THE MALE PROPHETS
Question: The Beraisa listed eight Nevi'im Kohanim. Regarding some we do not find that they themselves prophesized, only that their sons were Nevi'im. What is the source that the fathers were also Nevi'im?
Answer: Ula taught that the father of a Navi was also a Navi if and only if the father's name mentioned with his son's name.
If his city is mentioned, he was from that city; if not, he was from Yerushalayim.
(Beraisa): When a man and his ancestors are mentioned:
If the deeds of one are praised, this applies to all listed;
"Devar Hash-m Asher Hayah El Tzefanyah ben Kushi ben Gedalyah" - this shows that he and his father (and grandfather) were Tzadikim.
If the deeds of one are degraded, this applies to all listed.
"Yishmael ben Nesanyah ben Elishama" - he and his fathers were Resha'im.
(Rav Nachman): Malachi is Mordechai. He is called Malachi because he was second to the Melech.
Question (Beraisa): Baruch ben Neriyah, Serayah ben Ma'asiyah, Daniel, Mordechai-Bilshan, Chagi, Zecharyah and Malachi, all prophecized in the second year of Daryavesh.
Rav Nachman is refuted.
(Beraisa): R. Yehoshua ben Korchah says, Malachi is Ezra;
Chachamim say, Malachi is his name.
(Rav Nachman): R. Yehoshua's opinion is better, since it says in Malachi "Bogdah Yehudah... u'Vo'al Vas Ben Nechar";
Ezra separated Benei Yisrael from their Nochri wives - "Shechanyah... said to Ezra... we put foreign women in our homes" (and Ezra made Yisrael swear to expel them).
THE FOUR BEAUTIFUL WOMEN
(Beraisa): There were four exceedingly beautiful women in the world - Sarah, Avigayil, Rachav and Esther.
The opinion that says that Esther was green substitutes Vashti for Esther.
(Beraisa): Immorality (of one level or another) resulted from the following - Rachav's name, Ya'el's voice (it seduced Sisera), Avigayil's mention (that David should marry her), and Michal bas Sha'ul through being seen (Maharsha - this is why she was reluctant to go outside to rebuke David).
(R. Yitzchak): Anyone who says Rachav, Rachav immediately has an emission.
Rav Nachman: I can say it and it won't affect me!
R. Yitzchak: I refer to people who knew (Tosfos Ta'anis 5a - had relations with her) and recognized her.
ESTHER GOES TO THE KING
(Rav): "And Mordechai knew everything that happened" - i.e. that Haman exceeded Achashverosh (regarding his evil plans for Yisrael);
(Shmuel): The higher king overpowered the lower king (this is a euphemism for the opposite).
Question: Va'Tischalchal ha'Malkah" - what does this mean?
Answer #1 (Rav): She became a Nidah.
Answer #2 (R. Yirmeyah): She needed to move her bowels.
(Rav): "Hasach" is Daniel. He is called Hasach because Chatchuhu (they cut him) from his greatness (which he had under the previous kings);
(Shmuel): He is called Hasach because all royal matters Nichtachin (are executed) through him.
(R. Yitzchak): "Lada'as Al Mah Zeh v'Al Mah Zeh" - she suggested that perhaps Yisrael transgressed the five Chumashim, in which it says "Mi'Zeh umi'Zeh Hem Kesuvim."
"They told the words of Esther to Mordechai" - Hasach did not tell him;
This teaches that one should not report back when his mission fails (Esther refused to go to the king).
(R. Aba): "Asher Lo cha'Das" - until now, she was forced to be with the king. This time, she would go willingly.
"V'Cha'asher Avadti Avadti" - just like I was lost from my father's house (orphaned), I am lost to you (as a wife, for now I go willingly to Achashverosh).
(Rav): "Va'Ya'avor Mordechai" - He'evir (he passed) the first day of Pesach in a Ta'anis (like Esther decreed, even though the Torah commands to eat Matzah);
(Shmuel): Avar (he crossed) a stream (to gather Jews to fast).
Question: Why does it say "Ba'Yom ha'Shelishi Va'Tilbash Esther Malchus"? It should say 'Bigdei Malchus'!
