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Megillah Q&A


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

The Megillah


 Chapter 4 Chapter 6

Chapter 5

"When the King saw Esther standing in the courtyard, she found favor in his eyes." (5:2)


Why was the King so gracious to Esther?


After Achashveirosh married Esther he was struck with blindness (Yalkut Shimoni 1056:5). As soon as Esther walked in, an angel turned his head in her direction and suddenly he regained his vision and was able to see her. Achashveirosh understood that this miracle happened to him in her merit, and therefore, she found favor in his eyes.

"And the King said to Esther at the banquet of wine, 'What is your petition? and it shall be granted you: and what is your request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.' " (5:6)


It has been mentioned twice previously that he was invited to the "mishteh" -- "banquet" -- and that he came to the "mishteh"; why are the words "mishteh hayayin" repeated here?


Although the name of Hashem is not explicitly mentioned in the Megillah, according to Midrashim the term "Hamelech" the King, refers also to the King of the world -- Hashem. And Lamelech Achashveirosh is an abbreviation for the King, -- who is in command of past and future. The name "Esther" refers to Klal Yisrael.

While it is customary to use prayer as a way to beseech Almighty G-d, the Megillah is hinting that the King told Esther (a metaphor for Hashem telling Klal Yisrael) that when people unite in a "wine feast," He is very proud of them and asks, "What is your desire?" and he is prepared to fulfill it.

The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, related, that the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, once said that when chassidim get together in farbrengen and in simchah, they can accomplish even more than the angel Michael can.

"Yet all this is not worth anything to me so long as I see Mordechai." (5:13)


The word "zeh" -- "this" -- seems superfluous; it could have just said "eineno shoveh li" -- "It is not worth anything to me"?


Haman told his wife Zeresh and his advisors about the royal treatment the King had afforded him. In the course of the conversation, he also expressed his fear of Mordechai and Esther, saying that together their names had the numerical value of 26 (in single numerals), which is the numerical value of Hashem's four-lettered name, indicating that He was with them.

Zeresh comforted Haman that he had nothing to worry about, because their names, Haman and Zeresh, also add up to 26 (in singular numerals).

Haman responded, "Mordechai alone adds up to 13 as does Esther alone. This is also the numerical value of the word "echad", indicating that the one and only -- Hashem -- is with each of them, and there is unity among them.

In unity there is strength. However, I alone add up to 14 and am short 12. Thus, the "zeh", which has the numerical value of 12, which you, Zeresh, contribute is worthless because Hashem is not with us and there is also no unity among us."

"Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, 'Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and tomorrow speak to the King and have them hang Mordechai on it.' " (5:14)


Why doesn't it say what they advised Haman to tell the King?

If their advice was that he should ask the King that they should hang Mordechai on it, grammatically, the expression should have been "sheyitlu" -- "they should hang him" - not "veyitlu" --"and they will hang him."


Haman complained to his family about Mordechai. Their advice was that he should tell the King that Mordechai so distressed him that he felt like committing suicide, and that he, therefore, built a gallows 50 cubits high. Achashveirosh, they said, loved Haman and would undoubtedly say, "I cannot afford to lose you," and order Mordechai's death on the gallows.

Incidentally, later on it is stated, "Haman had just come into the outer court of the palace to speak to the King about hanging Mordechai on the gallows -- "asher heichin lo" -- that he had prepared for him" (6:4). On this, the Gemara (Megillah 16a) says that "lo" means "for himself" -- "Haman."

 Chapter 4 Chapter 6

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