A few nights ago I took my kids out for some last-minute Purim/Shabbat shopping, because I just can't learn my lesson. They wanted to "stop by" the toy store, you know, just to schmooze around. Sure. I told them like a thousand times that I wasn't going to buy them anything, but of course they suddenly developed amnesia when they walked into the store.
As I did my best to hide from my older kids, my little boyfriend, Natan, who's turning three in a few days, walked around the store asking me if I could buy him everything on the shelves. The funny thing was that he asked it so nonchalantly, showing me that he really didn't care about the toys he was asking me to buy him. I found myself saying, "No" every two seconds, while casually checking out the prices on the toys.
Many things were on sale, and if I had wanted to, I could have bought a few of those toys. And that's when I realized something amazing: because the toys were so easy for me to buy, they didn't have any real value in my eyes. Of course, part of that was probably because I wouldn't be playing with those toys, although maybe I would if I actually had some time to play.
For a few minutes, I actually felt what it would be like to be super-wealthy. I gotta be honest - it didn't feel that exciting. All of us, no matter what level of wealth we have, get bored with our stuff. The super-rich can walk around any store and buy anything without necessarily feeling the pinch in their big inflated bank accounts, but they're missing something precious - the excitement that comes along with buying something you really want.
That's why being rich is a bottomless pit. Money makes a person insatiable; he can never have enough stuff. Not only that, he has to constantly get nicer and more expensive stuff, and eventually he gets bored of all of it. This, my friends, is a curse.
Haman suffered the same curse. He was so rich, if he had lived today he would easily be on Forbes' "Top 10 Wealthiest People" list. He might even beat Bill Gates. But, as he states in Megillat Esther, all his riches are worthless when he sees Mordechai sitting at the palace gates. It's true that Mordechai's stubborn unwillingness to bow down to him enraged him. But why exactly was it so important for Haman that Mordechai should bow to him? Why wasn't it enough that the rest of the world bowed to him when he passed by?
Here's what I think. Haman wanted from Mordechai the one thing he couldn't have. Since he couldn't have it, Haman instinctively knew that this was the one thing left in the world that was exciting for him. What else was left? He had money, power, women, a palatial mansion, children. He had everything.
In reality, Haman's curse should be called "The Curse of Everything." Because once you have everything, there's nothing left to look forward to. More of the same just doesn't do it.
Those of you that dream of living the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, do yourselves a favor and dream yourselves out of it. There's a big blessing in not being able to have the dream life that you want. Believe me, Hashem is doing you a massive favor. Just think about how many uber-wealthy people are terribly depressed, suffer from marital problems, and/or have kids that are totally messed up. That's not a happy life.
Wishing you all a wonderful, meaningful, and SAFE Purim!!
Oh, yeah, so you're probably wondering why I put a picture of sheep at the top of this post. Well, the truth is that I really didn't have a picture ready for this post, so the idea came to me to use this picture and say that these sheep are actually people dressing up as sheep for Purim. And then, as I was uploading the picture, I suddenly remembered that we just read Parashat Zachor, in which King Saul was commanded to wipe out the nation of Amalek, and even their animals, because the sheep might really be people in disguise! I promise you I'm not lying! Isn't that just insane?? And, I took this picture about two weeks ago, because I never saw a bunch of sheep so close to my house. Totally freaky Divine Providence, yo!