Kenneth Cohen


The villain of the Purim story, is the Amalekite, named Haman. The Gemara in Masechet Megilla, describes how he rose to power, and ultimately, fell.

The Talmud observed that in every person’s life, he goes through a period where his Mazal, or luck, is in an upward movement. For a certain period of time, everything seems to be going right. (Some people might claim that they are still waiting for their lucky time!)

This point was very clear when Haman came home and boasted to his family, how everything was going great. He was the only one invited to the queen’s party, aside from the king. His only problem preventing him from total joy, was the Jew, Mordechai.

Purim is the holiday of “turnabout,” where everything took a dramatic turn. For the Jews, it was celebration, and victory over their enemies. For Haman, it was his complete demise.

The lesson of Purim is never to give up hope. Our personal situation might look bleak. Some have financial problems, while others may be dealing with overcoming illnesses. There are those that are praying and waiting for their soulmate for too long.

Just has Haman had it all and fell, we must believe that despite our current challenges, things can change in a moment. We can see great salvation and joy. The Chassidim taught their disciples, that every hardship should be viewed as a sign, that great things are just around the corner.

Faith is a powerful tool. The Jews had it in Persia, and it led to our annual celebration of Purim. It is our faith that will, G-d willing, lead us to personal joy and celebration.

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