The Arizal in Sefer HaGilgulim ch. 35 says that Haman was a gilgul (reincarnation) of Eisav. How is that possible being that Eisav had the din (status) of an Yisroel meshumad (apostate Jew Kidushin 18a), and then come in a gilgul as a gentile? For example I understand when the Arizal says Yeshu was a gilgul of Eisav (ישוע/עשיו same letters) since they were both meshumadim apostates but they were nevertheless Jews. I know that sometimes a Jew will reincarnate as a goy however, I always understood that such person would convert and not die a goy. What follows is could a soul of a ger (convert) come in a gilgul and end up not converting in that lifetime? Can anyone share any light here?

  • Haman was a literal descendent of Eisav. Whatever discussion there is to make Eisav Jewish should probably equally apply to Haman, no? Apr 12, 2022 at 2:15
  • Lots of interesting discussion here, not sure which parts are more or less relevant dirshu.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/… Apr 12, 2022 at 2:17
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1 Answer 1


Haman was also Jewish! Never heard that before.

The Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe end of Tetzaveh on the HaMegillah) writes that Haman was Mordechai’s eved canani (slave) and therefore was a Jew.

Some mefarshim (commentators) explain that the phrase, “for he told him that he was a Jew,” means that Mordechai was telling people that Haman was himself a Jew.

In the year 3393 (368 b.c.e) [the second year of Achashveirosh’s reign], an Indian province rebelled against the Persian Empire, and the King sent twelve-thousand troops to quell the rebellion. The two generals leading the troops were Mordechai and Haman. Each lead six-thousand troops, and was given provisions for three years. Mordechai lead his troops in attack from the east, while Haman attacked from the west.

Haman squandered his provisions, and at the end of the first year he had already ran out of supplies. He appealed to Mordechai for help. Mordechai agreed, but on one condition: Haman would have to serve as his slave one day a week. Without any other choice, Haman was forced to agree. [Me’am Lo’ez]

The non-Jewish slave of a Jew must undergo a conversion process, including milah (circumcision) and tevilah (ritual immersion), at which point he becomes obligated in many Torah laws, including all (applicable) negative commandments, and some positive ones. According to this Midrash, Mordechai could rightly have told people that Haman’s seething hatred of the Jews was ridiculous, as fate would have it that he too was a Jew.


Was Haman Jewish?

  • But Haman was not born as a slave. Chazal say he sold himself to Mordechai for food.
    – N.T.
    Apr 12, 2022 at 1:58
  • Ok just added the explanation. Apr 12, 2022 at 3:06
  • Was Haman ever freed from servitude? Don't think so. As long as he wasn't freed, he wasn't Jewish. L'havdil, Rabbi Eliezer had to free his slave for there to be a minyan.
    – Harel13
    Apr 12, 2022 at 4:51
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    True, I hear… but that’s what the Chasam Sofer writes. I guess he means he is not fully Jewish but is at least obligated in time-bound mitzvos like women. Apr 12, 2022 at 4:57
  • AFAIK you can only be a gilgul at birth.
    – N.T.
    Apr 12, 2022 at 21:23

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