Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: MOADIM Category:MEGILAS ESTHER Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Wed, 01 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Ben Ish Chai: How Could Haman's Daughter Confuse Her Father With Mordechai?

When Haman pulled Mordechai on the horse in front of his own house, his daughter, sure that her father was on the horse and Mordechai pulling it, threw refuse on her father. Realizing her mistake she leapt to her death in horror over what she had done. The Ben Ish Chai in Sefer Ben Yeho'ada Megila (16a) asks how could she confuse the two of them? Did she not hear the voice of her father? Did she not see either of their faces?

He answers that Haman's voice was hoarse from screaming "Kacha Yei'aseh L'Ish" through the streets. His face was turned down in shame hoping no one would see him. Mordechai face, he explains, was also not visible. Being so weak and tired from his fasting he needed to lean on his arms to support him on the horse and therefore his face was turned downward and not visible from the balcony of Haman's home.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Maharal Tzintz - Hashem's Big Party

The Medrash says that while Hashem's name does not appear in Megilas Esther, when it says the word HaMelech without the name Achashveirosh it refers to Hashem. The first time this occurs in the Megila (1:5) is when the King makes a party for all the people of Shushan.

The Shaarei Tzvi brings the Maharal Tzintz who explains that two date were given for Klal Yisroel's return from Galus Bavel. One was seventy years from the rise of Bavel and the second was seventy years from the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash. The simple meaning of this party when referring to King Achashveirosh is that he celebrated because he understood the Geulah must come seventy years after the rise of Bavel. Since it did not come he assumed Hashem forgot about His people. He was punished as his party ended in disaster with the Vashti debacle.

Using the meaning of HaMelech as Hashem, the Maharal Tzintz explains that after seventy years fro mthe rise of Bavel the time was ripe for the Geulah, however Klal Yisroel had to earn it. Therefore HaMelech, meaning Hashem, made a party in Shushan to test the Jews and let them earn the earlier redemption. The party was in three areas, Chatzar, Ginas, Bisan HaMelech to see if they can pass this test and earn the Bais HaMikdash which had three areas, the Azara, Kodesh, and Kodesh HaKodashim which is referred to as Bisan HaMelech.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 03:00:00 +0000
The Chiddushei HaRim and Rav Moshe Montefiore On Jews Speaking Foreign Languages One time when Rav Moshe Montefiore was in Warsaw he went to visit theChiddushei HaRim.  He asked him why the parents of religious childrendo not teach them to speak languages other than Yiddish?  We see thatour gedolim in Sanhedrin all spoke 70 languages and it ultimately savedKlal Yisroel in the Nes of Purim when Mordechai was able to understandthe conversation between Bigsan and Seresh.

TheChiddushei HaRim answered that on the contrary what saved Am Yisroelwas the fact that Jews did not speak other languages.  Only becauseBigsan and Seresh knew that Jews only spoke the Jewish language didthey not have a problem speaking such delicate matters, with Mordechaisitting within earshot.  We see that the Sanhedrin was the exceptionnot the rule.  (This was only incumbent on the Sanhedrin sincetestimony is only valid in first person and not through a translator.)- Yeina Shel Torah -

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Who Exactly Were Achashveirosh & Vashti & Who Made The Shidduch? The gemara in Megila according to many Rishonim hold that Achashveirosh had no royal blood in him.  He was either a stable master according to Rashi or a garbage collector according to the Rambam.  Somehow he came into great wealth and bought the Kingdom.  The Rokeach even writes that he was born to his brother and mother.  However says the Sefer Pirsumei Nisa, according to many Medrashim there was a lot more to his credentials than that.  

Daryavesh of Madai and his son-in-law Korash of Paras jointly defeated Balshetzar of Bavel and merged their empires with a rotating kingdom.  First Daryavesh ruled and then after his death, Koresh took over.  Some Medrashim say that Achashveirosh was the son of Koresh.  Other say he was the son of Daryavesh.

To reconcile the Medrash and the Gemara the Chasam Sofer says that he was the son of Koresh like the Medrash says.  Still he was not fit to rule, like the gemara says, because after his father died, Madai should have gotten the kingdom.  However since the candidate in Madai was vastly inferior to Achashveirosh, he bought the kingdom with his money.

As for Vashti, she is said to be the granddaughter of Nevuchadnetzar.  According to one Medrash she was his granddaughter through her mother.  Others say that she was the daughter of Evil Mirodach, who was Nevuchadnetzar's son and successor.  More commonly she is known to be the daughter of Balshetzar.  Who is Balshetzar?  Some say that he was the son Evil Mirodach and some say he was the son of Nevuchadnetzar.

Who made the Shidduch between Achashveirosh and Vashti?  The Medrash Panim Acheirim says that the night that Paras and Maddai attacked Balshetzar's palace, in the pandemonium and killing, Vashti ran to Daryavesh who she mistook as her father.  Daryavesh pitied the little girl and spared her life, giving her to his son Achashveirosh (according to this Medrash) as a wife.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Why A Tail For Vashti?

