ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Megilah 16
MEGILAH 16, 17, 18, and 19 (1st day of Sukos) sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.
(a) When the servants informed the king that Mordechai had not yet been
rewarded for saving his life - it was because they hated Haman, not because
they were particularly fond of Mordechai.
(b) The Beraisa comments on the Pasuk "al ha'Eitz Asher Heichin *"Lo*" - 'Lo
Heichin' (he prepared it for himself).
(c) When instructing Haman to reward Mordechai, Achashverosh needed to
describe him as ...
1. ... "ha'Yehudi" - in response to Haman's question 'But there are many
(d) Achashverosh needed to add "Al Tapeil Davar mi'Kol Asher Dibarta" - in
reply to Haman's comment '*That* Mordechai! Surely one village or one river
will suffice for him'! So the king replied 'Give him that, too'!
2. ... "Asher be'Sha'ar ha'Melech" - because he asked 'But there are many
Jews by the name of Mordechai'?
(a) When Haman came to do the king's bidding, he found Mordechai learning
with the Rabbanan - the laws of Kemitzah (according to Rashi, this refers to
the Minchas ha'Omer - see Agados Maharsha).
(b) When Mordechai saw Haman coming towards him leading a horse - he thought
that he was coming to kill him (to hang him on the gallows that he had
prepared). So he advised his disciples to leave, so as not to come to any
harm (It appears however, that they remained with their Rebbe).
(c) When Haman discovered what they had been learning - he commented that
their one fistful of flour had succeeded in negating his ten thousand silver
(d) Mordechai reminded him that the money was not his anyway - because
whatever a slave owns belongs to his master.
(a) Mordechai initially declined to wear the royal robes and to ride the
king's horse - because it was not fitting to ride on the king's horse and to
wear his robes in the state that he was in; that he needed first to have his
hair cut and to take a bath.
(b) Esther (who presumably knew what was going on through Ru'ach ha'Kodesh)
effectively forced Haman to bathe Mordechai and cut his hair (like a slave to
a master) - by ordering all the barbers and the bath-houses to be shut.
(c) When Haman complained how undignified it was for a prime-minister to act
as a barber and a bath-attendant - Mordechai reminded him of the twenty-two
years he had spent as the barber of Kfar Kartzum.
(d) When Mordechai declared himself incapable of mounting the horse, due to
the weakness caused by his three day fast - Haman was forced to bend down for
Mordechai to climb on. But in the process of climbing, he gave him a kick.
(a) When Mordechai kicked him - Haman complained that Mordechai had
contravened the Pasuk in Mishlei "bi'N'fol Oyivcha al Mismatch".
(b) Mordechai replied that - that Pasuk was confined to a Jewish enemy, but
as far as he (Haman) was concerned, the Pasuk says in ve'Zos ha'B'rachah
"va'Atah al Bamoseimo Sidroch".
(a) Haman's daughter made the mistake - of confusing who was leading whom.
She thought that it was Mordechai leading Haman. So she emptied her sewage on
to the man she took to be Mordechai.
(b) When the Pasuk writes ...
1. ... "va'Yashav Mordechai el Sha'ar ha'Melech" - it means that he returned
to his sackcloth and his fasting (the great honor just afforded him did not
go to his head).
(c) The Pasuk first refers to his family as "Ohavav", and then as "Chachamav"
- because Rebbi Yochanan has taught that even a Nochri who makes a wise
statement is called a Chacham.
2. .... "ve'Haman Nidchaf el Beiso *Aveil ve'Chafuy Rosh*" - it means that he
was in mourning for his daughter (who, when she realized her mistake,
committed suicide by jumping off the roof), and covered with the sewage which
she had poured on him.
(d) When they told Haman ...
1. ... "Im mi'Zera ha'Yehudim ... " - they meant that if Mordechai hails from
any of the other tribes (besides Binyamin, Ephrayim or Menasheh), then he
will be able to overcome him; but not if he is from one of those three (due
to Pesukim in va'Yechi and Tehilim which accredits them with invincibility).
