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Biblical Character
    Primary villain of the Bible’s Book of Esther
    Appointed Prime Minister by King Ahasuerus (Achashverosh)
    Plotted with wife Zeresh and scores of advisors to exterminate the Jews in ancient Persia (ca 368 BC)
    During a royal feast, he successfully called for the execution of Vashti, the king’s previous queen.
    As he traversed the villages, all Jews were under order to bow down to him.
    He wanted the king to order the execution of the one Jew who violated this decree. This in turn led to his scheme to obliterate the Jewish population.
    He wore the symbol of a pagan idol on his garments.
    He did not appreciate being ordered by the king to honor Mordechai with the royal robes and horse when he felt he should have been the one so honored.
    He was initially unable to find a suitable day to plot the massacre (one that would not be beneficial to his target).
    When his plot was revealed by Queen Esther, he begged her to spare his life (typical coward).
    The Targum Sheni (Aramaic translation) credits him with more than a dozen parents.
    He served as a barber for 22 years and sold himself into Mordechai’s service.
    Eventually, drawing on his astrological skills, he found a suitable period to carry out his plot (Adar, under the sign of Pisces).
    On the order of the king, he was hung from the very post upon which he ordered Mordechai be so hung.
    A new decree had to be written after his death, granting the right of self-defense to the once-imperiled Jews. This led to the execution of more than 8000 attackers, including his own ten sons.
    His race-motivated plot is commemorated at Purim, celebrated two weeks into the month of Adar. When his name is mentioned, a gragger (or ra’ashan, meaning ‘noisemaker’) is activated.
    In Israel, the triangular preserve-filled biscuits served on Purim – hamantashen – are called ‘Haman’s ears,’ or Oznei Haman (his ears were considered triangular).

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