The Gemara in Megila (12b) says that when Achashveirosh called Vashti to show her off to his drunken buddies she refused even though her own perverse nature would typically make her a more than willing participant to this lewdness. The reason for her refusal says the gemara, is because Malach Gavriel came and made her a tail.

The Likutei Basar Likutei brings from the Orach Yisharim that the symbolism behind this tail was that the Navi Yeshaya says (14) V'Hichrati L'Bavel Shem, Shi'er, Nin, VaNeched"; Hashem will cut off from Bavel every last symbol of remembrance. The word Neched says the gemara (Megila 10b) refers to Vashti. She was the last remaining kin of her grandfather Nevuchadnetzar's house. Therefore Gavriel made her a tail, a "Zanav". Just like the tail which she grew is the end of the animal's body, so too Vashti was the tail end of this wicked family that was finally cut off.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
At Achashveirosh's Party, Who Turned Down The Music?

The first perek of Megila Esther tells us about the lavish party that Achashveirosh held.  It describes in great detail the wealth, the vessels and the abundance of food available for every attendee. The party was suited to each guest's specific tastes.

The Manos Levi brings down an argument among Rishonim over whether the party had music or not. One reason they might not have had music is because with all the other senses, a person has the option of tuning out; but when it comes to live music, your ears would pick up the sound whether you wanted to hear it or not. Since it could not be separated according to each guest's personal preferences and desires, it must not have been there.

Some explain that the absence of music was as a result of the Yehudim having been invited to the parties. Since it was during the time between the first and second Bais HaMikdash, the Yehudim would not have attended had there been music. To ensure the Jews' participation, there was no music scheduled at the party.

Some say that music may be nice to hear, but that it takes concentration away from the "taste" process. Since it opposes the sense of taste, Achashveirosh chose not to have any at his party.

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
On The Trail Of The Lost Country Of Kush The Megila says that Achashveirosh's empire spanned the world, from Hodu until Kush.  In the gemara (Megila 11b) there is a machlokes between Rav and Shmuel if these two countries were near each other or far away.  This seem peculiar.  Did Rav and Shmuel not know where Ethiopia (Kush) and India (Hodu) were?  These two countries were from the far flung and opposing ends of civilization during those days.

Rav Yitzchok Dovid Frankel the Michaber of Sefer Machat Shel Yad explains that if you look at the map you will notice that Afghanistan is separated from Pakistan (which used to be India in those days) by the Hindu Kush Mountains.  Therefore he explains that both Rav and Shmuel knew that there were two countries called Kush.  They argue if the pasuk was telling of Achashveirosh's total dominion of the world by referring to his control of Hodu and the neighboring Kush.  Or was it showing us the vastness of his empire and referring to the Kush that was Ethiopia.

With this, says Rav Frankel, we can explain an enigmatic Rashi in Succah that says that an Esrog from Kush is only Kasher in Bavel because Bavel is near there and the people are used to seeing these esrogin.  In Eretz Yisroel it is pasul because this esrog looks very strange, as it grows in a place very far away.  If Kush is Ethiopia, it is near Eretz Yisroel an quite far from Bavel.  However if we are talking about the Kush region near India then indeed it is close to Bavel and far from Eretz Yisroel.

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: The Men Talk Tough, But The Women Rule! Memuchan, who Chazal tell us is Haman, gave Achashveirosh the advice to send out a message to his people that "a man rules his home." It was such a silly message for the population that the Gemara says that as the world learned of it, they mocked Achashveirosh and his declarations.

What was Haman's reason for such a plan? Some say that Haman had just done away with Vashti, and he wanted to be the top advisor in the government. He was afraid that the new queen was going to be a close confidant of the king and become something of a "co-president". In order to ensure his powerful position, he made the future queen's advice irrelevant because "the man runs the home."

Later on, we will learn that when Haman accepted the advice of his wife, Zeresh and built the gallows to hang Mordechai, he broke the law that he had instituted and that directly led to Achashveirosh's "breaking the law" and listening to his wife, Esther, and hanging Haman. There is a reason the story unfolds the way it does; it took some time for the events to occur, but Haman fell into his own trap - not just being hung on the tree that he wanted to hang Mordechai on, but having his own advice work against him. This is the greatness of this story.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon - Who Was More Beautiful Than Esther? The pasuk says (Esther 2:17) that Achashveirosh found Esther more beautiful than any of the other girls.  The gemara (Megila 13a) says that Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Korcha said that Esther was not pretty but she had a special charm about her.  What compelled Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Korcha not to take the pasuk at face value?