Answer (R. Elazar): Rather, Ru'ach ha'Kodesh clothed her. It says here "Va'Tilbash", like it says "V'Ru'ach Lavshah Es Amasai."
DERASHOS OF REBBI ELAZAR
(R. Elazar): The Berachah of a commoner should not be light in your eyes. Two leaders of their generations were blessed by commoners, and the Berachos were fulfilled, i.e. David and Daniel:
Aronah blessed David - "Aravna said to the king (you should find favor with Hash-m)";
Daryavesh blessed Daniel - "Elokecha... will save you (from the lions)"
(R. Elazar): The curse of a commoner should not be light in your eyes. Avimelech cursed Sarah (he was upset that he needed to pay and return her) "this is to you a covering of the eyes", and it was fulfilled in her seed - "When Yitzchak grew old, his eyes weakened."
(R. Elazar): Hash-m's ways are unlike the ways of people. A person sets a pot (on an oven), then fills it with water. Hash-m fills it with water and then sets it down, to fulfill "The sound of His giving much water in Shamayim (and he brings up (full) clouds from the ends of the land)".
(R. Elazar): Whoever repeats something in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world - "Esther told the king in the name of Mordechai."
(R. Elazar): When a Tzadik dies, he is lost to his generation (but he himself is elevated to the world to come). This is like a man who lost a jewel. Wherever it is, it is a jewel; it is lost only to the owner.
(R. Elazar): When Haman saw Mordechai sitting in the gate of the king, he said "V'Chol Zeh Einenu Shaveh Li";
(Rav Chisda): Mordechai came with his Pruzbul (wealth), and Haman came with his Pruzbuti (poverty. Yalkut Esther, brought in Etz Yosef - previously, Haman had no food and had to sell himself to be Mordechai's slave. Mordechai told him that anything a slave acquires belongs to his master.)
(Rav Papa): Mordechai called him 'a slave that was sold for bread.'
"And all this is not worth to me" teaches that all his treasures were carved on his heart, and when he saw Mordechai sitting in the gate of the king, he said "And all this is not worth to me."
(R. Elazar): "On that day Hash-m will be l'Ateres Tzevi ..." - He will be a crown on the head of every Tzadik.
"L'Ateres Tzevi ul'Tzefiras Tif'arah" - this is for those who do Tzivyono (His will) ul'Metzapin Tif'arto (and look forward to His glory).
Suggestion: Perhaps it is for everyone!
Rejection: "L'Sheir Amo (to the remnant of his nation)", to one who makes himself like Shirayim (leftovers).
"And to a spirit of judgment" - this is one who judges his Yetzer (desires).
"And to one who sits on the judgment" is one who judges a case to its ultimate truth.
"Ul'Gevurah" is one who overcomes his Yetzer.
"Meshivei Milchamah" - they (answer and) debate in the war of Torah.
"To the gate" are Chachamim who come early (when they open the gates of) Batei Kenesiyos and Batei Medrash and leave (when they lock the gates).
Midas ha'Din: How are these different than these? (Etz Yosef - since the Tzadikim did not rebuke the Resha'im, they are no better! According to the Medrash, the following answer distinguishes between Yisraelim who learned and those who did not.)
Hash-m: Yisrael engaged in Torah, the other nations did not.
Midas ha'Din: These also stumbled in wine and beer, and were judged for Gehenom. (According to the text in Sanhedrin 111b, Hash-m said this; unworthy judges were duly punished.)
"Paku" connotes Gehenom - "This should not be for you l'Fuka (a pitfall)".
"Peliliyah" connotes judges - "V'Nosan bi'Flilim".
ESTHER COMES TO THE KING
(R. Levi): "Esther stood in the inner courtyard of the king's house"- when she reached the place where the idols are kept, Ru'ach ha'Kodesh departed from her.
"Keli Keli Lamah Azavtani" - do You judge Shogeg like Mezid, and Ones like Ratzon? (I am coerced to come here for the sake of Yisrael!)
Is it because I called Achashverosh a dog ("Save my soul from a sword, from a dog")?
She retracted, and called him a lion - "Save me from the mouth of the lion."
(R. Yochanan): When the king saw Esther, three angels came. One raised her neck, one stretched a string of Chesed over her, and one stretched the scepter.
