Making noise by Haman

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Stomping and noise making by the name of Haman: [1]

It has become the custom to bang[2] [and make noise] when Haman’s name is read in Shul.[3] One is not to nullify any custom or belittle it as it has not been established in vain.[4]

Does the custom apply to adults? Some Poskim[5] were not particular to make noise or stomp their feet during the recitation of Haman. Others[6] however were accustomed to do so. This custom of stomping the feet by Haman was seen done by the Rebbe Rayatz.[7]

When is one to stomp Haman? The worldly custom is to bang every time the name Haman is mentioned.[8] However the Chabad custom is to only “strike Haman” in those areas that the name Haman is written together with a description, such as Haggagi [the descendant of Agag] or Hara [the wicked].[9]

The Chazan:[10] During the stomping, the Chazan is to remain silent and not continue the reading of the Megillah.

The Congregation:[11] Due to the noise level made during the recitation of Haman each person is to read one or two verses to himself from a Megillah just in case the Chazan has already continued reading and one is unable to hear. One who does not have a Kosher Megillah available is to read along in a Chumash or printed Megillah. [In many communities today the custom is for the Chazan to remain silent until all the noise in the crowd has stopped.]  .[12]



It is a proper custom to stamp ones feet and make noise when Haman’s name is read to signify the blotting out of his name. Care must be taken to arrange that the stomping will not interfere with ones hearing of the reading.


Sparks of Kabala

Haman gets hit in Gehenom during the reading:[13]

It is a common saying amongst people that when one bangs during the saying of Haman, Haman himself receives those beatings by G-d and feels actual pain.


Gematria of Haman:[14]

The Gematria of “Macho Emcheh” [מחה אמחה] is “Zeh Haman” [זה המן]. Likewise the last letters of the words “Vihaya Im Ben Hakos Harasha” [א״ם ב״ן הכות הרשע והי״ה] is Haman [המן]. 


[1] Rama 690/17


The original recorded custom was for children to draw the figure of Haman, or write his name, on pieces of wood and stone and hit them against each other in order to erase his name, thus fulfilling the verse “You shall utterly erase the name of Amalek” and “the name of the Reshaim should rot”. From this evolved the custom of making noise when his name is read. [Rama ibid]

[2] How is one to bang? Some Tzaddikim would stomp and clap their feet on the ground. [See Siddur Yaavetz 10; Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 170 footnote 184] The Rebbe encouraged that one is to make loud noise during Haman and not shy away from letting his friend hear him banging. [Sichas brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad 94-97]

[3] Rama ibid based on Abudarham

The reason: See Hagahos Chasam Sofer 690 that it is done in order to show that we do not desire to hear Haman’s name as it is a Mitzvah to destroy Amalek.

Other related customs:

Writing the name Haman on wood: As stated above the original recorded custom was for children to draw the figure of Haman or write his name on pieces of wood and stone and hit them against each other in order to erase his name. [Rama ibid in name of Orchos Chaim] Some bring the custom to write the name Haman and Amaleik on a surface and then bang it and wipe it with dirty liquid until it is wiped out. One who does so is not to write the words in Ksav Ashuris. [Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzavah 20 brought in Kaf Hachaim 695/45]

Hanging Haman and burning him at the stake: The Darkei Moshe 690 writes in the name of the Aruch that it used to be accustomed for the Bochurim to make a manikin the shape of Haman and hang him on their roofs for several days prior to Purim and on Purim they would make a bon fire and throw Haman in the fire, dancing and singing while he burns.  

Saying “Visheim Reshaim Yirkav”: The Levush [brought in M”A 690/22] writes that he would say “Visheim Reshaim Yirkav” each time Haman’s name was mentioned. Some [Shaar Hatziyon 690/57; Kaf Hachaim 690/111] negate this custom, as one may come to miss a word from the reading. Nevertheless it is not considered an interval being that these words relate to the Megillah. [Shaar Hatziyon ibid based on 690/13] However others suggest that perhaps from an initial perspective it is considered an interval and hence is not to be done. [Kaf Hachaim and]

Shooting toy guns and smoke bombs: Although it is a custom and Mitzvah to make noise during the sounding of Haman, nevertheless one must prohibit the use of all matters that cause a continued disturbance to the crowd even after the Chazan continues the reading, such as the awful smells that are expelled from certain toy guns and smoke bombs. [Ketzos Hashulchan 3 supplements]

[4] Rama ibid based on Beis Yosef in name of Orchos Chaim

Other Opinions: The Peri Megadim [690 A”A 23] openly writes against the custom saying that it interferes with the Megillah reading. First off some people do not hear all the words due to the stomping and noise and they hence do not fulfill their obligation. Furthermore, even if the Chazan waits until it is quiet, nevertheless initially the Megillah is to be read like a letter without interval. [M”B 690/59; Shaar Hatziyon 690/57]

The Rebbe’s opinion: The Rebbe strongly encouraged this custom by children and even by adults. He negated those that claim it causes too much disturbance and even admonished the Gabbaim for shortening the span of time allotted for the children to hit. [Sichas brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad 94-97] The Rebbe would smile and show enjoyment when the children made noise. [ibid]

[5] The Mahril did not make noise or bang his feet at the recitation of Haman. [Drashos Mahril Purim] The P”M 690 also writes against it, saying it causes a great commotion and disturbs the crowd. [M”B 690/59] So concludes Yifei Laleiv [brought in Sdei Chemed Purim]

[6] The Yaavetz [Siddur 10] records that his father the Chacham Tzevi would stomp with his feet and dance with his legs at the recitation of Haman. [M”B 690/59; Kaf Hachaim 690/110] See also Maharam Shick Yoreh Deah 216; Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 690; Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzaveh; Nemukei Orach Chaim 690; Toldos Chofetz Chaim

[7] Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 170 footnote 184; It is also recorded to have been done by his father the Rebbe Rashab. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad 92] The Rebbe strongly encouraged this custom even by adults. He admonished those that shy away and bang silently so their neighbor not hear them. [Sichas brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad 95]

The Rebbe’s custom: The Rebbe would lightly tap his foot on the ground by every Haman. However by a Haman with a description he would stamp strongly on the ground. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad 93]

[8] The Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzaveh 10 writes that he would only bang his foot by the first and last Haman.

[9] Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 170; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 91; Chikrei Halachos 1/218; Itim Lebina p. 119 states this as the custom of Russian and Lithuanian Jewry. See however the Rebbe’s custom recorded in the previous footnotes.

[10] M”A 690/19; M”B 690/60; Sichas 1978 Shekalim brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad 94; Ketzos Hashulchan 3 supplements

[11] M”A 690/19; M”B 690/60; M”B 690/19 in name of Peri Megadim 690 A”A 7; Kaf Hachaim 690/36

[12] The reason for this is because it is difficult for listeners to hear all the words due to the noise made during Haman. Hence they should read in the missing words from the Chumash and at the very least fulfill their obligation Bedieved. [ibid]

[13] Ruach Chaim 696/9; Kaf Hachaim 690/108; Midrash Eliyahu brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 690/9

[14] Beis Yosef; Mateh Moshe 1006; Kaf Hachaim 690/108; Levush

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