It is brought in the name of the Vilna Gaon as follows.  There is a machlokes when exactly Iyov lived (Bava Basra 15b).  Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Korcha says that he lived in the days of Achashveirosh.  The pasuk in Iyov (42:15) says that you could not find in the entire land women more beautiful than Iyov's daughters.  If so then Esther was not the prettiest girl around.  Yet Achashveirosh chose her and not any of the daughters of Iyov.  Therefore Rebbi Yehoshua Ben Korcha is forced to say that Esther did not possess raw beauty, rather it was her charm that landed her the queenship.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Bigsan and Seresh - The Great Conspiracy Bigsan and Seresh tried to kill the king, Achashveirosh.  Some mefarshim say that to keep the authorities off track, they were going to kill Esther too, and make it appear as if there had been a domestic dispute that resulted in a murder/suicide, with Esther presumably having died by her own hand.

Later on, when the king couldn't sleep and had his records read back to him, the Megillah calls Bigsan "Bigsana," with an extra aleph at the end. Why?  The mefarshim answer that in order to lessen the greatness of debt owed to Mordechai, when the incident was recorded in the record books, it was written as if Mordechai helped capture only one of the conspirators, either Bigsan or Seresh, and the other was caught as a result of detective work. Thus, it was written "Bigsan oh Seresh" meaning one or the other, and Hashem separated the word "oh" (aleph vav) and placed one letter on each name to read Bigsana vaSeresh. That is why it says "they found written" - it wasn't what they had initially written.  Instead, Achashveirosh's advisors found that the separated letters now read that Mordechai helped capture both Bigsan and Seresh.  Thus we see that we can learn something from each and every letter in the Megila.

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Chaim Kanievsky - Achashveirosh, An Anti-Semite To The End "Vayehi BimeiAchashveirosh Hu Achashveirosh".  The Gemara in Megila (11a) tells usthat the pasuk repeats Hu Achashveirosh to teach us that Achashveiroshwas a Rasha from beginning to the end.  Why does the megila need toteach us this right in the beginning?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky answers that we all know that Achashveirosh was a rasha and hated the Jews.  However if we look a the end of themegila we see that after Esther revealed her nationality, the wickedHaman was killed, Achashveirosh and Esther remained happily married,and her uncle Mordechai, who was the leader of the Yehudim, rose togreat prominence and power within the King's court.  We might be underthe impression that Achashveirosh finally came around to appreciate, orto at least stop hating Am Yisroel.  The pasuk tells us that thecircumstances may have changed but the anti-semite in him never did, even to his dying day.

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Chidushei HaRim - How Rebbi Akiva's Lesson Woke Up His Talmidim

The Medrash (Parshas Noach) says that Rebbi AKiva was giving a shiur and he saw his talmidim dozing off. He wanted to wake them up son he asked them why was Esther zocheh to rule over 127 countries? He answered because she was a descendent of Sara who live 127 years. Why did Rebbi Akiva tell them this medrash to wake them up? What was the message he was giving them?

The Chiddushei HaRim answers that if each country was given for one year of Sara's life, then each city was for a week of Sara's tzidkus, and each whole village which itself was worth huge amounts of money was a reward for each hour of Sara's service.

If Esther became queen on 127 complete countries then it is clear that Sara did not even waste a moment of her time. When Rebbi Akiva saw his talmidim dreaming away the time, he taught them a lesson of how valuable each moment was, which brought them back immediately.

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - One Appearance And Two Parties Later, Why Did Esther Keep Pushing Off Her Confrontation With Haman? Esther risks her life to go speak to Achashveirosh without an official audience.  She invites him to a party where she says nothing other than let's do it again tomorrow.  At the next party she finally ends her silence and tells here story.  Why did she do this at the second party and not the first?  Was this part of her master plan?

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz in Yaaros Dvash explains that in order to have a great Nes you need great Siyata Dishmaya.  The Medrash says that when Esther went to Achashveirosh, as she passed the Avodah Zara in the corridor she felt the Shechina leave her and she knew she was in trouble.  Therefore instead of telling Achashveirosh what it was that she wanted, she invited him to a party in her quarters that were clean from Avodah Zara.  There she could merit a special Nes.

However when Haman came to the party with his avoda zara around his neck, she realized she still cannot do anything.  It was only at the next party when Haman was rushed in with his dirty clothing, after walking around town with Mordechai on the horse, that the room was totally clean and the stage was set for the great Nes that ultimately took place.

This is why, says Rav Yehonoson, the Megila makes a big deal about how rushed Haman was to get to the party.  He didn't have time to put on his Avoda Zara that he surely didn't have the chutzpa to where while playing driver to Mordechai at the King's behest.  This was a great Nes in itself that made the outcome possible.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Meshech Chochma - Daniel's Sudden Demotion After Haman's Decree After Haman's decree, Mordechai sent Hasach with a message to Esther.  The gemara (Megila 15a) says that Hasach was really Daniel and was called Hasach because he was cut from power.  Why suddenly now, right after Haman's gezeira, was Daniel demoted?

