Showing posts from February, 2023

One Nation Spread Out

Haman’s reason for killing the Jews was “There is one nation spread out among the other nations and they have a different religion.” The simple meaning is that he wanted to kill the Jews because they are different. There’s another explanation though. It’s talking about two kinds of Jews: “One nation” are the Jews who stick together and keep the traditions. “Spread out…” are the Jews who drift for whatever reason. On the outside, they may not even be recognizable as Jews. Haman looked at all Jews the same. If they were religious, he hated them because they were religious. If they were secular, he hated them because they were secular. The end of the story is that the Jews took this to heart and internalized that we are one, and Haman became a cookie (Hamantashen). We celebrate Purim with brotherly (and sisterly) love though the four mitzvos of the holiday. Sometimes it takes an anti-Semite’s appreciation of how much we are really one to internalize it ourselves.