The Gemara Megilla 7b writes

אָמַר רָבָא מִיחַיַּיב אִינִישׁ לְבַסּוֹמֵי בְּפוּרַיָּא עַד דְּלָא יָדַע בֵּין אָרוּר הָמָן לְבָרוּךְ מָרְדֳּכַי - Rava said: A person is obligated to become intoxicated with wine on Purim until he is so intoxicated that he does not know how to distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordecai.

Although it's understandable to see the good in what Haman did which inspired Klal Yisroel, how are we to understand why Mordechai would be considered cursed?

  • I am convinced we had a similar question a few years ago.
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 3:02
  • He's drunk... but a reason could be he caused Haman to want to kill all jews by not bowing down. Also at end of megilla he went down in Torah by getting involved in polotics.
    – Shlomy
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 4:14
  • @Shlomy It's a maamar Chazal, so it has some important level of understanding. My thinking is along your second point (politics), but was wondering if anyone says such an idea
    – NJM
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 4:37
  • 2
    I don't fully understand the question -- the superficial reading is that one is required to achieve a state in which he cannot tell the difference, or confuses two ideas, not that either of the ideas can be justified as reasonable. If I get drunk (or go to sleep) and can't distinguish between the correct and incorrect statements, that doesn't confer validity on the incorrect ones.
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 10:42
  • 1
    @rosends Hmmm, I was under the impression that this Gemara is saying this is the level one should reach in the sense that the weight of boruch mordechai and arur Mordechai are equal. Not just "get so drunk that..." rather an actual perspective change
    – NJM
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Why would Mordecai be considered cursed?

  • [Esther 9:3] because the fear of Mordekai had fallen upon them. כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־מָרְדֳּכַ֖י עֲלֵיהֶֽם | Mordecai became Haman, and was feared by all.

  • “Arur Haman" and "Baruch Mordechai" both = 502.

  • The Gemara Megilla 7b : Don't become drunk with power.

Rambam (Megillah v'Chanukah 2:15)

What is the nature of our obligation for this feast? A person should eat meat and prepare as attractive a feast as his means permit. He should drink wine until he becomes intoxicated and falls asleep in a stupor.

Similarly, a person is obligated to send two portions of meat, two other cooked dishes, or two other foods to a friend, as implied by Esther 9:22, "sending portions of food one to another" - i.e., two portions to one friend. Whoever sends portions to many friends is praiseworthy. If one does not have the means to send presents of food to a friend, one should exchange one's meal with him, each one sending the other what they had prepared for the Purim feast and in this way fulfill the mitzvah of sending presents of food to one's friends. ( כֵּיצַד חוֹבַת סְעֵדָּה זוֹ. שֶׁיֹּאכַל בָּשָׂר וִיתַקֵּן סְעֵדָּה נָאָה כְּפִי אֲשֶׁר תִּמְצָא יָדוֹ. וְשׁוֹתֶה יַיִן עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּכֵּר וְיֵרָדֵם בְּשִׁכְרוּתוֹ. וְכֵן חַיָּב אָדָם לִשְׁלֹחַ שְׁתֵּי מְנוֹת בָּשָׂר אוֹ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי תַּבְשִׁיל אוֹ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי אֳכָלִין לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (אסתר ט יט) "וּמִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ", שְׁתֵּי מָנוֹת לְאִישׁ אֶחָד. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה לִשְׁלֹחַ לְרֵעִים מְשֻׁבָּח. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ מַחֲלִיף עִם חֲבֵרוֹ זֶה שׁוֹלֵחַ לְזֶה סְעֵדָּתוֹ וְזֶה שׁוֹלֵחַ לְזֶה סְעֵדָּתוֹ כְּדֵי לְקַיֵּם וּמִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ )

[https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/952007/jewish/Megillah-vChanukah-Chapter-Two.htm ]

  • Wouldn't that be a good thing to have the nations of the world afraid of Klal Yisroel because of their fear of Mordechai? The arur Mordechai is from our perspective
    – NJM
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 3:31

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