Jewish Soul Journey


                                                                   “DE-FEETING” HAMAN / AMALEK                           


                    Purim is the perfect time to invite guests who think that Judaism is stodgy and restrictive.   As we stomp all over Haman’s name during the Megilla reading, and then sit down to a meal that’s more liquid then solid, I most enjoy watching Purim dismantling all of their pre-conceived notions.   I don’t tell my guests (who are having too much fun to worry about it) that even as we do something that seems strange or unusual, we are making a powerful statement that reverberates through time in order to bring the ultimate redemption.

          Stomping Out Haman 

           The custom of stomping at the sound of Haman’s name begins at the feet, so let us take off our shoes and examine the bottom of our “soles/souls”.  Most of us have a live and let live relationship with our feet.  If they do not bother us, we don’t worry about them.  We don’t usually buy special vitamins or minerals to enhance their functioning and at best we notice them because we need them as a place to put our shoes. 

Our feet don’t seem to  “kick up” much of a fuss about this attitude because they are too busy either standing or walking.  Walking is an amazing process, that we take for granted, which involves the foot’s ability to be rigid and calloused, yet flexible and mobile:  taking steps begins with the foot in a rigid state, the heel  hitting the ground, it then continues  with the foot unlocking and flexing so the knee can pass over it.  Our weight is then transferred to the ball of the foot as we propel ourselves over the toes whereupon the foot again becomes rigid to provide the momentum for the next step.  Although small in comparison to the body, the foot is able to support its full weight using muscles, tendons sinews and interestingly twenty six bones. 

The feet are furthest from the head and seem to be unconnected from all the other organs.  Yet according to a fairly popular alternative medical practice called reflexology, applying pressure to designated points on the feet can restore health and well being to each part of the body for a wide variety of ailments. According to this system, there are said to be, even more interestingly, 7200 hundred nerve endings in the feet which connect to zones so that each part of the foot corresponds to some part or organ of the body.  For example, the various organs and systems of the body are represented on the sole of the foot while the big toe relates to the head.  The ball of the foot relates to the lungs while the heal of the foot relates to the small intestine and bladder are located towards the heel.  

The feet also seem to be the farthest removed from that which is holy and pure.  Yet, it would be very difficult to interact with the world in the fulfillment of many (mitzvoth) specific good deeds without their assistance.  And it is that interaction with the world that Purim is so much about as this holiday begins with an awakening from “below”.

Our generation’s place in history lies on that end of Hashem’s time line that is embedded deeply within a mindset that often connects itself to self gratification, that is at the bottom end of  the  fourth of our four  exiles, [1] yet, we play a “pivotal” role.  Like the “soles” of the feet, most “souls” today are distant from the achievements of earlier generations, yet it is our duty to lift ourselves up, “striding” ever forward bringing the knowledge of Hashem into the here and now – which time is referred to as the (ikvei) [heels] footsteps of the HaMasiach.  Although this last exile like our heels has become somewhat calloused it is precisely that quality that gives us the opportunity to illuminate this epoch in time so that the ultimate redemption can occur.

Interestingly, our feet play a crucial role in this epic drama. They serve as the liaison between our “souls” and the ground. By having “our feet on the ground” – ie. in this material world, we are vulnerable to the nefarious plans of (Haman/Amalak) those who personify evil, but at the same time this positions give us a solid “foot-hold” in this battle.

Although our physical “soles” are connected to earthliness, our holy “souls” are unified with the true Source of All.  We therefore literally have the power to “stamp out” the influence and memory of  Haman  and Amalek with each “step” bringing us closer to their “de-feat” and the our ultimate redemption.

 Purim samayach!!!



[1] The Ari Hakadosh teaches that the purpose of the four exiles was to repair the sin of Adam Ha Rishon, the first man, with each exile corresponding to the various parts of the Primordial Man. So the Egyptian and Babylonian exiles repaired the head, the Persia and Midai, the chest, the Greek exile was the lower part of the body and finally the exile of Edom was the feet.

All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia

Leave a Reply