The Me'or SheBiMegila brings from the Meshech Chochma answers that Daniel's greatness was that he was Moseir Nefesh to daven three times a day, even though it is only a Mitzva D'Rabbanan.  He was willing to be eaten by lions to safeguard this principle.  This made him legendary.  However now after the gezeira of Haman, the entire nation rose to the call of Mordechai and accepted a fast of three straight, while davening, learning torah, and doing tshuvah.  With Mesiras Nefesh like that suddenly Daniel's Mesiras Nefesh no longer reached mythical proportions.

Daniel wasn't actually demoted, but rather due to the unbelievable heights reached by every ordinary Yehudi during this time, his legendary greatness was cut down a few notches.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Brisker Rov - Mordechai's New Wardrobe Signals A Real Change "U'Mordechai Yatza MiLifnei HaMelech B'Lvush Malchus... V'HaIr Shushan Tzahala V'Sameicha", Mordechai went out before the king with royal garment... and the city of Shushan was joyous.  Why did the Yehudim of Shushan rejoice over Mordechai's new wardrobe?  It seems like two different concepts that found themselves sharing a single pasuk.  However the Brisker Rov says that we see from the song Shoshanas Yaakov that clearly the Yehudim rejoiced, "Biroasam Yachad Tcheiules Mordechai", at the sight of Mordechai in his new clothing, so this needs an explanation.

The Brisker Rov explains that after Mordechai got his ride through town at the expense of Haman's disgrace, Chazal tell us that Mordechai quickly changed right back to his rent garments and his sackcloth.  The reason was because victory over Haman was not Mordechai's goal, rather it was salvation for the Yehudim.  Until the decree was not repealed or dealt with someohow, Mordechai remained in a state of mourning.

When Mordechai went out publicly with royal garments this was a true sign that his mission was accomplished and he succeeded in averting the annihilation of the Yehudim.  Therefore the sight of his new clothing was a real cause for celebration and joy.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Rav Chaim Volozhin's Purim Secret From A Mysterious Guest One Purim an old man appeared at Rav Chaim Volozhin's Purim seuda.  Rav Chaim gave him a coin for tzedaka.  The old man then said that if he gives him another coin, he will tell him a Chiddush in the Megila.  Rav Chaim agreed and the old man asked a question.

The Medrash says that after the gezeira of Haman, Moshe Rabbeinu told Eliyahu HaNavi to go tell Mordechai to daven on earth while they will daven in Shamayim.  Eliyahu told Moshe that he already saw that the gezeira was signed and sealed in Shamayim so there was no chance of salvation.  Moshe asked, was the seal out earth or blood.  Eliyahu said it was out of earth.  In that case said Moshe Rabbeinu there is still hope.

Where, asked the old man, do we see in the Megila that the seal was not from blood?  Rav Chaim didn't answer and the old man continued.  The Megila says that Haman plotted to destroy the Yehudim, "U'Liabdam".  If you break the word U'Liabdam into two words it says "V'Lo B'Dam", the decree was not sealed in blood.

Rav Chaim was so excited about this answer that when he went to visit his Rebbi the Vilna Gaon, he repeated it to him.  The Vilna Gaon also became emotional upon hearing this and told Rav Chaim that the "old man" was none other than the old man who revealed this secret over 2,000 years ago during the story of Purim.  It was Eliyahu HaNavi himself.

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Rav Yechezkel Abramsky - Has Anyone Read The Famous Persian History Books? "Halo Heim Kesuvim Al Sefer Divrei HaYamim L'Malchei Paras U'Madai" the story of Purim is written in the annals of history of Paras and Maddai for all to see (Esther 10:2).  The Chaim Sheyesh Bahem brings from Rav Yechezkel Abramsky who asked a group a people after reading the Megila, where are these famous Persian history books that the Megila says contain the story of Purim?  "I guarantee you that no one ever went to look in them", said Rav Chatzkel.  Why then does the Megila feel the need to tell us this?

Rav Chatzkel then explained.  After we read the Megila, we may make the mistake of thinking that we read a story.  "No!" the Megila tells us unequivocally.  What we read was a sefer of Kesuvim and a part of Tanach, a sefer written with Ruach HaKodesh.  If you want to read a Story then you read the wrong scroll.  For that you need to check the historical archives of Paras and Madai.  Toras HaShem Temima!

Thu, 25 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Which Day Did The Yehudim Go Hungry At Achashveirosh's Party? "Aivel Gadol LaYehudim V'Tzom U'Vchi U'Misped Sak VaEifer" (Esther 4:3).  When the Bnei Yisroel received word of their decreed annihilation they repented in the six ways mentioned in the Pasuk.  They mourned and fasted, cried and lamented, and donned sack-clothes and ashes.  The Rokeach says that these six things were a tikun for the six days they enjoyed Achashveirosh's feast.  What about the seventh say since it clearly says the party for Shushan was a seven day event?

