Haman’s clutches. Let’s get real, what if we’re not on the level of purely rejoicing with the mitzvos to overcome him and his depression?
Comes the Rebbe with a unique approach, tailor made for us. With a few short, simple yet innovative words, he opens up a complete new world for us. Nothing too complicated or deep, it’s right in our grasp.
"סֶע הָאט אַ פָּנִים אָז מֶע קֶען מֶער נִיט פְרֵיילִיךְ זַיין, נָאר מִיט נַארִישׁ מַאכִין זִיךְ!"
‘It looks like we can’t be happy anymore, only through making ourselves silly!’
That’s it! The Rebbe tells us to joke, play around, be stupid, giggle… That’s something all of us can do! And not only that, but it’ll bring us to happiness! Try it just once, and the facts will show for themselves… You’ll see the real smile spreading on your face.
And that is exactly why on Purim, when we have the mitzvah of being happy to triumph over Amalek, we have all kinds of silly things to do like getting drunk for the men, dressing up and playing around for the children and we women get to watch and laugh! He-He! Ha-Ha! Crack up! Let yourself get pulled in!
If it seems beneath your dignity, R’ Nosson explains the deeper side of it. Let’s explore his words.
“The nature of the person is to be pulled after depression, because every person is full of suffering, like we all know… Therefore, we need to force ourselves with all our might to be happy. And the main simcha is only possible through being stupid, as I heard from the Rebbe many times…”
“…because now in galus, the Shechina, which is called the שמחתן של ישראל has fallen low into the goyim, and the סטרא אחרא which is depression, strengthens over the Yidden and doesn’t let them be happy with Hashem and His Holy Torah. The goyim draw from the sparks of simcha which have fallen to them all kinds of false happiness. They take the simcha which comes from such a pure high place, and use it to make them happy with all kinds of filthy desires, which brings them no lasting real happiness.
Therefore, since the simcha is now in galus, it is clothed in stupidity and silliness. So for anyone who wants to bring themselves to real happiness, to be happy that he is zoiche to be a Yid and was not created a goy, the only way to reach it is through stupidity and silliness, since the simcha – the Shechina has fallen there.
To make it even clearer, R’ Nosson brings us an example of David Hamelech. “He was an aspect of the Holy Kingdom, which is an aspect of the Shechina – the שמחתן של ישראל. David Hamelech’s war with the Other Side was to break the depression and merit true simcha, which he drew into the world with his sefer Tehilim. Therefore, when David Hamelech fell into the hands of the Plishtim and they brought him before their king Avimelech, David saw that the only way to save himself from them was through simcha, which triumphs over the depression of the Klipas. But deep in the galus, amidst all the troubles, it’s impossible to be happy! So how could he save himself???
Hashem gave him an idea; David Hamelech pretended to be a lunatic. He made himself completely crazy! He acted like a משוגענער! He let spittle fall on his beard, he walked into the walls, and like this, he was saved from their hands!
The only way to save ourselves from our enemies Haman-Amalek is through simcha, and now in galus, the only way to reach simcha is through מלתא דשטותא – being stupid!
And when a Yid makes himself happy through being silly and stupid, he raises the Shechina out of its galus, because he returns the simcha to its rightful place, to the Yidden!”
So go right ahead. Let’s see your foolish grin. Ha-ha!
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