EXPOUNDING NAMES IN THE MEGILAH (cont.)
Answer #4 (Rava): Keneses Yisrael blames Yehudah and Binyamin for what happened:
It blames Yehudah for not killing Shim'i, which enabled the birth of Mordechai, who provoked Haman;
It blames Binyamin (from which came Sha'ul) for not killing Agag, from whom came Haman.
Answer #5 (R. Yochanan): Really, Mordechai comes from Binyamin. He is called Yehudi because he denied idolatry;
Anyone who denies idolatry is called Yehudi, like it says "these Yehudi men... (do not bow to Your image)".
When R. Yehudah ben Pazi would start to expound Divrei ha'Yomim, he would say 'All Your words are one (even though many names are often given for the same person), and we know how to expound them!'
Question: "His wife ha'Yehudiyah gave birth to Yered... " - why is Basyah called Yehudiyah?
Answer: It is because she denied idolatry;
(R. Yochanan): "Paro's daughter went down to wash in the river" - she descended to cleanse herself from the idolatry of her father's house.
Question: Why does it say that she gave birth to him (Moshe)? She (only) raised him!
Answer: This teaches that if one raises an orphan in his house, is considered as if he fathered him.
"Yered" is Moshe. He is called Yered because manna Yarad (descended) for Yisrael in his days.
He is (also) called "Gedor" because he was Goder (fenced) the breaches in Yisrael.
He is called "Chever" because he was Mechaber (connected) Yisrael to their father in Heaven.
He is called "Socho" because he was like a (protecting) Sukah to Yisrael.
He is called "Yekusi'el" because Kavu YiSrael la'Kel (Yisrael hoped to Hash-m) in his day.
He is called "Zanu'ach" because Hizni'ach (he made Yisrael abandon) their sins.
It says "Father of" three times, because he was a father in Torah, in wisdom, and in prophecy.
Question: Why does it say "Basyah, whom Mered married"? Kalev married her!
Answer: Hash-m said 'Kalev, who was Mored (rebelled) against the counsel of the Meraglim, should marry Basyah, who rebelled against her father's idolatry.'
(Rava): "Who was exiled from Yerushalayim (with those whom Nevuchadnetzar forcibly exiled)" - Mordechai willingly exiled himself.
Question: Why does it say "He raised Hadasah"? Elsewhere she is called Esther!
Answer #1 (Beraisa - R. Meir): Her name is Esther. Tzadikim are called Hadasah - "And he stands among the Hadasim".
Answer #2A (R. Yehudah): Her name is Hadasah. She is called Esther because she was Masteres (hid) her words - "Esther does not tell which is her nation."
Answer #2B (R. Nechemyah): Her name is Hadasah. The nations called her Esther because she was beautiful like Istahar (the moon).
(Ben Azai): Esther was not tall or short; she was average, like a Hadasah (myrtle).
(R. Yehoshua ben Korchah): Esther was green (like myrtle); Hash-m strung Chesed over her (so all considered her beautiful).
THE SELECTION OF ESTHER
Question: Why does it say "For she has no father or mother", and also "When her father and mother died"?
Answer (Rav Acha): When her mother became pregnant, her father died; when she was born, her mother died.
(Beraisa - R. Meir): "Mordechai took her l'Bas (for a daughter)" - we read this l'Bayis (a wife).
Similarly, "The poor man has nothing, except for one small sheep (a metaphor for Uriyah, who had only Bas Sheva)... it sleeps in his bosom and was to him like a Bas.
Question: Sleeping in his bosom is no reason to call it a daughter!
Answer: We must read this 'k'Bayis' (and similarly regarding Esther).
(Rava): "And the seven young girls" - Esther would count the days of the week through them (to know when it is Shabbos).
Opinion #1 (Rav): "And he (Hegai) changed her and her girls" - he fed her food of Yisraelim.
Opinion#2 (Shmuel): He fed her necks of swine. (Tosfos - she did not eat them; Rashi - she was not punished for eating them, for she was forced.)
Opinion#3 (R. Yochanan): He fed her seeds (like Daniel, Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah ate) - "The steward removed the royal food and gave them seeds."
Question: "Six months with Shemen ha'Mor" - what is this?
Answer #1 (R. Chiya bar Aba): It is satchet.
Answer #2 (Rav Huna): It is oil of olives that did not reach one third growth;
(Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Anfekinon is oil of olives that did not grow a third.
Girls anoint with it to make hair fall out and to soften the skin.
(R. Yochanan): "In the evening she comes, and in the morning she returns" - amidst the detriment of the Rasha we hear his praise, that he would not have relations during the day.
(R. Elazar): "And Esther bore grace" - every person thought that she was from his nation.
"Esther was taken in the month of Teves" - this is winter, when a body enjoys (the warmth of) another body.
(Rav): "And the king loved Esther more than all the women... and more than all the virgins" - if he desired the 'taste' of (relations with) a virgin, he tasted it; if he desired a non-virgin, he tasted it.
"The king made a great party", but she did not reveal (her nation to him); he pardoned taxes (in her honor), and she did not reveal; he sent gifts (to nobles in her name), and she did not reveal.
