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 Chapter 7 Chapter 9


Chapter 8

"On that day, King Achashveirosh gave Queen Esther the house of Haman. Esther placed Mordechai over Haman's house." (8:1-2)

Question:

Why did Esther convey to Mordechai the gift she received from Achashveirosh?

Answer:

In the famous incident in which Mordechai and Haman were both in command of armies (see 3:4), Haman had to sell himself as a slave to Mordechai for food.

According to halacha, "mah shekanah eved kanah rabo" -- "Whatever a slave acquires becomes the property of his master." Consequently, in keeping within the realm of halacha, Esther conveyed the house to Mordechai, who in reality was the rightful owner.


"Write for the Jews in the name of the King as you please, and seal it with the King's ring, for something written in the King's name and sealed with the King's ring cannot be retracted."(8:8)

Question:

  1. Achashveirosh seems to be contradicting himself. If an edict issued by the King cannot be retracted, what will be accomplished by a second letter?

  2. He should have said "kitvu laYehudim" -- "write to the Jews," --in lieu of "kitvu al haYehudim" -- "Write about the Jews"?

Answer:

To save face, Achashveirosh told Esther that he was a sincere friend of the Jewish people and furious at Haman. He told Esther, "We agreed to write 'lehashmid laharog ule'abeid et kal haYehudim' --'to destroy, to slay, and to exterminate all Jews' (3:13). However, I had instructed him to put a comma before the word 'haYehudim' because my intent was that all the goyim should be wiped out, and it should be accomplished through 'haYehudim' -- 'the Jews.' Haman left out a comma between the words 'kal' -- 'all' -- and 'haYehudim.' Thus, it can be interpreted to mean 'to annihilate the Jewish people.'

Therefore, I advise you to write a letter explaining 'al haYehudim' -- the reference to 'Yehudim' in the previous letter -- in a way which is favorable and beneficial to you. Consequently, your second letter will merely clarify and support my intention in the first letter: that all the goyim should be killed through the Jews. Such a letter of clarification is in accordance with accepted decorum."

 Chapter 7 Chapter 9



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