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    Enjoying Haman’s hanging – Ask the Rabbi

    Haman on the gallows, by Arthur Szyk, 1950

    Q. Did the Jews of Persia enjoy seeing Haman hanged?

    A. It would have been unlikely. An enemy is still a human being, and his inevitable downfall causes more sadness than anything else.

    We would much rather that he lived up to his potential of decency and compassion; if he could not refrain from sinning, we would prefer that he repented and came back into God’s good books. We take seriously the admonition, “Rejoice not when your enemy falls: let your heart not be glad when he stumbles” (Prov. 24:17).

    The rabbis comment that, despite the wickedness of Haman, his grandchildren rehabilitated the family name and taught Torah in B’nai B’rak (Sanh. 96b).

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