Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) Wishing Us Well 1 - HAMAN

As we draw closer to the opening of rehearsal on our newest Raise Your Spirits production, ESTHER and the Secrets in the King's Court, everything around me seems to remind me that the journey is about to begin.
Last Shabbat was an example.
Shabbat (Parshat Korach) seemed to point the way to Shushan and the court of King Achashverosh. The Shabbat hugged me and smilingly said, "Off you go."
You see, I was learning Pirkei Avot in the afternoon – Perek Five, Mishnah 19. My teacher was HaRav HaGaon HaRav Yisrael Meir Lau, shlita, from "Rav Lau on Pirkei Avos."
I read, "Any love that depends upon something, when that thing ceases, the love will cease.
But if it is not dependent on anything, it will never cease…"

To give an example of a love that is dependent upon something, HaRav Lau spoke about HAMAN.
He said, "As long as Haman was the wealthiest, most powerful man in the kingdom, he had many friends who fawned over him and flattered him. In Megillat Esther they are referred to as his 'lovers.' But as soon as the tables turned on him and he was forced to give public honor to the hated Mordechai, Haman's friends turned on him. Instead of comforting him, they told him that he was doomed to be defeated by Mordechai – and no longer does Scripture refer to him as his 'lovers'. Now they became his 'wise men'.
And what was their wisdom, "If Mordechai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him, but will undoubtedly fall before him."
I have the terrific opportunity to play the diabolical Haman in this year's production of ESTHER. How evilicious! 
Friends, we have so much to learn from the story of Esther and Mordechai and Haman and Achashverosh. And IY"H, we have so much that we can learn from one another. IY"H, it will be a fabulous adventure, and I am so looking forward to taking it with our entire cast and crew, and you, my readers and friends.
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