Wednesday, March 09, 2011

haman min haTorah

Haman min haTorah minayin? Chazal point to the pasuk in Parshas Braishis, "Ha’min ha’eitz … achalta?” What does G-d's question to Adam about his having eaten the forbidden fruit have to do with Purim?

Ksav Sofer explains that tshuvah is usually the product of reflection and remorse. Yet, sometimes we need a little push to get there. One might have had a hava amina that tshuvah of this sort doesn’t carry much weight – it’s not too hard to do soul searching when Haman’s decree or the threat of some other suffering is hanging over your head! Yet, we see from the story of the first sin in the Torah that Hashem doesn’t wait for us – Hashem reached out to Adam and asked him whether he ate from the forbidden fruit, inviting Adam to confess and own up to the crime. Haman min haTorah – the tshuvah elicited by the evil of Haman already has a precedent in the Torah.


  1. Anonymous12:12 AM

    might one blend these 2 of 3/9? the
    day of adam/chava's creation (2nd version) must be at base a yom tov (apart from rosh hashanah, day 6 of version 1); chava was most
    decisive on that day when she ate,
    while adam was most decisive when
    he rejoiced, "bone of my bones and
    flesh of my flesh...": each to some
    extent defined yom tov for their
    respective genders ever after--
    women may fast; men celebrate...

  2. R' Josh Yuter had a great explanation on his blog a while back. Adam could have enjoyed the fruit of any tree in the garden but he decided he must have the forbidden one, and this decision was his downfall. Similarly, Haman had the honor and reverence of all of the subjects in the Kingdom except for Mordekhai, and his obsession with the one thing he couldn't have led to his downfall as well.

  3. Some mareh mekomos :-)

    - Rabbeinu yonah shaarei teshuvah beginning of shaar 2 says the same.

    - The medrash tanchuma at the end of parshas vaera only criticises Pharoh and Nevuchadnezzar for doing teshuva through difficulty becuase they acknowledged Hashem when they were down but denied Hashem when things looked up again. In other words their original teshuvah becuase of the makkos or becuase Nevuchadnezzar became animal like was OK.