ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Megilah 15
(a) Chanamel, Baruch ben Neriyah, and Sarayah ben Machseyah were all Nevi'im.
Chanamel was Yirmiyah ha'Navi's cousin. Baruch and Sarayah were both
disciples of Yirmiyah.
(b) We know that Neriyah and Machseyah were also prophets - because both are
listed as being the fathers of Baruch and Sarayah respectively (in connection
with their peophesies), and whenever a father is mentioned together with his
son the prophet, we know that *he* was a prophet too. Whenever he is not,
then we know that the son only was a prophet, but not the father.
(c) We know that ...
1. ... a Navi whose hometown is not mentioned - hails from Yerushalayim.
2. ... Nesanyah and his father Elishama (father and grandfather respectively
of Yishmael, the murderer of Gedalyah ben Achikam) - were wicked like
Yishmael, because although their deeds are unknown, when the Pasuk mentions
Yishmael, it mentions them too.
(a) If, as Rav Nachman maintains, Mal'achi was Mordechai, he was called
Mal'achi - because he was the viceroy of Shushan.
(b) Besides Baruch ben Neriyah, Sarayah ben Machseyah and Daniel, the Beraisa
lists as Nevi'im - Chagai, Zecharyah, Mal'achi and Mordechai, proving Rav
(c) All these prophesied in the second year of Daryavesh the second (the year
that Galus Bavel ended).
(d) According to the Rabbanan, Mal'achi was not Ezra. Rav Nachman prefer the
opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, who says that he was - on the basis
one of Mal'achi's prophesies, which complains about Yisrael's having married
non-Jewish women, and it was Ezra who went to great lengths to separate them
from their non-Jewish wives.
(a) Two of the four most beautiful women in the world ever, were Sarah and
Rachav - the other two were Aviga'il and Esther. Chavah is not mentioned -
because she was made by Hashem and not born from a mother.
(b) According to those who hold that Esther was green - the fourth woman was
(c) The name of Rachav and the voice of Yael evoked the deepest feelings in a
man - remembering Aviga'il and seeing Michal (Shaul's daughter) had the same
(d) Rav Nachman remained unaffected when he said 'Rachav Rachav' - because he
never knew her.
(a) According to Rav, Mordechai cried out that Haman had prevailed upon
Achashverosh (who was afraid to annihilate the Jews). Shmuel says - that he
called out that a human king prevailed (Kevayachol) over the King in Heaven.
(b) According to Rav, "va'Tischalchal ha'Malkah Me'od" means that she had a
sighting of Dam Nidus. Shmuel explains - that she needed to relieve herself.
(c) Hasach was Daniel. According to Rav, he was called by that name because
they cut him down (from the Lashon 'Chatach') from his greatness. Shmuel says
- that it was because all the matters of kingdom were 'cut' through him.
(d) When Esther sent to Hasach "la'Da'as Mah Zeh ve'Al Mah Zeh" - she meant
to say that maybe the evil decree was caused by Yisrael having transgressed
the Torah, about which it is written "mi'Zeh u'mi'Zeh Heim Kesuvim".
(a) Others (and not Hasach) went to inform Mordechai that Esther initially
refused to go into the king - because he did not want to bring back a bad
report (though this is not forbidden - see Agados Maharsha).
The Sugya of sayings of Rebbi Elazar Amar Chanina.
(b) When Esther sent to Mordechai ...
1. ... that she would go in to the king "Asher Lo cha'Das" - she meant that
her going to the king now would not be the same as it had been until now,
because until now she had been forced, but now she was going of her own
(c) Rav interprets the Pasuk "va'Ya'avor Mordechai" to mean that the three-
day fast initiated by Mordechai incorporated the first day of Pesach. Shmuel
interpret it to mean - that he passed through a pool of water to gather the
people together for the fast (even though Esther had only told him to gather
the Jews in Shushan - Agados Maharsha).
