MISCALCULATIONS OF THE SEVENTY YEARS OF EXILE (cont.)
(Rava): Also Daniel miscalculated! "Ani Daniel Binosi bi'Sforim" connotes that he had erred.
Contradiction: The 70 years are "Melos l'Bavel"; it also says "l'Charvos Yerushalayim Shiv'im"!
Answer (Rava): The first verse (counts from the conquest of Yehoyakim and) alludes to a sanction to begin rebuilding the Mikdash (from Koresh; he later retracted. They started again 70 years from the Churban, and this was completed);
We learn (the former) from "Koresh, king of Persia, said '... Hash-m appointed me to build for Him a house in Yerushalayim.'"
Question (Rav Nachman bar Rav Chisda): "So said Hash-m to his Mashi'ach, to Koresh" - Koresh was not Mashi'ach!
Answer: Rather, Hash-m was complaining about Koresh to Mashi'ach. I said that he should build My house and gather My exiles, but he said 'who will go up among you, will go' (he did not go himself).
Question: It says "Cheil Paras u'Madai", but another verse puts Madai first, "L'Malchei Madai u'Faras"!
Answer (Rava): They agreed that if the kings will be from Paras, the officers will be from Madai, and vice versa.
(R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): "In showing the wealth, the honor of his kingdom" teaches that he wore Bigdei Kehunah;
It says here "Tif'eres", like it says regarding Bigdei Kehunah, for honor and glory.
Rav and Shmuel argue about "When these days finished":
One says that he was a clever king. First he endeared subjects from far away, for he can always appease those close by;
The other says that he was foolish. First he should have endeared subjects of his region, so they would support him if the others rebel.
Question (Talmidei R. Shimon): Why were the haters of (this is a euphemism) Yisrael of that generation worthy to be destroyed?
R. Shimon bar Yochai: Answer yourselves!
Answer #1 (Talmidim): It was because they benefited from the Rasha's (Achashverosh's) meal.
Objection (R. Shimon): If so, the decree should have been against only the Yisraelim in Shushan, not in the whole world!
Talmidim: How do you answer?
Answer #2 (R. Shimon bar Yochai): It was because they bowed to Nevuchadnetzar's image. (Tosfos (Avodah Zarah 3a DH she'Lo) says that it was not Avodah Zarah. Nevertheless, they should not have bowed.)
Question (Talmidim): (If so, how did they merit to be saved miraculously?) Did Hash-m show partiality?
Answer (R. Shimon): They did not really serve it, they just appeared to do so. Similarly, Hash-m only appeared to decree their destruction - "Ki Lo Anah mi'Libi."
Rav and Shmuel argue about "In the courtyard, the garden, the orchard of the king":
One says that everyone was placed in one of these places, according to his prestige;
The other says that Achashverosh put everyone in the courtyard, but they did not fit. He put them all in the garden, but they did not fit. Finally, he put them in the orchard, and they fit.
(Beraisa): He put them in the courtyard and made two openings; one was to the garden, and one was to the orchard.
(Rav): "Chur, Karpas u'Techeiles" - it was Chari Chari (needlepoint, full of holes).
(Shmuel): He spread white (Chiver) silk for them.
(R. Yosi bar Chanina): Karpas is Karim of Pasim (striped pillows).
(Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "Beds of gold and silver" - everyone was seated on a bed of gold or silver, according to his prestige.
Objection (R. Nechemyah): That would cause jealousy! Rather, the beds were of silver and the legs were of gold.
ACHASHVEROSH'S PARTY (cont.)
(Rav Asi): "Bahat" are stones for which people MisCHoTet (obtain after great exertion and expense);
This is like "Avnei MisNoSesos", which come through great Nisyonos (difficulties).
(Rav): "Dar v'Sochares" - Dari Dari (there were rows and rows of the stones Sechor (around)).
(Shmuel): There is a precious stone in the port cities, called Darah; he set it in the middle of the meal, and it illuminated for them like noon (Sihara).
(Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): He proclaimed Deror (freedom from taxes) for all Sochrim (merchants).
Question: Why does it say "Mi'Kelim Shonim"? It should say 'Meshunim'!
Answer (Rava): A voice from Heaven said 'the Rishonim (Belshatzar and his company) were destroyed because of Kelim, and you are Shonim (repeating their mistake)!'
(Rav): "V'Yein Malchus Rav" - each person was given wine Rav (older) than himself.
Question: What does it mean "The drinking was k'Das"?
Answer (Rav Chanan): It was like the Torah says, i.e. the eating exceeded the drinking (just like an animal and the flour offered with it exceed the wine offered with it).
(R. Elazar): "Without compulsion" - everyone was given wine of his country (he is used to it, he can control how drunk he gets).
(Rava): "Ki'Rtzon Ish va'Ish " - the desire of Mordechai and Haman (they served the wine).
Mordechai is called "Ish Yehudi"; Haman is called "Ish Tzar v'Oyev".
Question: "Also Vashti made a party for the women in the palace" - it should have been in the women's house!
Answer (Rava): Both of them (she and Achashverosh) intended for sin (that people should see her beauty).
This is like people say, he is in big gourds, and his wife in small gourds.
