Gershon Hepner
Gershon Hepner

Haman and peace in Purimland

Haman told Ahasuerus

while sitting on a cushion:

“We Persians ought the Jews to fear,

too comfortable in Shushan.

I recommend that you confuse

the nation with peace treaties.”

The King agreed, while drinking booze,

his therapy for DT’s.


Though Mordecai refused to sign

on lines that Haman dotted,

Queen Esther thought the plan was fine,

by “Peace Now” plans besotted,

but finally she went along

with plans her uncle plotted,

despite the fact she thought him wrong,

a hossid and a hothead.


It turns out Haman was as bad

as Hunkie hunk, Attila,

and Saddam, living in Baghdad —

it’s all in the Megillah —

but had he lived today I think

J Streeters would have said,

with many others in lip-synch:

“He’s better live than dead.”


It surely was no grave mistake

to hang him with his sons,

but very sadly you can’t make

a lasting peace with guns.

Yet it’s a waste of time to shake

poor Haman by the hand,

though “nice” is still what many make

with punks in Purimland.


I recalled this poem from 2002 while reading a blog by Jeremy Rosen, Purim or Poor Them, 2/18/21 (http//  I did not make Jeremy’s excellent wordplay, even though my last verse mentions “poor Haman”.  Jeremy concludes: Today sadly, anti-Semitism has metastasized. Jews are again being accused of divided loyalties in precisely the same language that Haman used. Poor him. Poor them, apologies for human beings. We need to be reminded of our history of fighting back. And, given our fractious, divided Jewish world in which people like to claim they are better Jews than everyone else, the lesson is that salvation can come from many different sources, human and Divine. Not just from the pious or the professionals!

Gershon Hepner, Purim 5781

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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