The HaMeor SheBiMegila brings from the Yeshua Gedola as follows.  The Rokeach says that the 180 day party that Achashveirosh threw was during the summer months.  He knows this because after already telling us the party was 180 days, the Megila says again "Yamim Rabim".  Therefore this must means not many days but long days, or the days of the summer which are long.

Nisan through Tishrei is 177 days so the party ended on 3 Tishrei.  The Shushan party started the next day, and the seventh day was Yom Kippur.  Surely the Yehudim did not eat at the party on Yom Kippur so they only needed to do tshuva for six of the days and not all seven. 

Thu, 25 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther - Esther's Relationship With Achashveirosh & Her Relationship With Daryavesh The Pirsumei Nisa brings from the Seforim HaKedoshim that Esther didn't have relations with Achashveirosh.  Through use of the Shem HaMeforash, she forced a Shaid to appear in her image and go to Achashveirosh.  However in the critical meeting after Haman's decree had already been sent, when Esther went to beg Achashveirosh to repeal it, she herself went to Achashveirosh.  

The Sar Shalom of Belz brings proof from the pasuk where Mordechai told Esther, "Al Tidami BiNafsheich", which literally means do not emulate yourself or do not create the Shaid to take your place but go in person.  This was a big step because it would make her Assur to live with her husband Mordechai ever again.  Why did Mordechai feel this drastic step was necessary?  The Sar Shalom explains that Mordechai felt it was critical that the salvation should come from purity and not the tumah of the Shaid.

This answers another question.  Achashveirosh ruled for 14 years upon which his son Daryavesh, who Chazal tell us came from Esther and Achashveirosh, became king.  The live meeting between Achashveirosh and Esther took place in the 12th year of Achashveirosh's reign.  If that was the first time they had real relations then Daryavesh was only 2 at the time that he became king.  This is impossible, says Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz.

The Eitz Chaim answers this dilemma and says that Daryavesh was actually born to Esther a number of years earlier but even then it was through Achashveirosh's relations with the Shaid.  That made Daryavesh half good and half bad.  This would explain why Daryavesh was not considered Jewish, even though his mother was Esther, and yet helped build the Bais HaMikdash.

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Who Was Haman Really After, The Yehudim Or Mordechai? Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz says that when things are going well for a Rasha, the gemara Megila (6b) says that you should stay out of his way.  If so why did Mordechai go out of his way to antagonize him and show him he refused to bow?  He should have made himself scarce.  The pasuk says, "Vayivez B'Einav Lishloach Yad B'Mordechai Livado Ki Higidu Lo Es Am Mordechai".  Haman didn't want to harm Mordechai because he knew what nation he was from.  If he wanted to kill all the Yehudim what was disgraceful about starting with Mordechai first?

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz explains that Mordechai knew through a Malach that Haman wanted to kill all the Yehudim and was planning to slander the Yehudim in order to gain permission from Achashveirosh for their murder.  He wanted to sabotage his plan by antagonizing Haman to the point where Haman would kill him.  In order to kill Mordechai, Haman would need permission from Achashveirosh.  Once Haman killed Mordechai he would have no credibility with his slander on the Yehudim since Achashveirosh would think it was part of his revenge on his sworn enemy Mordechai.  In essence Mordechai was sacrificing his life and causing his own demise in order to save the Yehudim.

Haman understood this.  Which is why the pasuk tells us that when Mordechai antagonized Haman, Haman wanted to kill him.  However because he knew which nation Mordechai came from he controlled himself in order not to sabotage his own grander vision.

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Every Man A Boss In His House... Except Achashveirosh "Lihiyos Kol Ish Sorer Biveiso", every man will rule his home.  This often ridiculed decree proved pivotal in the story of Purim.  The Chasam Sofer says in the name of the Hafla'a that the reason Hashem orchestrated this edict was to insure the Esther would become Queen.  When they came looking for all the girls to bring to Achashveirosh, Mordechai would have hid Esther and claimed that she went off walking somewhere with her friends.  However after the Gezeira this wouldn't work. Since every man was now the boss of his house, Esther would need to report to Mordechai where she is going.

Another answer brought by the Orah Shel Torah is that the gemara says that had Achashveirosh not issued this edict which made him sound crazy, when they received the edict to kill the Jews they would not have waited for Purim, rather they would have killed them on the spot.  The reason why is because they would have been afraid that his wife would change his mind so they would have massacre the Jews while they still had the opportunity.  However the first edict decreed that the husband is the boss and the wife has no clout, so they were not worried and decided to wait patiently for the big day.  Ironically after all was said and done, it was Achashveirosh's wife Esther who caused his change of heart!

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: During The Indian War Haman Became Mordechai's Slave The Medrash tells us that when Haman passed Mordechai, Mordechai would show him the sales contract where Haman sold himself to Mordechai.  What exactly were the circumstances surrounding this event?  

