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I've noticed a very common phrase in Siddurim that is printed before mitzvos such as kiddush levana, birchas hamazon, etc... "הנני ממוכן ומזמן" which translates as "I am hereby 'Memuchan and M.Zooman" We know Haman goes by the name Memuchan (Megillah 12b). in that case, what is the significance and purpose of calling oneself Haman before doing a mitzvah? And who is M. Zooman? we know Haman was a barber (Megillah 16a), but a zookeeper I don't have any idea.

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  • It might an expression of humility and unworthiness, like ואנכי עפר ואפר.
    – shmosel
    Mar 17 at 4:47

2 Answers 2

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Tosafos on the Gemara there brings another opinion, that Memuchan is Daniel. And as we know, he safely emerged from the lions' den (i.e., mi-zoo, from the zoo) in the merit of his being careful with tefillah. So the phrase means:

"Behold, I am Daniel, the from-the-zoo-man."

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Memuchan refers to Haman, but it isn't a proper name. As you noted, Haman was Mordechai's barber. But what you didn't note is that the word "memuchan" itself means barber. As the name is defined in Megilla 12b:

שֶׁהַהֶדְיוֹט קוֹפֵץ בָּרֹאשׁ

The layman who performs a constrictive motion on a head

As for מְזֻמָּן, you failed to note the dagesh. We are not talking about M.Zooman, we are talking about M.Zoomman, a man who zooms around in vehicles, i.e. a chauffeur. M.Zoomman is M[ordechai]'s chauffeur.

So הִנְנִי מְמוּכָן וּמְזֻמָּן means "I am a barber and Mordechai's chauffeur." These were in fact the two jobs of Haman. But now Haman is dead. So now who is going to give haircuts and drive Mordechai around? Exceptionally pious people take it upon themselves to fill in for these two roles.

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