Encountering Evil Haman

My Esther moment, and how it taught me to confront and overcome doubt.

| Topics: Purim
Esther denouncing Haman - painting by Ernest Normand - public domain
Esther denouncing Haman - painting by Ernest Normand - public domain.

Yesterday I encountered Haman.

Yes, the one you read about in the book of Esther.

He arrived without a noise-maker but still made a lot of noise. He explained to me how everything I had was worthless because of that one thing that didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. He almost convinced me to abandon my good intentions, claiming they wouldn’t succeed anyway.

Yesterday I met Haman, who reminded me that it is possible to “cast a lot” of destruction against me any day of the year [the literal meaning of Purim – Esther 9:24].

Who are you Haman the Agagite?

The senior minister in the kingdom of Ahasuerus. An exemplary family man. Beloved by his wife, friends and acquaintances. Property owner and possessor of honor. The man whom the king elevated above all his other ministers. The man to whom every person in the kingdom bows.

Who is the one saying that “all this is not worth it” to him, “gives no satisfaction” because of one stubborn man, who refuses to bow before him? Because of Mordecai the Jew. (Esther 5:13)

Do you know that person who always finds something bad, something to criticize? Who is always unhappy? Who doesn’t notice everything he already has, but only complains about what he doesn’t have?

Have you ever encountered that inner place in your thought life?

Do you know that voice inside us that explains to us that nothing is worth it, just because of that one thing that did not happen as we wanted? That voice that tries to negate every achievement and every strength, by means of negative and debilitating thoughts?

That voice is the voice of Haman. It’s the voice of doubt.

It’s a skeptical voice that comes from the fears and the grip of the past. And it tries to sway our thoughts, tries to arouse anger, resistance and rejection.

How do you deal with this skeptical voice?

Queen Esther will teach us. She actually invited Haman to her feast. By this she teaches us to become familiar with and able to identify the cause of doubt. She did not argue with him. She did not fight him, and she certainly did not allow herself to be convinced by him.

Following Esther’s lead, I get just a little closer to discerning how this voice works. I expose its tricks and then realize that this nay-saying skepticism is only a part of me, and that there are better and stronger parts of me.

Now that I know the way doubt works, I move on to discover the other places in me. I can discover faith, strength, confidence, wisdom, understanding. Warmth of heart and agreement.

By acknowledging that sometimes doubt exists within me, I can relegate it to being only one of the possible drivers of my responses and decisions, certainly not the only possibility. There are other options, and probably they are better. And all I have to do is choose the option that best suits me: an option that will bring me closer to my God, to my people and to my true self.

This is the same option Queen Esther chose. She was able, with the help of an inner connection to faith and knowledge, to turn everything for the better.

Happy Purim!


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One response to “Encountering Evil Haman”

  1. Robert's World says:

    A great article with the analogy of Haman.
    Sometimes simply identifying the adversary working within is like “light dispelling darkness”.

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