"When virgins were gathered a second time" - Mordechai counseled him that a woman envies only a marital rival. Even so, "Esther did not tell her origin".
(R. Elazar): "Hash-m's eyes do not overlook (reward due to) a Tzadik" - as a reward for Rachel's Tzni'us (modesty), Sha'ul descended from her; as a reward for Sha'ul's Tzni'us, Esther descended from him.
Question: What was Rachel's Tzni'us?
Answer - Question: "Yakov told Rachel that he is her father's brother" - he is her father's nephew!
Answer: Yakov asked her to marry him; she agreed, but said 'My father is a deceiver, and you cannot overcome him.'
Yakov: I am his brother in deceit.
Rachel: May a Tzadik do so?!
Yakov: Yes; "With a pure one, be clear, with a crooked one, be crooked." What is his trickery?
Rachel: I have an older sister, he will not marry me off before her.
Yakov gave to her Simanim. When the night (of the wedding) came, Rachel feared that her sister will be shamed, so she gave the Simanim to Leah.
Support - Question: "In the morning, behold it was Leah" - until now, it was it not Leah?
Answer: Rather, because of the Simanim which Rachel gave to Leah, Yakov did not know until morning.
Question: What was Sha'ul's Tzni'us?
Answer: "He did not tell to him (his uncle) about the kingship" (that Sha'ul will be king).
(R. Elazar): When Hash-m apportions greatness to a person, he apportions to his children and grandchildren for all generations - "He seated them (kings) forever, and elevated him";
If the person gets haughty, Hash-m lowers him - "If they will be bound in fetters."
MORDECHAI SAVED THE KING
(R. Yirmeyah): "And Esther fulfilled the words of Mordechai" - she showed her Dam Nidah to the Chachamim.
(Rabah bar Leima): "As she used to when he raised her" - she would get up from the bosom of Achashverosh, immerse, and sit in the bosom of Mordechai.
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Hash-m made a master (Paro) angry at his servants, to do the will of a Tzadik, i.e. Yosef - "And there was with us a young Ivri... "
Hash-m angered servants on their master to do the will of a Tzadik, i.e. Mordechai - "Bigsan and Seresh got angry... and the matter became known to Mordechai."
(R. Yochanan): Bigsan and Seresh were Tarsiyim, and spoke in Torsi. 'From the day Achashverosh came, we have not slept. Let us put poison in the bowl so he will die.' They did not know that Mordechai was from the Sanhedrin and knew all 70 languages.
One said 'Our watches are not the same; I will guard both of them.'
This explains "the matter was investigated and it was found" - they were not at their watches.
Question: Why does it say "After these things... ."?
Answer (Rava): (Haman was raised) after Hash-m created the cure (a reason for Achashverosh to love Mordechai) for the malady.
This is like Reish Lakish said, that Hash-m does not strike Yisrael unless he creates the cure first - "When I cure Yisrael, (afterwards) the sin of Efrayim is revealed (through the punishment)."
Regarding other nations, Hash-m strikes first and then creates the cure - "Hash-m will strike Mitzrayim, a blow and (then a) cure."
THE DECREE OF HAMAN
(Rava): "It was scornful in his eyes to strike Mordechai alone" - first (he wanted to kill) Mordechai alone; later, the nation of Mordechai, i.e. Chachamim; in the end, all the Jews.
(Beraisa): "He cast a Pur (lottery)" - when the lottery fell in Adar, he was exceedingly happy, for it fell in the month of Moshe's death.
He did not know that Moshe died and was born on the seventh of Adar.
(Rava): "Yeshnu (there is) Am Echad)... " - no one knows how to speak Lashon ha'Ra as well as Haman:
Haman: Let us destroy them.
Achashverosh: I am afraid lest their G-d do to me like He did to those before me (e.g. Paro or Sancheriv).
Haman: (You need not worry, for) Yashnu (Yisrael are sleeping) from the Mitzvos.
Achashverosh: There are Rabanim among them (who are doing Mitzvos)!
Haman: They are one nation (all are sleeping).
Do not think that I will make a bald patch in your kingdom - "They are scattered among the nations";
Do not think that there is benefit from them - "u'Mefurad" they are scattered like a Predah (mule) which bears no fruit" (Maharsha - we expound u'Mefurad because it is extra, it already says "Mefuzar");
Do not think that there is a small province of them - "in all provinces of your kingdom" (Rashi; Maharsha - he already said that he will not make a bald patch because they are scattered! Rather, do not think that you can gather and resettle them in a small province, for there are too many - "in all (127) provinces of your kingdom").
"Their laws are different from every nation" - they do not eat our food, and don't marry our women or our men.
"They do not keep the king's laws" - all year they avoid work, saying 'Today is Shabbos, today is Pesach.'
"It is not worth leaving them (alive)" - they eat and drink and despise the kingdom! If one of them found a fly in his wine, he removes the fly and drinks. If you would touch the cup, he would spill it on the ground and not drink it.
(Reish Lakish): "(I will give) 10,000 talents of silver (to destroy them) - Hash-m knew that Haman would offer Shekalim to destroy Yisrael, therefore Hash-m commanded that we give Shekalim first (to redeem ourselves);
(Mishnah): On the first of Adar we announce about Shekalim...