Awaiting the writing of a new Megillah | Harav Y. R. Rubin Shlita

Awaiting the writing of a new Megillah

By Harav Y. R. Rubin Shlita

 

There must be a word for such a condition, some psychological name that can describe this unique madness that is all-consuming. Draw up a chair and let me describe the horrific symptoms. The patient has what seems to be a perfect life. He is fabulously wealthy, highly placed in government, and a father of a thriving family. Nothing seems to be missing from his idyllic situation, and yet, he gets caught up in a minor situation, one that others would think inconsequential, and becomes self-destructive to the point of death. He rants about this one irritant and plots unspeakable crimes just to rid himself from his perceived enemy, despite huge cost.

“You stand, mumbling the words of the Shemoneh Esrei, whilst your heart becomes consumed by the grit of Amalek”

So, what can we call such a malfunctioning being? Well, you could call him Haman, or to some extent, perhaps even yourself.
Let’s look in some detail. Haman had it all. He was highest ranking minister in the greatest country of its time. He is the guest of Royalty, wealthy beyond anyone’s dreams. He says so himself in Megillas Esther (5:11-12)
“Haman told (his wife and friends) of his glorious wealth, his many sons, and all the power that the King had granted him; that he had elevated him above all the officials and royal servants. Moreover, Queen Esther invited only me to the banquet that she prepared, and I am invited again tomorrow together with the King.”
There was only singular item that obstructed Haman’s bliss: that Yiedela Mordechai who refused to bow down to him.
As the Megillah tells us in his own words, “Yet all this means nothing to me as long as I see the Jew Mordechai sitting at the King’s gate!”
This fool is crying out, “I have nothing, my wealth, my power, my reputation, my family, it’s all flawed. One man refuses to recognise me, and everything else pales into insignificance.”
Come on! Get real, do you mean that all life’s gifts are worthless because of one small irritant? Aren’t you going a bit over the top?
Well to a self-centred spoiled rotten, egotistic, damaged and corrupted person the answer is: no! His fragile sense of self is such that in his view nothing must stand in his way to “happiness”.
Haman was a descendant of another representative of wicked corruption: Amalek. It is this corrosiveness of the soul, that the Torah tells us: “You must obliterate any recollection of Amalek from beneath the Heavens- do not forget!”
Amalek represents everything that is bad and evil in this world. As long as even a whiff of Amalek is allowed to continue we will all suffer.
Sadly, there is in each of us a bit of this Amalek, and this darkness is what often drives us towards being upset about things that are comparatively small. How often do we carry an edgy upset about something that slowly poisons our lives to the extent that, as Haman thought, nothing is worthwhile as long as that upset festers.
I have seen families fall apart over some small matter that observers would never dream is worthy of such anger. The dust of Amalek awakens the soul and things become combustible. It is always regarding issues that you can’t ever do anything about. It is what it is, yet you just feel incapable of letting it go.
The sefer Olas Shabbos discusses this situation and asks, “Why is it that our focus is constantly fixed on the small imperfections in our lives?” He continues by challenging us: “If we were to make a list of all the gifts Hashem gives us on a daily basis, the small and the big and everything in between, and then think of everything we perceive to be missing in our lives, things we believe we really need, yet don’t have, we would be overcome with gratitude and joy!”
How often do we become distracted by all this static in our minds? This broke, that didn’t work out, how come he has such and such?
You stand, mumbling the words of the Shemoneh Esrei, whilst your heart becomes consumed by the grit of Amalek.
The Kotzke Rebbe ztl once cried out on Purim, “when will we write the Megillah?” The Chasidim didn’t understand what the Rebbe meant but were hesitant to ask. Later his son, Rebbe Duvid ztl, went into his father’s study and asked what laid behind the Rebbe’s request. The Rebbe answered that from the Megillah we learn that the Yieden were in a very bad situation and later they saw miraculous salvation. So too when the Moshiach arrives, we will see great miracles and write a new Megillah, depicting our troubled times and how Hashem saved us. The Rebbe’s fierdik request was that Hashem send us that freshly written Megillah soon.
We all await the writing of that new Megillah every day, yet, the mitzvah of destroying the remnants of Amalek is something we are called upon to do, despite our Golus.
The Amalek that lurks within our souls and tortures us must be seen for what it is. We must take Purim into our hearts and sing of life’s gifts. Give this to our children, and wipe out the anger that destroys the light which Hashem sends us.