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The Hand of Hashem vs. the Hand of Haman: Don’t bet on It!

In the spirit of”V’Nahaphoch Hu,” I’ve decided to change the format of this article and instead of asking the question and putting you through a lengthy tirade before giving you the answer, as I normally do, I think I’ll give you the answer first and let you just figure out the question! No, that’s not fair! And not because I don’t think you folks are sharp or smart enough to actually know it, or because your collective busy schedules do not call for any additional allocation of brain waves and thoughtful output, or because you have a headache! (That one works for everything!) Actually it’s because when I write this article, I usually have no idea, myself what the outcome is going to look like, let alone an answer for a question that I haven’t even thought of yet! However, as I stated before, in the spirit of doing things backwards during this wonderful month of Adar, I actually have come up with something interesting to write about even before I write it. And to confuse things even further, I even know what it is!

Okay, here goes. The previous Bobover Rebbe, R’ Ben Zion Halberstam ZT”L HY”D, in his sefer Kedushas Tzion, writes an amazing thing. As we all know, the wicked Haman had it in for Mordechai and the Jewish people and made it his life’s goal to exterminate them from all the provinces of King Achashverosh. With a final touch that he believed to be quite clever, Haman decided to rely on lots to choose the exact day that the deed will be done. He cast a lot and was giddy with glee when it came out in the month of Adar, believing that it was a bad omen for the Jews as this was the month in which their great leader Moshe Rabbeinu died. In the classic mode of villains throughout time, though, our bumbling evildoer overlooked the simple little fact that our great leader Moshe Rabbeinu, was also born in this month, and that provides the Jewish people with mazel and happiness. Can you just imagine the scene: If this was a dramatic performance put on stage, you could just picture the hapless villain chuckling in that evil, villain chuckle as his plan comes together in his mind. All the while, the audience is gesturing and calling out to him that he’s making a big mistake and he’s oblivious to it all! How Haman missed that tidbit of information, only Hashem knows, and rightfully so! However, what is not common knowledge here, is that Haman did not just cast one simple lot; he actually did it twice, but not for the same reason that most people go back and redo something. Its not that he wanted to get an even better result than the first. Writes the Bobover Rebbe based on the medrash: Out of curiosity alone, Haman flipped over the lot that he had cast down and by doing so, he changed history. So, now do you understand? Of course not.  I’m getting ahead of myself (Maybe this whole “Backwards” thing was not such a genius idea!)

Well then, let’s go back further. Haman was an evil man and not so coincidentally, he was also a notorious gambler. This idea of casting lots was not an original brainstorm that he came up with. He was quite adept with these lots. And what exactly were these lots? Believe it or not, they were your basic six sided dice that come with every version of Monopoly that has ever been made. Each side has on it a number from one to six, and the number on the top together with the number opposite on the bottom, will always equal seven. If the six is the top number, the one is always opposite. If it’s a three on top, the bottom will be a four. And, for all those Math majors, whose begging and cajoling the teacher had more to do with passing the finals then actually writing the right answer (we know who we are!), if the number five is on top, then the corresponding number on bottom is     Two! And needless to say (for some), vice versa! Now, quotes the Bobover Rebbe, Haman took three small square stones and wrote a number from one to six on each side. He then threw them down and watched as they settled on three numbers: One, three, three. Applying these numbers to the age-old Jewish practice of interchanging Hebrew letters for numbers, he transponded these numbers into the letters, Aleph, Gimmel, Gimmel. Upon further inspection, he whooped with delight (I’m speculating here) as these letters spelled out Agog, the Amaleki king who fought against the Jewish people and who just happened to be Haman’s great, great-grandfather. He knew right then and there, that this was a good sign for him and in a manner in which only he understood, he deciphered the lots to determine the 14th  day of Adar as his day of destruction. What happened next is unusual. Rather than call it quits, Haman unthinkingly flipped over the stones and rested them in the position where the numbers that were formally on bottom, now sat on top. They were: six, four and four. By using the same system of changing the numbers for letters again, we now have the letters Vav, Daled, Daled, which when rearranged spells out the name of none other than Dovid Hameleeh, the righteous king who led the Jewish people to victory in battle and brought them to the height of glory. Cue the music, this is where the villain realizes that he has a problem. And indeed he did!

To avoid these nasty side effects, experts recommend the usage canada generic viagra of herbal formulations that are 100% natural and safe. The sedentary lifestyle of the individuals makes them susceptible to several diseases, including erectile dysfunction compromising canadian generic tadalafil the circulatory system. Now men could just pop in a pill of Adderrall or Adderral and you may want to look viagra prices in usa at them. But the future arrived a long time ago, and you order cialis no prescription wouldn’t hear from them anymore. Throughout the entire story of Purim, the “Hand of Hashem” was evident in secret, yet miraculous ways. None more so than this amazing event. I found it to be so fascinating that I had to read it over a few times just to make sure that I understood it properly. Yet, these are the words of the Kedushas Tzion, who quotes the sefer Shevet Mussar, who derives it from the medrash. Haman understood that these lots were not insignificant little stones that had no meaning. He used them specifically because he realized that when cast for a specific purpose, they held important information. Plans can be devised, fates can be realized and history can be altered — all through the secrets that are concealed within these small dice. Hashem, therefore, used Haman’s own devices to turn the tables on him. By inexplicably turning over the dice — he writes, that Hainan just wanted to see what was on the other side of the dice! Didn’t he know what he would find? — Haman caused his entire mazel to be overturned, and instead of reaping a glorious victory that would forever cement him in the Amaleki “Hall of Fame” as the one who finally destroyed the Jews, he came to the crashing realization that the G-d of Dovid Hamelech and the Jewish people would never allow for their destruction. This turn of events — or shall we say “overturn” of events, is the true “V’nahaphoch Hu” in the story of Purim, and thus we celebrate this theme on this holiday. (It also goes very well with the “backwards” theme of this article, in case you hadn’t realized!)

So, of course, by now, you should have no problem figuring out what the original question was, right? What?! I can’t believe it! Well, for all those half-wits who turn straight to the back of the book just to see what’s going to happen (we know who we are, again!), its very simple: The posuk in Megillas Esther tells us “Therefore, they called these days ‘Puritn’ on account of the ‘Pur’ (Lot).” Based on this posuk, ft’s very unclear. If the holiday is named for the central event of the lot that was cast by Haman, then why is it called “Purim,” which is plural for lots? Shouldn’t it have better been named “Pur” in the singular? After all, weren’t we always taught that Haman made a single lottery and decided on a date from that? (I could stop right here and make you work your way “backwards”

– see, there’s that word again! – through this article! But I won’t.) But now, we understand very clearly why this holiday is named the way it is. Under the constant guidance of Hashem’s All­-Powerful Hand, the evil villain Hainan inexplicably and without knowledge of why and what he was doing, basically “Shot himself in the foot” – or in those days the expression probably went more along the lines of “Hung himself by the neck”! Instead of just throwing down his stones once and leaving them be, he turned over his dice – in effect, casting a second lot. This second lot was the final one and it spelled out the eventual turn of events in a way that even Haman understood. Thus, the name Purim, and thus, I will stop now as I’ve come to the beginning of my article!


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