Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Megillah Notes

Following is Torah True commentary based on the teachings of HaRav HaGaon Menachem Liebtag.

- Esther 2:5: Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai
(a) Ish Yehudi, the term used to describe Mordecai appears in one other place in the Tanach: Zecharya 8:23, where it describes a Jew who had successfully led all of the nations into the service of the one God.
(b) The only other times the word bira, the word for capital, or citidel used to describe Shushan, appears in Tanach it specifically refers to the Temple. (see Chron 29:1 & 29:19)
(c) Mordecai is derived from Mardok, the Babylonian diety (see II Kings 25:27 & Yeshayahu 39:1)

Conclusion: The famous verse about Ish Yehudi haya b'Shushan habirah is a rebuke of disapora Jews who had made Shushan their Temple. It is saying: Instead of being in the Jewish bira where he belongs, your ish yehudi is in a foreign bira, with a foreign name."

- Esther 1:9: "[Vashti was called to] come to the king and show all the nations her beauty... but she did not come as the King commanded, and he became very angry..." Leibtag reads this as another rebuke of Diaspora Jews who had been given the opportunity to return to Jerusalem, yet chose to remain in Shushan

- Esther 3:8: "There is a certain nation scattered among the nations whose laws are different than any other nation, but the laws of the King they do not keep, and it is not worthwhile for the King to leave them be" Yet another rebuke: The King, i.e. God, has no use for those Jews who remain in the Diaspora.

- The Temple in Jerusalem had three domains: the kodesh hakodoshim, the kodesh and the azarah. Liebtag says this parallels the descriptions of Achashverosh's palace:
(a) The chatzer pnimit, like the kHk, is the innermost chamber, where no one is permitted without an invitation. Esther (4:11) believed entering the chatzer pnimit would mean instant death, which parallels teachings about the kHk.
(b) the chatzer chitzona, is the where the kinds courtiers are allowed to enter. It is like the kodesh, which the kohanim were permitted to roam.
(c) the shaar bet hamelech parallels the azara. This is where ordinary people like Mordecai are allowed to stand, though not in sackcloth and ashes.

- The megillah begins with a 6 month party, that was followed by a 7-day celebration. The mishkan was built over six months, and then inaugurated with a seven day ceremony. (miluim)

- Jeremiah promised a 70 year exile, and seventy days pass between the publication of Haman's original decree on 13 Nissan (3:12) to the countermanding of Haman's plan with another set of letters on 23 Sivan (8:9).

- We're taught that Achashverosh brought out the Temple vessels at his seven day party. This contradicts the plain meaning of Ezra 1:7 where we are told that the Temple vessels were returned years earlier by Koresh.

- We're also taught that Achashverosh's threw his original party to celebrate that fact that seventy years had passed since the destruction of the Temple, but Jeremiah's prophecy remains unfulfilled. This makes no sense. Why should the most powerful king in the world care about the prediction of Jeremiah, when even the Jews themselves has ignored him?

No comments: