Friday, March 14, 2014

Is Megilas Esther (also) the story of Mordechai's teshuva?

Is Megilas Esther (also) the story of Mordechai's teshuva? Let's consider the facts:

He won't bow to Haman out of what? some misguided sense of pride?** And because of this the Jews are threatened with destruction.

Realizing his error he publicly wears ashes and sackcloth in the manner of a pentinent. (Note to his modern imitators: This does not mean he wore a sack.)

- Problem Interpolated - 

After M  appears in mourning clothes, he encounters Haman again, and the text tells us what happens from Haman's POV: 

 And Haman went out on that day, happy and with a cheerful heart, but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and he neither rose nor stirred because of him, Haman was filled with wrath against Mordecai.
Did M know he was there? Would he have continued to pridefully refuse to bow, even while he was sitting at the king's gate performing public pertinence for that very mistake? But like I said, we only know what happened from Haman's perspective. If M was - irony alert - too preoccupied with his teshuvah to notice Haman, my suggestion is still alive. 

- End Interpolation -

After the danger has been averted, the narrator makes a point of telling us that (now) M works for the good of his people (whereas earlier he was concerned only about his own image?)

**I know the midrash says haman wore an idol. A conflicting midrash says M didn't bow to H because H was once his slave. That's pride.

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