2. ... "ve'Cha'asher Avadti Avadti" - she meant that, in the same way as she
was lost to her father's house, she would now be lost to him (because, once a
woman goes willingly to another man, she becomes forbidden to her husband
(even if, under the circumstances, she is considered an O'nes - as was the
(a) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "va'Tilbash Esther Malchus" and
"ve'Ru'ach Lavshah es Amasai" - that Esther 'dressed' in Ru'ach ha'Kodesh
when she made her journey to the king's inner chamber.
1. Aravnah conferred upon David - the blessing that the plague should stop
(and it did).
(c) We learn from here - that one should not treat the *blessings* of an
ordinary person (even if he is not a Tzadik) with disdain.
2. Daryavesh confer upon Daniel - the blessing that Hashem should save him
from the lions (and He did).
(d) Avimelech's curse on Sarah also came true. He cursed her that she should
become blind - and although it did not materialize on her, it did materialize
on her son Yitzchak; to teach us that one should not take the *curses* of an
ordinary person lightly either.
(a) A human being first places the pot on the stove and then fills it with
water. Hashem first places the rain in the sky, and then the clouds. (to
(b) We learn from the fact that Esther informed the King of Bigsan and
Teresh's plot in the name of Mordechai (had she not done so, Mordechai would
have been hanged by Haman and the miracle of Purim would not have occurred) -
that quoting something that one heard from someone in his name has the
potential of bringing about the redemption.
(c) We compare a Tzadik who died to a pearl that got lost - inasmuch as, just
the latter is a pearl wherever it is, and it is the owner who suffers when it
gets lost, so to, is a Tzadik a Tzadik wherever he is, and it is the world
who suffers the loss when he dies (not the Tzadik himself).
(d) When Rav Chisda said 'Zeh Ba bi'P'ruzbuli ve'Zeh Ba bi'P'ruzbuti'
(meaning the one came with his riches and the other, with his poverty) - he
was referring to the episode when Mordechai and Haman were both in the royal
army, and when the greedy Haman devoured his sparse rations on the first day
after receiving them. The only person who was willing to save him from
starvation was Mordechai. However (obviously anticipating Haman's wickedness)
he made a condition - that Haman would be his slave (which would make
everything that he owned belong to him). That is why Haman became known as
the slave who sold himself for a loaf of bread.
"ve'Chol *Zeh* Einenu Shaveh Li" (said by Haman when he saw Mordechai
sitting at the gate of the King) - teaches us that he had an inventory of all
his wealth engraved on his heart (which is what the "*Zeh*" in the Pasuk
(a) "On that day, Hashem will be a crown on the head of every Tzadik that
does His will and hopes for His glory" (Yeshayah). Six additional conditions
however, are still required: Two of them are "li'She'ar Amo" (that one is
exceedingly humble) and "u'le'Ru'ach Mishpat" (that one compels oneself to do
Teshuvah - however difficult it might be).
1. ... "u'le'Yosheiv al ha'Mishpat" - refers to those who judge the absolute
truth (using a sort of sixth sense to search out lies even when they are not
evident in the words of the witnesses).
(b) The other people were incapable of reaching these levels - because they
were too busy drinking wine (enjoying the pleasures of life), something which
would only lead them to Gehinom.
2. ... "ve'li'Gevurah" - to those who overcome their Yeitzer-ha'Ra.
3. ... "Meshivei Milchamah" - who engage in Halachic intercourse.
4. ... "Sha'arah" - who guard the gates of the Beis-ha'Medrash (by being
there early in the morning and late at night.
(a) When Esther reached the idol-house, the Shechinah left her. She was
surprised, despite the fact that she was about to give herself willingly to
a Nochri - because, as we explained earlier, she was nevertheless an O'nes
(because she was doing so - under the command of Mordechai - to save K'lal
Yisrael from destruction. In addition, she was permitted to do what she was
doing because she intended to be no more than a passive partner).
