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The Statement: Megilas Esther 1:1 "Sheva Ve-esreem Umeah Medinah"
Achashveirosh ruled over one hundred and twenty seven countries.
The Rule: When the Torah mentions a number over a hundred the Taam is in the pattern of a Mesharays then a Taam Mafsik. For example in Shmos 6:16 Sheva Usheloshim Umeas Shana (one hundred and thirty seven years) the Taamim are as follows: first a Darga under Sheva. The following word Usheloshim has a Tevir which is a Taam Mafsik. Similarly in Shmos 6:18 and 6:20, the pattern is a Mesharays followed by a Taam that is a Mafsik.
The Problem: In Megilas Esther the words Sheva Ve-esreem Umeah Medinah do not follow this pattern. In this instance the first Taam is a Mafsik a Tevir under Sheva followed by a Marecha Tipcha combination under Ve-esreem Umeah. Why do these words which are similar to the cases in Shmos no follow the pattern of Mesharays then Mafsik?
The Solution: The Gemorah in Meseches Megillah 11A describes the kingdom of Achashveirosh. He first ruled over only seven countries then he increased his kingdom to rule over more countries. This is the reason for the Taam to be different than the standard Mesharays then Mafsik combination. In this instance the Megillah wishes to stress that there was a pause after the seven countries that they are were not merely part of the one hundred and twenty seven, for they were captured first and he ruled over them separately. He ruled over them independently until he captured all of the one hundred and twenty seven countries. Therefore the Megillah places a Taam Masfsik under the word Sheva, to tell us that these seven countries were ruled separately and apart from the others for some period of time.
Rabbi Mordecai Terebelo can be reached at MTEREBELO@juno.com
Rabbi Terebelo is Rav of Young Israel of Lawrenceville 5th-6th grade Rebbi at Bezalel Hebrew Day School of Lakewood NJ Member Kollel of Beth Medrash Govoha and Director of Partners in Torah Program of Lawrenceville NJ
Courtesy of JewishAmerica (www.JewishAmerica.com)
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