- Haman's Intolerance
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- In the Megillas Esther read on Purim, (3:4), we learn that
the other ministers had informed Haman that Mordechai was not
following Haman's command to bow to him. Why
did these ministers in King Achashverosh's court need to inform
Haman? Wouldn't Haman know this, seeing Mordechai perfectly erect?
- Either Haman knew or didn't know about Mordechai's refusal.
If Haman didn't know, then it makes sense in 3:5 that his anger
flared upon hearing Mordechai's deviation. This is in line with
Haman's nature. When he would first hear of something going against
his egocentricity, Haman would be angered.
- But perhaps Haman did in fact know that Mordechai didn't
bow to him. This is more plausible, as why should Haman alone
be ignorant of Mordechai's behavior? This being the case, we
must ask, "Why didn't he get angered about Mordechai's refusal
immediately upon his first encounter of Mordechai's disobedience?"
- One possibility is that the very same ego which caused Haman
to desire others to bow to him, would also cause him to avoid
the reality of that one person disgracing him. This is intolerable
to Haman, and perhaps why he didn't face it until it was brought
out in the open in 3:4 (suggested by Eva Tavlin). Only now did
Haman have to deal with it as he could no longer act for his
own motives alone, i.e., suppressing this disturbing fact. Similarly,
Pharaoh forgot Joseph after Joseph's death. A Rabbi explained,
Pharaoh could not tolerate the loss of Joseph. He was in great
need of Joseph's insights in order that he, Pharaoh, could successfully
rule Egypt. Therefore, upon Joseph's death, Pharaoh feigned complete
ignorance of the entire era of Joseph as a means of saying, "I
never needed him and I am a capable ruler independent of another
person's assistance". Such a denial allows Pharaoh to feel
capable once again.
- Haman acted as Pharaoh, denying Mordechai's blatant opposition,
but only to the point when the matter was no longer avoidable.
The other ministers in the courtyard who brought this news to
Haman did so as they did not want to see Mordechai escaping punishment.
This is why the passage states "to see if Mordechai's position