The Clogged Pore

Purim is not only a time of joy; it's a time of reflection. We take a good look at ourselves and examine whether there are any Haman-like traces on our character profile...

3 min

Tal Rotem

Posted on 04.02.13

Imagine a woman who has everything. She has a brand new chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. She has all the money she needs and doesn’t have to check the balance in her Swiss bank account before she purchases something. She’s brilliant – a Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford and she’s beautiful too, a former Miss California. Her husband owns a string of oil wells in Oklahoma and Texas and her children are healthy and bright. They have one mansion in Beverly Hills, a vacation penthouse on the Costa D’el Sol, and a holiday penthouse overlooking the Western Wall in Jerusalem. She’s charismatic, and she has 5,000 friends on Facebook. But as of this morning, she wants to commit suicide…

What? Suicide? Why?

She was looking in the mirror this morning, and she saw a blackhead on the side of her nose, the result of a clogged pore…

Hey, Lady – are you nuts? You’ve got every blessing in the world and you want to terminate your life because of – a clogged pore? Are you serious? Who ever heard of anything like that?

There is a precedent. The rich lady with the clogged pore and the blackhead on her nose suffers from the same spiritual disease that Haman suffered from: ingratitude – he wasn’t satisfied with his lot in life.

Let’s check out Haman’s profile:

Rav Shalom Arush says that ever since creation and until our own times, there was never a person upon whom had so much as the ungrateful and wicked Haman, may his name be eradicated. Hashem gave him fabulous wealth and 208 sons. All the citizens of King Ahashverosh’s empire bowed down to him. He wore the king’s royal ring and could make decrees at will. He was the viceroy and de facto ruler of 127 countries. Yet he was neither grateful nor satisfied.

Haman testified that all his blessings, wealth, sons, power and influence meant nothing to him. Why? Because of a “clogged pore” – a tiny blackhead in life. One little Jew named Mordechai would not bow down to him. He gathered his family and friends and enumerated his great wealth and belongings, his plethora of sons and how there was nobody in the entire kingdom as honored as he. “The king has promoted me to the most important position in the empire,” he boasted, “I actually rule over the entire world and even Queen Esther invited me to a royal feast with just her and the king. But all this is worthless to me because there is one Jew who doesn’t bow down before me.”

This is the epitome of the evil spiritual force of ingratitude, which Rebbe Nachman of Breslev calls klipat Haman-Amalek. As soon as something doesn’t go exactly the way a person desires, he denies all the kindness that Hashem did for him in the past and does for him at every moment. He essentially echoes Haman; because something did not work out for him, everything is worthless – all of Hashem’s loving-kindness, all His goodness – they are all worth nothing because Haman – and those like him – didn’t get exactly what they wanted. Not 99.95% – they want 100%! They’re willing to commit suicide because of a clogged pore on the nose!

When a person gets used to thanking Hashem for everything, he overcomes the spiritual force of impurity known as the klipa (spiritual impurity) of Haman-Amalek. Haman was the greatest ingrate who ever lived.

Good health, eyesight, lungs, a functioning heart – aren’t they wonderful reasons to rejoice? Why lament about a tiny blackhead? Are we that spoiled? Or vain?

Purim is not only a time of joy; it’s a time of reflection. We take a good look at ourselves and examine whether there are any traces of ingratitude on our character profile. If so, they must go! With gratitude, we convert the Haman and the Amalek in our midst to Mordechai. The evil never say thank-you; the righteous never stop saying thank-you.

The redemption hinges on gratitude to Hashem. The long exile and diaspora we’ve suffered for two millennia now are the result of  our ancestor’s needless crying in the desert that continues endlessly. And guess what – we are still crying! If we stop crying and begin to thank Hashem again and again, the redemption will come immediately.

Enjoy your Purim, and don’t throw a great life away because of a clogged pore. L’Chayim!

Tell us what you think!

Thank you for your comment!

It will be published after approval by the Editor.

Add a Comment

next article

With the image of a Persian palace belly-dancer in his head, the Jew wouldn't be able to learn Torah or pray, even if he didn't assimilate...