The Sefer Pirsumei Nisa brings from the Manos HaLevi as follows.  In the second year of Achashveirosh's reign, India revolted.  Achashveirosh sent an army of 12 regiments each consisting of 10,000 troops.  Haman commanded six of the them and Mordechai the other six.  He gave each one provisions to last them three years.

Haman's troops laid a siege from the West and Mordechai from the East.  Haman used up all his provisions in the first year.  While Mordechai rationed for the three years and had plenty of reserves remaining.  Haman realized that if the war does not end his troops will starve to death.  

He went to Mordechai and asked him to lend him food and he would pay interest.  Mordechai said he cannot because then his troops might run out of food and also since Haman from Eisav was his brother through Yaakov, the Torah prohibits lending with interest to a brother only to a stranger.  When it came time to eat the starving soldiers amassed at Haman's doorstep demanding food and threatening to kill him.  Haman then ran to Mordechai and promised to pay back tenfold.  Mordechai again refused.  However suggested Mordechai he would be willing to do it if Haman sold himself to him as a slave.  

Due to a lack of paper the detailed contract (see Manos HaLevi for exact language) was written on Mordechai's protective boot.  The contract wrote all the ugly details surrounding the event and also stipulated that if Haman breaches the contract a tree would be uprooted from his house and he would be hung on it.

Within three months of that event, the war was won and both Haman and Mordechai returned to Shushan victorious.  Haman at first respected the contract but once he was promoted by Achashveirosh he stopped serving Mordechai.  The rest is history.

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Haman HaRasha - A Late Reward For His Brilliant Advice "Achar HaDvarim HaEileh Gidal HaMelech Achashveirosh Es Haman".  Haman was now a superstar.  He saved the day by advising Achashveirosh to depose Vashti's because of her insolence.  He also sparked a new piece of legislation, teaching the world for once and for all who the boss of the house is.  Achashveirosh rewarded him for this by promoting him to a top ministerial position.  But why did it wait until after Esther's becoming queen?

Rav Yitzchok ELiyahu Landa of Vilna answers with a Mashal.  A man had a very bad wife.  His good friend advised him to divorce her.  He did so and his friend asked for his "de-shadchanus" present.  The divorced man told him, not so fast.  Who knows if the next one will be better.  If she is you will get your reward.

Getting rid of Vashti looked good in the short term, but now Achashveirosh needed a new queen.  Who knew if she wouldn't make Achashveirosh rue the day he got rid of Vashti.  After Esther HaMalka was firmly in her new place and filled her role to the delight of the King and the people, only then did Haman get his big reward for his genius advice.  (Megilas Esther Im Peirushei Geonei Lita)

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Mordechai, Haman, and Esther, Gilgulim From Another Era Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz brings in the Yaaros Dvash that Mordechai HaTzadik was a Gilgul and Nitzutz of Moshe Rabbeinu.  Haman, he says was a Gilgul of the Mitzri the Moshe killed therefore his life's mission was to take revenge of Mordechai for his murder.  Esther was a Gilgul of Basya the daughter of Paroh, which is why Mordechai repaid the favor and took Esther in and raised her as a daughter after her parents died.

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Megilas Esther: Rebbi Elimelech MiLizhensk - Haman's Problem With "Shai Pai" One of the things that Haman told Achashveirosh why he should kill the Jews is because they spend the whole year not working screaming Shai Pai, which is an acronym for Shabbos HaYom and Pesach HaYom.  First of all what happened why are these single out among all the other days that Bnei Yisroel don't work?  Second is Shabbos and Pesach the whole year that is slowed down the economy?

The Rebbe Reb Meilech from Lizhensk said that days off don't bother the non-Jews.  Every nation has their Holidays.  What bothers them is our Hachanos or preparations.  Yom Tov is in the air long before the big day comes ad preparations start far in advance.  

The two days that take the most time are Shabbos and Pesach.  Shabbos start bright and early Sunday morning when we say HaYom Yom Rishon B'Shabbos as we start to prepare for the next Shabbos.  Pesach can start eight months in advance with the cutting of the wheat.  Haman was not complaining about Shabbos and Pesach he was complaining that every day the production is down either because of Shabbos or Pesach.

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Meir Shapiro - A Special Gift From Haman Rav Meir Shapiro jokingly said on Purim that it is a huge mistake to think that Haman wanted to kill us.  What he really wanted, was to give us another Yom Tov.  He says that this is clearly written in the Megila.

The Megila says (3:8) Yeshno Am Echad... V'Daseihem Shonos Mikol Am", there is a nation whose festivals come about from other nations like Pesach from Mitzrayim and Chanuka from Antiochus, who decree evil and and at the end when their plans fail Bnei Yisroel celebrates with a new Yom Tov.  "V'Es Dasei HaMelech Einam Osim", they do not have a festival from you, King Achashveirosh.  "Im Al HaMelech Tov Yikaseiv L'Abdam", if it suits the king, let's plot to kill them.  This way when the plot fails and we are destroyed we will have contributed to their annual calendar with a festival of our very own!

