he has sent away empty."
Ester, Chapter 5, Verse 9
Change one letter in the name of Haman and it becomes human. How many times have you been in good spirits and happy when bam all of the sudden something upsets you and now you are in the pit of despair. Haman was happy because his pride was enriched, and he saw himself a god and then upon exiting the gate of the palace that Jew Mordecai was sitting at the gate and refused to stand and showed no fear of the great and powerful Haman and reminded him he is mortal. Bam-get even time. Haman goes home and brews telling his perfectly evil mate Zeresh.
Together with her husband, Haman, she plotted to annihilate the entire Jewish nation and to hang Mordecai upon towering gallows. Thankfully, we know how well her plans worked out in the end… Every Purim, in the Shoshanat Yaakov poem, we memorialize her wickedness by gleefully singing, “Cursed be Zeresh, wife of [Haman], who terrorized me.”
Who Was Zeresh? Zeresh’s name appears twice in the Book of Esther, both times as an advisor to her husband. She is the one who suggests that Haman rid himself of Mordechai by hanging him on a gallows 50 cubits tall. In her second appearance, she advises him that he will never be able to vanquish Mordechai but will instead fall ignobly. Combing through the classic sources, we can piece together some parts of her personality. Her father was Tattenai, “the ruler of across the river, who makes an appearance in the Book of Ezra when he tries (unsuccessfully) to halt the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the first chapter of the Book of Esther, Queen Vashti refuses her drunken husband’s order to appear before him at the feast. The king consults with his wise men, and one Memuchan advises him to dispose of his rebellious wife and find a better one. Some say that Memuchan is a pseudonym for Haman, who wished to take revenge against Vashti for not inviting his wife, Zeresh, to her party for women.
Her Advice. The sources describe Zeresh as a very wise woman who even knew the secrets of sorcery. According to the Midrash, Haman had 365 advisors, but Zeresh’s advice was the best he received. She found an original way to kill Mordechai, one that had never been tried, telling her husband: You must remember that Mordechai is a Jew. If you try to kill him with a sword, know that Pharaoh attempted to decapitate Moses and failed. If you wish to stone him, remember how David slew Goliath with stones. If you try to drown him, remember how G‑d tore the sea before Israel. If you want to exile him to the desert, remember how Israel wandered in the desert for forty years and thrived. Joseph was released from jail and became the viceroy. Chananya, Mishael and Azarya went out from a fiery furnace, and Daniel left the lion’s den. Don’t try to blind him; remember how many people Samson killed whilst sightless. There is one remaining way for you: hang Mordechai on a tree. (We see this done to Christ and see how that worked for the evil forces.) Not satisfied with simply advising, Zeresh went with her husband to find the tallest tree in Shushan, which turned out to be quite a thorny specimen. With the tree chosen, the Book of Esther tells us, Haman ran to the king’s palace to discuss his plans to hang Mordechai upon it. Yet, in a divinely orchestrated twist of events, he soon found himself leading Mordechai through the streets of Shushan shouting, “Thus shall be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!” Returning home, he meets his wife, who tells him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely fall before him!"
Zeresh’s Legacy. Scripture is silent regarding the end of her life. Tradition tells us that after Haman was hanged on the tree that he had prepared for Mordecai, Zeresh fled in disgrace with his remaining 70 sons. They were reduced to begging from door to door in order to stay alive. We remember Zeresh every year when we sing the poem Shoshanat Yaakov after reading the Megillah. Interestingly, some medieval communities would stamp their feet and make noise when Zeresh’s name was mentioned during the Megillah reading, just as we do today when we hear the name of her wicked husband, Haman. In the book Mechir Yayin, Rabbi Moshe Isserles (known as the Ramah, 1530-1572) describes Zeresh as the embodiment of delusion, whose fantasies of honor and wealth distract a person from the worthwhile pursuits of intellectual enlightenment and divine wisdom.
Today let us seek enlightenment and divine wisdom
from Christ’s mother.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
Article 4-THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
1422 "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."
· An adventure was what happened when you set out to take life by the hand and live it.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus