Thursday, February 13, 2014

Haman Tosh


Today, I ate the very first “Haman tosh” cookie of the Purim season. Eating one reminds me that we’re in the season. It three corners are intended to symbolize Haman’s three cornered hat. I wonder why his hat had three corners, what could of it meant to him? 

In Jewish spiritual thought, a hat or crown, generally conveys a symbolism of something higher than oneself that s/he closely identifies with - something above one’s own head. In the case of Haman, what would have he held as higher than himself? It had to be a cause he was committed to. It was the destruction of the Jewish People and all Judaism stands for. It was to set up a “master race” of Amalek, a race where the powerful can exploit without the shackles of morality, justice and responsibility. This desire for ethnic supremacy is evident from the Prophet Samuel’s words to Agog, Haman’s ancestor, right before he sliced him up. He brandished Agog’s own sword and declared that as with this sword he made other women suffer childlessness, now “measure for measure” his mother will be childless among women. Where does dashing the dreams of mothers come into play with doing the Creator’s justice against an evil person? Obviously, a big part of his evil was that he was into ethnic cleansing.  He had no compassion for mothers of other nations.

The question is what does all this have to do with a three cornered hat? Amalek’s power comes from the absence of divine light. In the void created by the light’s absence, his lawlessness thrives, becoming the new law - a law that calls for the exploitation of the “weak” and the murder of any potential “dissenters”. He wanted to empty the three faceted framework of our universe, time, space and life, from all that truly makes it sweet - which are all manifestations of the divine light. He wanted the occult systems, which made no moral demands, to replace the Torah on the timeline of human history, in all places of human habitation and in all human hearts.

So as part of the Purim season celebration, we eat a three cornered cookie, to symbolize the three basic facets of our universe - time, space and life. We make sure that it’s filled with something “yummy” - like jam, prune, poppy seeds, pie filling, chocolate, etc. Yes, all sweetness comes from the divine light. So we fill it with something which manifested from the divine light. In contrast to Haman, we are committed to the cause of filling the universe with divine light. We then internalize it, by eating it. 


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