“After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite and advanced him, and placed his seat above all the princes who were with him (Esther 3:1).” In synagogue when this book is read, and Haman is introduced for the first time, we get our first BOO of the Purim celebration. We’re taught to blot out his name, so we jeer in order to not have to actually hear it. Reading it, however, has no prohibition, which is good because he comes up a lot in the next part of the book.
So Haman is the most powerful of the king’s men, and everyone has to kneel before him. But Mordechai, Esther’s cousin, refuses, because he is a Jew and doesn’t bow to people. This enrages Haman to a ridiculous degree, and he decides to destroy all of the Jews in the kingdom. Clearly an escalating reaction, but anti-Semitism throughout the ages hasn’t needed much of a provocation in order to actualize. Haman goes to the king with a request to destroy the Jews. The king doesn’t seem particularly interested, or disturbed, and quickly grows along with the plan. “The couriers went forth in haste by the king’s order, and the edict was given in Shushan the capital, and the king and Haman sat down to drink, and the city of Shushan was perturbed (Esther 3:15).”