THE KILLING OF VASHTI
Question: "On the seventh day, when the king's heart was merry with wine" - was it not merry with wine until now?!
Answer (Rava): The seventh day was Shabbos, when Yisrael eat and drink and begin with Divrei Torah and praises, whereas idolaters eat and drink and begin with obscenities.
Likewise, at the Rasha's party some said that Persian women are beautiful, and others said that Median women are beautiful.
Achashverosh: My Keli (wife) is neither, rather, Babylonian. Would you like to see her?
The others: Yes, but she must be naked.
Hash-m treats people Midah k'Neged Midah. We learn from here that Vashti the Resha'ah used to strip Jewish women of their clothing and make them work on Shabbos.
"... Achashverosh remembered what she did and what was decreed upon her" - just like she did was decreed upon her.
Question: We learned that Vashti intended for sin; why didn't she come?!
Answer #1 (R. Yosi bar Chanina): This teaches that she became leprous.
Answer #2 (Beraisa): Gavri'el came and made a tail on her.
Question: "The king was very angry" - why was he so angry?
Answer (Rava): She sent to him 'Stable boy of my father! My father would drink as much as [the bigger drinker among] 1000 people and not get drunk, but wine gets you drunk!' (Chasam Sofer - she said this in Babylonian, the servants who relayed the message did not understand it. This was why Achashverosh decreed that a woman must speak the language of her husband.)
"The king said to the Chachamim" refers to Rabanan; "who know the times" - they know how to make leap years and to fix Rosh Chodesh.
Achashverosh asked Rabanan to judge her. They reasoned:
If we tell him to kill her, tomorrow he will sober up and blame us for convicting her;
We cannot tell him to pardon her, for she disgraced the king!
Rabanan: After the Churban we were exiled from our land, and we lost the counsel needed for capital cases. Go ask (Amon and - Tosfos deletes this from the text) Mo'av, who sit on their land like wine sitting on its dregs.
"Mo'av has been tranquil from his youth... he did not go into exile, therefore he still has his reason... "
EXPOUNDING NAMES IN THE MEGILAH
(R. Levi): "Veha'Karov Elav Karshena Shesar..." - this entire verse alludes to Korbanos (the angels mentioned Yisrael's merits so that Hash-m would avenge Vashti and make Esther queen):
"Karshena" - did they (Nochrim) offer in front of you KaRim Benei SHaNah (yearling lambs), like Yisrael?!
"Shesar" - did they offer to You "SHtei ToRim (two birds)?!
"Admasa" - did they build for You an altar of Adamah (earth)?!
"Tarshish" - did they serve in front of You with Bigdei Kehunah, which contain "Tarshish v'Shoham v'Yashfe (gems on the Choshen)?!
"Meres" - did they Memares (mix) blood (to prevent it from hardening) in front of You?!
"Marsena" - did they Memares (knead) Menachos in front of You?!
"Memuchan" - did they Mechin (prepare) a Shulchan in front of You?!
(Beraisa): "Memuchan" is Haman. He is called Memuchan because he was Muchan (prepared) for punishment.
(Rav Kahana): (Memuchan was the last and lowest of the advisors, yet he spoke first;) this shows that the commoner jumps to the top.
(Rava): "That each man should rule in his house" - if not for the first letters (which established the king to be a fool), there would not have remained any remnant of (the haters of) Yisrael (people would have rushed to carry out Haman's letters immediately, before the designated day).
People said that the first letters are unnecessary, for even a bald man is the officer in his house! (Maharsha - Rashi merely says that also a weaver (a lowly profession) rules in his house. Rashi agree that 'Karachah' is a bald man.)
(Rav): "Every sharp one acts wisely" refers to David. He sought "a virgin" (only one; therefore everyone eagerly brought his daughter, hoping that she will be picked);
"A fool spreads folly" refers to Achashverosh. "The king appointed overseers" (he will gather many girls and have relations with all of them, but only one will become queen), so people hid their daughters.
Question: "Ish Yehudi Hayah ... Ish Yemini" - if the verse comes to give his lineage, it should trace the entire lineage until Binyamin! Why does it only list three?
Answer (Beraisa): It lists only ancestors whose names apply to Mordechai:
"Ben Ya'ir" - he (Mordechai) was Me'ir (illuminated) the eyes of Yisrael with his prayer;
"Ben Shim'i" - Hash-m Shama (heard) his prayer;
"Ben Kish" - he was Mekish (knocked) on the gates of mercy, and they opened for him.
Contradiction: He is called "Yehudi", i.e. from Yehudah; he is also called Yemini, i.e. from Binyamin!
Answer #1 (Rav Nachman): Mordechai was crowned with impeccable Torah conduct (Aruch. Maharsha - the verse gives the lineage of both of his parents, like Rabah bar Rav Huna explains immediately. According to this, Rabah bar Rav Huna is not a separate answer).
Answer #2 (Rabah bar Rav Huna): His father was from Binyamin and his mother was from Yehudah.
Answer #3 (Rabanan): The Shevatim competed over taking credit for his birth:
Yehudah took credit, for David (from Yehudah) did not kill Shim'i ben Gera (even though Shim'i was Chayav Misah for cursing David; this enabled Mordechai to descend from Shim'i;
Binyamin took credit, since Mordechai descends from Binyamin.