Reprinted with permission from the Book 127 Insights Into Megillas Esther
Written by Mendel Weinbach
Published By Targum Press

But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those who remain shall be as thorns in your eyes...and they shall harass you in the land wherein you dwell. (Bemidbar 33:55)

The failure of Shaul Hamelech to eliminate the Amalekites, in accordance with the Divine command, brought a genocidal decree upon his people generations later.  The initiator of the decree was a descendant of Agog, the Amalekite king spared by Shaul and executed by Shmuel Hanavi only after fathering Haman's ancestor.  Haman the Agagite is another link in the chain of Amalek's fanatical war against Israel and its G-d, which began with an attack on a weak nation leaving Egypt and has continued throughout history.

That initial attack and Haman's casting of lots are both expressions of the concept that Hashem inflicts upon His people an enemy who personifies their waywardness.  When the Jews in the wilderness of Refidim began to question whether "Hashem is among us or not" (Shemos 17:7), they were guilty of misinterpreting Providence as mere coincidence.  Amalek, whose entire ideology is a denial of Providence, therefore "happens upon them" on their way out of Egypt (Devarim 25:18).  Haman perpetuates this tradition of coincidence by casting lots to determine the date for the destruction of a people whose sense of its history has become warped into a perverted perspective on exile as a mere happening with no message. 

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Mrs. Beth Wiesenberg
 Wednesday, March 29, 2006 04:39 PM