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וַיַּעֲבֹר מָרְדֳּכָי וַיַּעַשׂ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוְּתָה עָלָיו אֶסְתֵּר׃

So Mordecai passed and did just as Esther had commanded him. (Ester 4.17)

Targum says (first):

וּנְסֵס וּכְנֵס מָרְדְכַי וַעֲבַר עַל חֶדְוַת חַגָא דְפִסְחָא וְצוֹמָא גְזַר וִיתֵב עַל קִטְמָא וַעֲבַד כְּכָל דִי פַקְדַת עֲלוֹי אֶסְתֵּר:

Rashi ad loc:

וַיַּעֲבֹר מָרְדְּכָי. עַל דָּת, לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בְּיוֹם טוֹב רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל פֶּסַח,

Mordechai passed. [he transgressed] the law by fasting on the first festive day of Pesach

My logic says exactly the opposite - the celebration of Pesach is the greatest testimony of G-d saving His people from the final solution, saving their bodies (unlike Chanukka) and intervening against their worst enemies. In the Aggadah, we say that in every generation our enemies raise against us and G-d saves us from them.

(This seems to fit Kaballically - Giluy Yesod Aba etc.)

Therefore, keeping Pesach and showing our Bitachon in Hashem seems to be a natural choice, especially acknowledging the fact that the decree was to be executed in 11 months!

A bonus point would be saying "זכר ליציאת מצריים" on Purim also!

Why didn't Mordechai and Ester consider this option?

  • 2
    This is sort of a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/87272/170 – msh210 Mar 23 at 22:58
  • @msh210 Nothing similar, my question is specifically about the similarity to Pesach, so it was logical to keep Pesach to be saved from the enemies and trust Hashem. However they did the opposite, they canceled Pesach - why? – Al Berko Mar 23 at 23:03
  • A taanis chalom is done even on shabbos. – Rafael Mar 29 at 1:19
  • @Rafael What Mitzvah DeOrayso does it break fasting on Shabbos? – Al Berko Mar 29 at 7:39
  • @AlBerko מקרא קודש according to the Ramban. See here – robev Mar 29 at 12:24
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This answer is not a "traditional" answer and not for the faint of heart, it follows what's called "דרך העבודה" in my Rabbi Moshe Luria's Z"L tradition (the idea is mine). The answer is trying to consolidate numerous phenomena found in our sources (and a lot of my questions) into one solid picture.

  1. Background info: Two luminaries were created and The Moon complained and was diminished and it only has the light that the Sun shines on it. So a יממה is divided into יום ולילה, day governed by the Sun and night governed by the Moon. So the Sun is metaphorically compared to Hashem and the Moon to Am Israel (see Birkas Halevonah). The same pattern is true for Jewish history, where some times are compared to the day and some to the night.

  2. Hashem's revelation (גילוי שכינה) (the daytime, בחי' ז"א) time spanned from the Exodus and through the first Temple, as long as there was the prophecy. When Binyomin met Yosef he cried on his neck(S) hinting on the destruction of the two Temples (M"R) and thus hinting on the fact that the "daytime" will not be permanent and the era of the nighttime (חושך, בחי ב"ז, מלכות) will follow the destruction of the first Temple. This is pronounced in the Tfilos ofShabbos when we say "בה" in the evening time, "בו" in the daytime and "בם" at Minchah".

  3. The Meggila says "קיימו וקבלו", Pirush, "started to observe what they received long time ago", hinting on the fact that the Jews did not accept the Oral Torah from Mt. Sinai to Purim, and indeed we don't see Chachamim and Halachic debates throughout all this time. The explanation for this would be simple - as long as there was the "Godly light" in the form of the prophecy, there was no use of the "human wisdom", in the words of the Gemmorah in Hulin "שרגא בטיהרא מאי מהני". In other words, Chachamim's wisdom would not be recognizable in the light of the prophecy.

  4. Ultimately, a new era of lights-out begun, and there weren't so much Chachamim (which explains my question "where-was-the-sanhedrin-in-purim"). So Mordechai and Ester were pretty much on their own when deciding on the continuation of Am Israel after Haman's decree. And there were two ways to resolve the Gzerah: Mordechai actually proposed to follow the "traditional way", to make use of Pesach to facilitate G-d's redemption, to observe it with great Kavanah and let G-d shine His lights to get His people out of trouble. But Ester thought differently.

  5. Ester learned from Moses that broke the Luchos, that the rebuilding of the nation from the aspect of the (the Moon - the Chachamim) can come only from the lowest point, of being cut off completely from Hashem (the New Moon - the total absence of light). To achieve that she offered not only to cancel Pesach with all the Kavonos, but to deliberately stop eating for 72 hours which is a certain "anti-Halachic" danger (see my other question "how-the-fast-was-allowed") and thus showing Hashem that כביכל we don't need His help, we can stand on our own.

  6. The claim was so powerful that Mordechai decided to follow it. And this is the main reason the whole Meggilah is called Ester after her "revolutionary" decision. And that's all - no miracles (as I asked here "what-miracle-occurred-on-purim"). The whole point of the decree was not to exterminate the nation (which is impossible) but to see if they are mature enough to begin the era of the light of the Chachamim - following their own decrees (בחי' לא בשמים היא), to be able to institute their own laws that directly contradict the Heavenly law (see R"E and the Sages in תנורו של עכנאי - that G-d admitted "נצחוני בניי").

  7. In continuation to that, they were able to build "their" Temple, the Temple where the 5 major attributes were missing and that was held by the people's unity (שנחרב על שנאת חינם) and not by G-d's will (like the first one).

  8. It should be noted that the change (from one Bechinah to another in #1) wasn't immediate, and Mordechai's general approach remained relevant through Bet Shammai and later by its followers like R"E and to some point R' Yehoshua for the whole period of the Second Temple. I would dare to claim that the Sadducees (and the current Karaites and Shomronim) were/are actually the followers of the First Temple tradition that did not accept the second Bechinah of Chahamim and their possible control over the Heavenly Torah and the changes they set in the Oral Law.


(for the Kabbalah lovers) I think that was the בחינה of נסירה and the following פב"פ which is articulated in Ester coming from the front of Achashverosh (answering my other question here) as נוק' which is fully grown and can stand as a separate entity (as in Adam story).


A personal request - this question offers a wide-angle view on the evens spanning thousands of years and behaviors of G-d and the whole nation in the tradition of "דרך העבודה". I am sure it is not widely known and accepted and even contradicts many mainstream commentators and Poskim. Please don't bother trying to focus on details and defy my theory with minute remarks.

  • 1
    There's a lot of jargon in this answer – robev Mar 29 at 12:26
  • @robev I don't understand what you're saying, sorry. – Al Berko Mar 31 at 14:15
  • 1
    Exactly how many people will feel when they read your answer. See here. – robev Mar 31 at 14:45
  • @robev Do you mean Hebrew terms? I have no idea of their translation. But the real problem is not with translation, it's with familiarity with those terms/ideas. For instance - ב"ז (spouse), Am Israel acting like Hashem's בן זוג - it is an idea (see Shir Hashirim) and one who's not familiar with that might not understand it at all.\ – Al Berko Mar 31 at 15:18

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