Note: It is unclear how the words "mi'Zera ha'Yehudim" indicate those three
tribes in particular.
2. ... "Ki Nafol Tipol Lefanav" - they meant to say that Yisrael are compared
to the dust, and they are compared to the stars. When they begin to fall,
they fall to the bottom, but once they begin to rise, they rise to the top.
1. "ve'Sarisei ha'Melech Higi'u *va'Yavhilu le'Havi es Haman*" means - that
they rushed him off to the Esther's party without the least respect (even
though he was the Prime Minister - because of the Pasuk in Koheles "Ein
Shilton be'Yom ha'Maves").
The author of most of the Sugyos for close to an Amud is Rebbi Elazar, many
of them quoted by Rebbi Binyamin bar Yefes.
2. "Ki Ein ha'Tzar Shoveh be'Nezek ha'Melech" means - that Haman cares not in
the least for the king's well-being. He became angry with Vashti, and had her
killed, and now, said Esther, he was angry with her, and wanted to have her
3. The double expression "va'Yomer ha'Melech Achashverosh, va'Yomer le'Esther
ha'Malkah" means - that until now, not knowing who Esther was, Achashverosh
would only speak to her through an interpreter. But now, when she divulged
that was a descendant of royalty (King Shaul), he began to speak to her
(b) When Esther said "*Ish Tzar ve'Oyev* Haman ha'Ra ha'Zeh" - she had in
mind to accuse Achashverosh himself of plotting to kill the Jews (but an
angel came and turned her extended finger from Achashverosh to Haman). Note:
Exactly what Esther hoped to gain from this is unclear (unless she was
relying completely on Hashem to take matters in hand).
(c) We learn from ...
1. ... the two Pesukim "*ve'ha'Melech* Kam ba'Chamaso", and "*ve'ha'Melech*
Shav mi'Ginas ha'Bisan" - that just as Achashverosh arose from the table in
anger, so too, did he return from the garden in anger; because when he
arrived in the tree-garden he found angels cutting down trees, who explained
that they were doing so on the instructions of Haman (possibly a hint to the
Tzadikim of K'lal Yisrael, who are compared to trees).
(d) Charvonah - was originally part of Haman's plot. When he saw that things
were turning against Haman, he decided to change sides, in order to save his
own skin. So he informed Achashverosh of the tree that Haman had prepared to
2. ... "ve'Haman Nofeil" (when it should really have written "ve'Haman
Nafal") - that he kept on falling, because, whenever he tried to get up, an
angel came and pushed him down.
(a) Some explain that the Pasuk writes "va'Chamas ha'Melech Shachachah" (with
two Chafs), to inform us that both the anger of Hashem and that of
Achashverosh died down - others explain that Achashverosh's anger died down,
both from what Haman had done to Vashti, and from what he had planned to do
(b) The problem with the fact that Yosef gave Binyamin five sets of clothing,
and the other brothers only one - is how it is possible that Yosef, who
suffered so badly on account of the jealousy caused by his father's favoring
him, should now make the same mistake.
(c) We answer - that he was merely hinting at the five kinds of royal robes
that Mordechai (a descendant of Binyamin) would wear in Shushan when he was
appointed Prime Minister. Note: The Gra explains that in fact, the value of
the five sets of clothing that Yosef gave Binyamin, was equivalent to the one
set that he gave to each of the brothers.
(a) Yosef and Binyamin fell around each other's neck and wept - Yosef,
because of the two Batei Mikdash that would be built in Binyamin's portion of
land and destroyed, and Binyamin, because of the Mishkan that would be built
in Shiloh, in Yosef's portion of land, and would be destroyed.
(b) When Yosef said to his brothers "ve'Hinei Einechem Ro'os *ve'Einei Achi
Binyamin* Ki Fi ha'Medaber Aleichem" - he mentioned Binyamin specifically to
point out to them that in the same way as he bore Binyamin no grudge (because
he had no reason to), so too, did he not bear them a grudge either.
