We read the Megillah a bit like a child’s story, starting with the arch villain, Haman the Agagite. We often think of him as a caricature, an evil incarnate twirling his mustache, squinting his eyes, and doing evil things just for fun.
But is that really all there is to Haman? He’s just this flat, one-dimensional villain guy, evil through and through?
Allow us to challenge that idea, just a little. Think about the great villains in Western literature and culture: Darth Vader. Lord Voldemort. Hannibal Lecter. Professor Moriarty. These characters are complex, multi-dimensional. They have struggles. They’re real. So… wouldn’t we at least expect that much from the Torah?
When you read the Megillah with this lens, you open yourself up to an amazing story, one that is hiding just beneath the surface of the text. It’s the real story of Haman, of what motivated him, and what made him tick. And if you want to understand this book, this holiday, you’ve got to know its central villain.
Join Rabbi Fohrman as he examines this question by looking at the Book of Esther (and its mysterious connections to the Garden of Eden!) -- and never think about Purim the same way again!