When the king offered Esther anything up to *half the kingdom* - he meant
that the one thing that she could not ask for was the re-building of the Beis
Hamikdash, which stood in the middle of the kingdom (see also Agados
(b) She ascribed the Shechinah's departure - to the fact that she had
displayed disrespect to Achashverosh (a king appointed by Hashem to rule) by
asking Hashem to save her from 'the dog' (as recorded in Tehilim 22). She
immediately rectified her mistake by referring to him as 'a lion'.
(c) The purpose of the three angels who were sent to help her find favor in
the king's eyes (when really, the king might well have killed her for her
audacity) was - one to straighten her neck (a potentially attraction in a
woman); one to envelop her with a 'thread of grace', and one to stretch her
(d) According to the various opinions, the two-Amah scepter that she was
holding stretched to unbelievable lengths; twelve, sixteen or twenty-four
Amos. The other two possibilities are - sixty Amos and two hundred Amos.
(a) The Tana'im and Amora'im give twelve reasons why Esther invited Haman to
her party with Achashverosh: all in all, she aimed at manipulating Haman,
Achashverosh and his ministers, K'lal Yisrael and even Hashem (Kevayachol).
She manipulated ...
1. ... Haman - by anticipating his downfall at the table, by keeping him
under her control, by arousing the king's jealousy thereby bringing about his
death, and by causing him to become proud, which always precedes his
(b) She even endangered her own life in the process - because the king might
have suspected her of having an affair with Haman, and killed them both
(which she was prepared to do, as long as Haman was killed, too).
2. ... Achashverosh - by preventing him from changing his mind when his
Haman's wickedness was divulged, and by forcing him to become jealous and
suspicious of Haman.
3. ... K'lal Yisrael - by preventing them from relying on 'their Jewish
sister' in the royal palace, and forcing them to turn to Hashem in prayer.
4. ... Hashem - by inducing Him to have pity on poor Esther who had to stoop
so low to save K'lal Yisrael as to invite their arch-enemy to her party with
(c) Rabah bar Avuhah asked Elayihu which of the reasons she really had in
mind. He replied that she had in mind each and every reason given by the
Tana'im and Amora'im.
(a) According to Rav, Haman had thirty children - of whom ten died
(presumably they were killed in the fighting) ten were hanged, and the
remaining ten became beggars.
(b) The Rabbanan disagree on the basis of the Pasuk in Shmuel "Sevei'im
ba'Lechem Niskaru" - which they read as if it was written "ve'Shiv'im
ba'Lechem Niskaru" (referring to the *seventy* sons of Haman).
(c) Rami bar Aba learns that Haman had two hundred and eight sons - which he
learns from the word "*Rov* Banav", which, since it is missing a 'Vav', has
the numerical value of two hundred and eight.
(a) "ba'Laylah Hahu Nadedah Sh'nas ha'Melech". Some explain that "ha'Melech"
refers to Hashem. Others say 'Nadedu Elyonim, Nadedu Tachtonim' - meaning
that Achashverosh's sleep was disturbed - because the angels (whose 'sleep
was also disturbed') were keeping him awake saying 'Ungrateful man, repay the
good that (Mordechai) did to you'!
(b) According to Rava, the Pasuk refers to Achashverosh, who was unable to
sleep - because Esther had invited Haman to the party. Perhaps, he thought,
Esther and Haman were plotting to kill him.
(c) He took out the Book of Chronicles - because he was worried that nobody
was informing him of the plot. It must be, he decided, because the people
disliked him for not having repaid a good deed that someone had performed for
him and about which he had forgotten. So he took out the Book of Chronicles
to check it out.
(d) We learn from ...
1. ... "va'Yihyu Nikra'im" - that the pages were turning themselves.
2. ... "va'Yimatzei Kasuv" (instead of 'K'sav') - that Shamshai (who,
according to the Medrash, was Haman's son) kept on erasing the episode of
Mordechai and Bigson and Teresh from the Book, and each time Gavriel re-wrote