(c) Yosef sent his father "Asarah Chamorim Nos'im mi'Tuv Mitzrayim".
"mi'Tuv Mitzrayim" - refers to old wine, which is popular with old men
(because it is the one food that improves with age).
(a) We cannot learn from the Pasuk "Va'Yeilchu Gam Echav va'Yiplu Lefanav"
that one bows down even to a fox, when his day arrives - because why would
the Pasuk refer to Yosef as a fox, seeing as his brothers were not superior
(b) We learn it - from Ya'akov Avinu, by whom it is written (also in Vayechi)
"va'Yishtachu Yisrael al Rosh ha'Mitah", even though there is no question
that he was greater than Yosef.
(c) When Yosef spoke to his brothers, the Torah writes "va'Yanchem Osam
va'Yedaber al Libam". He convinced them that he was not bent on revenge -
through a 'Kal va'Chomer': if *ten* candles, he said, were unable to
extinguish *one* candle, then how could *one* candle extinguish *ten*?
(a) The Pasuk says "la'Yehudim Haysah Orah, ve'Simchah, ve'Sason vi'Yekar".
In this context ...
(b) They are mentioned here - because Haman issued a decree, forbidding all
of them. So when they emerged victorious, they were free once more to
- ... "Orah" means - Torah.
- ... "Simchah" - Yom-Tov.
- ... "Sason" - Bris Milah.
- ... "Yekar" - Tefilin.
(c) The Ba'al Korei reads the ten sons of Haman and the word "Aseres" in one
breath - to indicate that they all died at the same moment.
(d) The 'Vav' of Vayezasa is written long 'like a barge-pole' - to indicate
that they were all hanged on the same tree (one below the other).
(a) On the one hand, most Shiros are written like the bricks of a wall, two
small bricks on top of one large one and vice-versa (i.e. writing on top of
an empty space, and an empty space on top of writing - on the other hand, the
sons of Haman and the kings of Cana'an are written writing on top of writing
and space on top of space.
(b) This is to indicate that the sons of Haman and the kings of Cana'an were
not stable and would fall easily.
(a) What causes Rebbi Avahu to say that an angel came and slapped
Achashverosh on the mouth - is the fact that the Pasuk begins by Achashverosh
informing Esther how many Persians died in Shushan (which would appear to be
a complaint), and ends with his promise to give Esther whatever she wanted
Something quite drastic must have happened to make him change his tune in the
middle of a sentence.
(b) "u've'Vo'ah Lifnei ha'Melech Amar im ha'Seifer". It is Esther - asking
the king for permission to read the Megilah annually.
(c) From the fact that the Pasuk writes (with regard to the Megilah) "Divrei
Shalom *ve'Emes*" - we learn that the Megilah requires Sirtut (lines
scratched on the parchment, underneath which one writes), just like a Seifer-
(d) Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "u'Ma'amar Esther Kiyam Divrei ha'Purim
ha'Eileh" - to say that it was Esther's words, in addition to (not to the
exclusion of) the fasts, which caused Purim to come into being.
(a) Mordechai was not accepted by a minority of the Sanhedrin - because he
left the Beis-Hamedrash in order to become involved with matters of
(b) The Pasuk itself seems to corroborate their opinion - because, when
Mordechai returned to Yerushalayim in the time of Koresh the first, he is
listed *fourth*, whereas when he returned the second time, in the time of
Daryavesh the second (after he had assumed the role of a leader), he is
(c) We learn that learning Torah takes precedence over ...
1. ... the building of the Beis Hamikdash - from Ezra; because as long as his
Rebbe Baruch ben Neri'ah, was alive, he remained in Bavel, even though this
meant that he would not be able to participate in the building of the Beis
Hamikdash, which was taking place at the time.
2. ... Kibud Av va'Eim - from Ya'akov Avinu, who was punished (by losing his
son Yosef for twenty-two years) for the twenty-two years that he was away
from his parents, but not for the fourteen years that he spent in the
Yeshivah of Shem and Eiver, as we shall now see.