Post 26…June 2023…Esther and the Grogger

The Grogger/Noise Maker

The grogger is a noise maker aka the rashan.  This noise maker had a distinctive and precise purpose.  Most people have no clue even when reading the Bible about this grogger. Most just read over things and don’t even give it another thought or pick it apart to see what and why something is happening. 

 During the Feast of Purim whenever the name of Haman, the man who wanted to kill all the Jews, was read the Jewish people would whirl the wooden box (the grogger) around by its handle to make a loud noise.  What they were doing was drowning out the noise of his name. They didn’t want to even hear the name of Haman for the name of  Haman was a symbol of evil and destruction to them. 

The secret of the grogger is that it deals with the sound of evil by producing its own sound, a different sound, and by doing so it drowns out the sound of evil.

How do you drown out the evil in your own life?  By producing a different sound, and opposite sound let’s call it.  We make a so-called sound by an entirely opposite sound.  You overcome evil by bringing forth the opposite in your life of the evil around you. You bring about hope, you bring positivity into your life and let the negative go.  You overcome the darkness that creep around you and you turn on the light of Jesus.  You drown out the darkness…in other words, you also must drown out the Hamans in your life.  Whatever you are dealing with now…don’t dwell on it.  Dwell on its opposite.  Overcome the evil things around you by standing in the light of the Lord. 

There is a verse, “You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” since Haman was a descendant of Amalek. This custom evolved into the practice of banging and making noise when the name of Haman is read.  There is meaning behind the custom. We might not understand it but to the Jews this was important to them to do. Throughout their history people have wanted to destroy them. 

The Jews, therefore, raise a ruckus—after hearing Haman’s name—to show that they don’t want to hear his name, but are doing so only because it is a mitzvah to listen to the entire Book of Esther, including the parts where Haman is mentioned. (In order to fulfill one’s obligation, one must hear every word, so don’t start your noisemaking until the reader finishes saying the name Haman, and stop as soon as the reader or the rabbi signals it is time to stop.)

After the Jews fought the Amalekites in the desert, God said to Moses, “Inscribe this [as] a memorial in the book, and recite it into Joshua’s ears, that I will utterly blot out  the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens.” The Midrash expounds that “I will utterly blot out” means that God will erase the remnant of Amalek even from wood and stone. Thus, the custom evolved to write (and subsequently erase) the name of Haman on wood or stone.

If Haman’s plans were realized, the Jews would not exist today. In a sense, he is therefore a threat to every generation of Jews and must be combatted all over again. The Jews when they bang during the reading of Haman’s name, then in a spiritual sense, Haman is beaten once again.

Just as the Jews fight back in this way against the evil that came against them, isn’t it time each of us fights back against the Haman of our own life.  We fight by the word of God and we stand on His word at all times.  We don’t compromise His word, and we never try to change it and we sure don’t call sin okay.  We each are faced with battles in our life, but we can overcome by the word of God and by prayer.  We can fight the Haman in our own life and we can come to victory and glory.