(R. Yirmeyah): The scepter was two Amos, and it stretched to 12. Some say that it stretched to 16, and some say to 24.
(Beraisa): It stretched to 60.
Similarly, Paro's daughter's hand stretched [60 Amos] to reach Moshe.
Similarly, the teeth of the wicked elongate [60 Amos] - "The teeth of the wicked Shibarta (you broke)";
(Reish Lakish): We read this Shirvavta (you increased).
(Rabah bar Ufran): It stretched to 200.
Achashverosh offered to Esther "Up to Chetzi (half) the kingdom", but not the whole kingdom, nor something that is Chotzetz (divides) the kingdom, i.e. building the Mikdash (which is in the middle of the world).
WHY DID ESTHER INVITE HAMAN?
Question (Beraisa): Why did Esther invite Haman?
Answer #1 (R. Eliezer): She set Pachim (traps) for him - "Yehi Shulchanam Lifneihem l'Fach".
Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua): "If your enemy is hungry, feed him bread. (... You scoop coals on his head)."
Answer #3 (R. Meir): This was so he would not take counsel and rebel.
Answer #4 (R. Yehudah): It was so they shouldn't know that she is a Yisraelis.
Answer #5 (R. Nechemyah): It was so Yisrael should not say 'we have a sister in the palace' and slacken from prayer.
Answer #6 (R. Yosi): It was so Haman should be always available to her (to make him stumble).
Answer #7 (R. Shimon ben Menasiya): She thought, perhaps Hash-m will feel (my disgrace that I need to flatter a Rasha) and do a miracle for us.
Answer #8 (R. Yehoshua ben Korchah): She planned to get herself and Haman killed. (The custom was to cancel a decree if one of the authors died.)
Answer #9 (R. Gamliel): Achashverosh is wishy-washy (if he agrees to kill Haman and does not do so immediately, he might change his mind).
(R. Gamliel): We need the (coming) answer of R. Eliezer ha'Moda'i (it is the best).
Answer #10 (R. Eliezer ha'Moda'i): She wanted that the king and ministers will envy Haman.
Answer #11 (Rabah): "Pride precedes a fall."
Answer #12 (Abaye and Rava): "I will set their feasts with poison" (the wicked are punished through their feasts. Maharsha - she wanted Haman and Achashverosh to be punished. This is unlike R. Eliezer (b), who explains that she only sought to make Haman fall.)
Eliyahu told Rabah bar Avuha that she invited him for all these reasons.
THE DOWNFALL OF HAMAN
(Rav): "Haman told them of his honor, wealth, and many sons" - he had 30 sons. Ten died, 10 were hung, and 10 begged for bread;
(Rabanan): Seventy begged for bread.
(Rami bar Aba): In all, he had 208, like the Gematriya of "v'Rov".
Question: The Gematriya is 214!
Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): "V'Rov" is written lacking a Vov, so the Gematriya is 208.
(R. Tanchum): "That night, the king's sleep was disturbed" refers to Hash-m. (At the beginning of the Gra's Perush on the Megilah, he says that whenever it says "the king" without "Achashverosh", it hints to Hash-m. Perhaps R. Tanchum teaches that here, the simple meaning refers to Hash-m. Kad ha'Kemach - this is just a metaphor, for Hash-m does not sleep.)
(Rabanan): Achashverosh's sleep was disturbed; also the angels were up (provoking him to reward Mordechai, or requesting mercy);
(Rava): Achashverosh was up. He wondered, why is Esther inviting Haman? Perhaps they are plotting to kill me! If so, why didn't anyone tell me? Perhaps I neglected to reward someone for a favor, therefore, no one is telling me! Immediately, the king asked to bring the chronicles.
"Va'Yihyu Nikra'im" - they were being read by themselves! (The servant who asked to read them did not want to mention that Mordechai saved the king's life.)
Question: "Va'Yimatzei Chasuv" (this connotes that now it was found written) - it should have said 'Kesav'!
Answer: Shimshai (a scribe who hated Yisrael) erased (what Mordechai did), and Gavri'el rewrote it.
(R. Asi): If mortal writing for the merit of Yisrael is not erased, all the more so writing of Heaven is not erased!