Mon, 09 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Haman's Children Who Escaped Death The Megila (5:11) says that Haman came to his wife Zeresh and told her about his great wealth and many children.  Did Haman's wife not know how many children they had?  The Gemara Megila (15b) says that Haman had 30 children; ten died, ten were hung, and ten of them became beggars.  The Ben Yeho'ada asks why did the Yehudim not kill the last ten?

He answers that Haman had illicit relationships with the King's minister's wives and fathered children from them without anyone's knowledge.  Now that he was feeling haughty and proud that his evil ways were very successful, he bragged to his own wife that the noble children also belong to him.  When the ministers found out the truth about their children they chased them out of the house and they ended up beggars in the street.

This explains adds the Ben Yeho'ada, the machlokes if there were 10 or 70 that were beggars.  The fact is that Haman had 208 children.  The argument is how many were illegitimate.

Mon, 09 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Haman Is The Architect Of His Humiliating Downfall With regard to Haman's downfall the U'Masok HaOr brings from HaChaim V'Hashalom that there are two ways Hashem saves Klal Yisroel from our enemies.  One way is like Hashem did in Mitzrayim.  Hashem pulls out all the stops to demolish our persecutors.  Ten brutal nature altering Makos one after the other in vicious succession.  Similarly by Sancherev whose massive army laid siege on the hopeless Yerushalayim and was poised to strike a fatal blow, Hashem miraculously wiped them all out during the night.  This show of force, while devastating, is not embarrassing.  In both these cases the victim has been bested by forces far more powerful than they are expected to handle.

Another way that Hashem pays back our enemy and provides a salvation is by sending our oppressor into the trap he has laid for us.  This is totally humiliating as the cunning calculation and great pride that went into preparing our downfall not only did not provide the desire result but our enemy now finds himself lying in the very grave he prepared so meticulously for us.  This was the downfall of Haman.  The very same tree that he so proudly prepared was the tree he himself hung from.  This was the theme all along even before Haman's final death.  He schemed to wear the King's clothing and ride his horse by himself, yet he was the one pulling along his arch enemy in disgrace.

This theme repeats itself throughout the megila as a careful look will show Haman's hand in other events, and they all came back to haunt him.  The path Haman paved to the top was simply a path he was preparing for his way back down, far down.

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Alshich: Farsi As A Second Language After Achashveirosh does away with Vashti, a law is passed that every man rules his home.  Additionally they must speak the language of the man of the house.  Why was this extra clause necessary?

The Alshich HaKadosh answers that Vashti was a Kasdi and came from "out of town". Achashveirosh was a Farsi, a native of the local land.  When Achashveirosh sent for Vashti and she responded in an insulting and humiliating manner, surely she spoke in her native language.  Only because the messengers had no idea of the content of the message they were repeating did they have the gall to deliver the message in its entirety back to the King.  By passing a law that the wife must speak the husband's language, Achashveirosh was trying to make such an event would never be repeated.

Wed, 04 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz - Esther's Seven Maidservants The Megila tells us that Esther had seven maidservants (2:9).  The gemara (Megila 13a) says that she did this so that she could count the days of the week to keep track of Shabbos.  Could Esther not keep track of Shabbos without this trick?

Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz answers that Esther did not want anyone to know her nationality.  Although she was queen, she still did work each of the weekdays in accordance with the mishna in Kesubos (5:5) that says that a woman must not remain idle regardless of how many maids she has.  Therefore if Esther worked during the week and did not do any work on Shabbos, her maid would realize that she is a Yehudi.  Therefore she kept seven maids, and the maid on Shabbos rightfully assumed that as queen she never does any work.

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Klal Yisroel's Destruction Was So Obvious That Even The Goyim Knew It!

Haman was upset at Mordechai and decided all the Yidden must be made to suffer. He made a lottery to pick a day for when would be the best time to strike. The lottery fell out on the day we have come to know as Purim, named so because of the lottery.

Rav Shlomo Alkabetz in his Manos Levi says that Haman didn't make the lottery to decide if he should wage this battle - he knew he was going to attack the Jews; the only question was when. He knew this because he was aware that the Jews were weak and vulnerable. They were in a low spiritual state in a variety of ways: they weren't be'achdus, they were eating at Achashveirosh's parties, they were bowing to Haman while he was wearing an idol around his neck, and they weren't listening to Mordechai Hatzaddik.  We can fool ourselves but we can't fool our enemies.

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Morderchai Battles Intermarriage & Anti Semitism Esther didn't reveal her Jewish background on the advice of Mordechai. What was Mordechai's reason for wanting Esther to keep her nationality a secret? Couldn't the Jews have benefited from having one of their own people in such a place of power?

