Purim Style Questions 2
The Following are humorous anecdotes connected to the Megillah
"Sending of portions a man to his friend" (9:19)
The word "ish" is superfluous?
An Apikores who disliked the town Rabbi, who vehemently ridiculed and denounced him, decided that Purim would be an opportune time to get even with him. To fulfill the mitzvah of mishlo'ach manot, he bought a few pounds of chopped liver which he molded into the form of a pig, put it on a platter, and sent it to the Rabbi. When the Rabbi received it, he took a portrait of himself, put it on a platter, and sent it to "his friend" with the following explanation:
"For a long time I have been bothered with an extra word in the Megillah. When mishlo'ach manot is mentioned in Megillah, we are told "mishlo'ach manot ish lerei'eihu" -- sending of portions, a man to his friend. I always wondered, it would have been sufficient to say "mishlo'ach manot lerei'eihu" -- sending portions to a friend, without the extra word "ish"?
After receiving your thoughtful package, my question was answered. The Megillah is saying, the portions being sent should consist of "ish" -- the type of person you are. Obviously, you fulfilled the mitzvah accurately and sent me a description of yourself. To reciprocate, enclosed is my picture so you may have a vivid description of me."
"To observe annually the fourteenth day of Adar" (9:21)
Moshe Rabbeinu was born seven days in the month of Adar, thus his brit took place on the 14th day of Adar, which is Purim. Was the brit performed before the reading of the Megillah or after?
Moshe was a great tzaddik and he died on the same day he was born. Since Moshe passed away on Shabbat he was also born on Shabbat. Thus, his brit took place eight days later on Shabbat -- 14 days in the month of Adar. Being that it was Shabbat, the reading of the Megillah took place on Thursday the 12th of Adar.
"Observe them as days of feasting and gladness" (9:22)
Is a festive meal on Purim and drinking till intoxicated a Torah rule or only a Rabbinic ordinance?
From the pasuk in Bereishit 21:8, "And Avraham made a great feast on the day Yitzchok was weaned" -- we can derive that eating and drinking on Purim is a statute of the Torah.
The Torah is telling us that Avraham made a great feast and drinking party on the day of "gomal" (weaned) -- which can be arranged to spell the word "Megila" on Purim when the Megillah is read.
If that is the case, why does the pasuk conclude Yitchak? What does Yitzchak have to do with the reading of Megillah?
The reason is because from Yitzchok we learn an important halacha regarding Purim. The shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah to recall of the Akeidah of Yitzchak. When Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, our Rabbis tell us to refrain from blowing shofar because one may forget and carry the shofar four cubits in a public domain. For the same reason when Purim falls out on Shabbat, the Megillah is not read (Rosh Hashanah 29b).
Since Avraham's festivities were in honor of Purim, this proves that during the Purim meal it is incumbent to become intoxicated to the extent that one does not know the difference between "gomal and megila".
"Concerned for the welfare of all his posterity" (10:3)
Why isn't Kaddish said after the reading of the Megillah?"
On Purim they hung Haman and all his sons and, thus, there were no survivors left to say a Kaddish."