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Kenneth Cohen

Haman’s Ego Led to His Downfall

We learn a great deal about human nature from the behavior of Haman. His ego led to his ultimate downfall.

The Talmud tells us that every individual has his Mazal, when everything seems to be going right for them. At one point in the Purim story, he was on top of the world. Not only was he second to the king, with unlimited authority, people literally bowed down to him. He was the only person invited to the queen’s party.

He came home feeling very happy. He shared with his family all of his good fortune and wealth. He then said that none of it was worthwhile as long as Mordechai the Jew was still around.

There are so many people that make similar mistakes. They have every reason to be happy with their lot in life. If they would only focus on what they had, they would be perfectly fine.

Instead, they focus on their obsession with someone else’s success. They suddenly become unable to see all of the reasons why they should be content with their own lives.

It is important to emphasize how damaging such obsession and jealousy can be. It simply removes from that person any chance of finding happiness. We must work on our own jealousy and stay away from jealous people. Nothing good comes from this very negative character. Haman is the perfect example of one who had risen to the top, but ultimately, fell very hard.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at www.cafehebrew.com