Mordechai was "politically savvy" and there were many reasons behind his logic. One reason was that when Vashti was killed, no one looked beyond her - her nation was not at risk as a result of her actions. But when a Jew does something wrong, the result is that all Yidden suffer (our achdus makes that part of the package). This has been proven time and again throughout history. It was better for Esther's identity to remain a secret on the chance that there would be an incident in the castle, so as to prevent a flare-up in anti-Semitism.  In fact when "one Jew" refused to bow before Haman, Haman decided to wipe out the entire Jewish nation.

 Also, Mordechai reasoned that as long as there was no pride in being Jewish - at least to outsiders, the gentiles would continue to distance themselves from intermarrying, but with a Jewish queen in the castle there was a chance that that would change and the Jews would lose a great merit. We were saved from Mitzrayim for not mixing with the Mitzrim and we needed that same zechus against Haman. Today too, we should understand our differences and appreciate them and recognize that that is the way to redemption.

Thu, 13 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Mordechai vs. Haman - A Warrior Backed By Tradition

Why was Mordechai chosen to wage battle with Haman? Chazal say that since Haman was from Esav, he was to be brought down by the children of Rachel Imeinu, specifically Binyamin.

Binyamin was the only brother who didn't bow to Esav when Yaakov met his brother (he was the only brother not yet born). Because of this, Mordechai felt that he didn't have to bow either, just as his ancestor had refrained.

Some say that all the brothers involved in the sale of Yosef hurt their father and disrespected him; only Binyamin was not involved, while Esav was famous for his adherence to the one law of Kibbud Av Va'Eim. Even Yaakov ran away from home and lost 22 years of being able to adhere to that mitzvah. Since Binyamin was the only one to be worthy in this area, he was chosen to fight against Esav, and this included his descendants as well. 

Wed, 12 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Vashti's Crime vs. Esther's It isn't clear from the words of the megila what happened to Vashti; was she killed for her small rebellion, or was she punished in another way? Either way, she received a severe reprimand and was no longer queen. Thus, the search was on for her replacement.

This story is brought down so that we as Yidden should appreciate how Hashem acted in our behalf during this time. Vashti sinned in an inactive way, she didn't come when called. She had good reasons for not wanting to appear before the drunken crowd and she was the daughter of the former king, yet she was swiftly and harshly dealt with.

Esther came unannounced to the king, which was a physical violation of a known law, "no one shall come unless called upon",  She had no excuse and no lineage to rely upon, yet Achashveirosh spared her life and granted her request immediately. The Yidden were in a bad matzav, but Hashem is always watching out for us. If we don't open our eyes to find Hashem's Chesed, we will not see it.

Mon, 10 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Even The Goyim Believed Pasuk 2 begins describing the huge party the king was making. Chazal say that the celebration was because the Nevuah that that galus after the destruction of the first Bayis would last only 70 years was well known and accepted. Achashveirosh and his advisors figured out the cheshbon and decided that the 70 years had ended. They theorized that since the galus had ended and nothing had happened, there was never going to be a redemption for the Yidden.

We should recognize that even the Goyim believed in Hashem, and were afraid of His nevuos.  They believed in the words of the Neviim and their predictions. We too, should work on this trait. If Achashveirosh, who is described as someone who celebrated the Yidden's downfall, was a true believer, then we, who are the beneficiary of Hashem's love, should work at being worthy of it.

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
A Question of Life and Death - Vashti The Queen or Queen Vashti?

As the argument between Achashveirosh and his wife Vashti begins to become a public brawl, it starts to spiral out of control. It is interesting to note that in the description of Vashti and her position as queen, the wording changes many times throughout this perek. In pasukim 9, 11, 16, and 17 Vashti is referred to as Vashti Hamalkah, while in pasukim 12 and 15 she is Malkah Vashti; the words are reversed.

The mefarshim say that the two terms are to stress different reasons for her greatness. Was she Vashti, a person who later became queen by marrying Achashveirosh, or was she the potential queen even before she was a simple person named Vashti?

Achashveirosh was apparently claiming that her power was all from him, and that is why she should listen to him, while she was clearly informing her husband that since she was the daughter of the previous king, her stature as queen was established well before Achashveirosh married her.

It was a fight over ego, and that is why as it became more public, it became more apparent there wasn't going to be a good ending. Overblown egos don't just ruin marriages - they ruin lives.

Tue, 04 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000
What It Takes To Wear The Crown

The Megila begins, "and it was in the days of Achashveirosh"; why doesn't it refer to him as "King Achashveirosh?" The Menos Levi says that the Neviim could not give Achashveirosh this title of respect because he had canceled the building of the Bais Hamikdash, and with that negative decree he lost some of his kingly powers in the spiritual world. Others say that he wasn't called "king" because he himself was insecure in his position, and thus was never truly comfortable wearing that title.

This teaches us to know that one must earn his title; respect must be earned; it does not come merely by a "crown being worn on one's head." One must behave in a manner befitting a king by acting appropriately in the spiritual sense and at the same time recognizing one's role in this world.

Mon, 03 Mar 2008 03:00:00 +0000