3

In the Megillah (Esther 9:7), the Torah lists the ten sons of Haman that were hanged. If we look at the words, we notice that some letters are written small.For example, the "tav" in the name Parshandata is written as a small tav.

Esther 9:7 from Sefaria.org

It is said about Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl that he said:

If this vav represents the sixth millennium of creation, and the other three smaller letters represent the years, the total is 5707; 5707 corresponds to the year 1946—the year that ten Nazis were hanged at the Nuremberg trials. Refer also to here.

Does anyone know where Rav Weissmandl said this? If he did not say this, are there sources (seforim, no newspapers) that discuss this exact idea?

3
  • I apologize for asking, but were the small letters used in editions of the Megillah prior to 1946?
    – JBH
    Commented Mar 17 at 4:46
  • @JBH I don’t know, but maybe someone found older editions of it?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 17 at 8:52
  • 4
    @JBH refer to here. As you can see in one of the pictures of that manuscript, the first name of the first son of Haman is written with a small "Tav". The manuscript of this megillas Esther is from around 1500.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 17 at 14:24

2 Answers 2

8

In Ish Chamudos (biography on the life of R' Michoel Ber Weissmandl, pg 282), this idea is quoted from R' Chaim Alexander Neiman, who claimed to hear it directly from R' Weissmandl.

Ish Chamudos part 1

The book quotes a number of further sources for the remez to gezeiras tach ve'tat. I have skipped to the relevant part:

Ish Chamudos part 2 Ish Chamudos part 3

It is clear from the footnote that this idea was R' Weissmandl's own.

enter image description here

R' Yosef Chaim Ohev Tzion cites this idea too, and adds:

enter image description here

1
  • Wonderful. Thank you very much.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:53
3

This idea from Rabbi Weissmandl does not appear in any of his writings.

According to this article, this claim is attributed to a variety of different people.

In a letter to the newspaper Shearim, April 12, 1967,[21] Aharon Goldberger noted that the list of Haman’s ten sons (Esth 9:7–9) contain three letters that according to tradition are written in smaller script: tav, shin, zayin, whose numeric value in gematria is 707 (400+300+7). This, he argued, is a hidden reference to the Jewish year (5)707, during which the execution of the ten Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg took place.

Goldberger writes that “unfortunately I do not remember who pointed this out to me.” While some attribute the teaching to R. Mordechai Schwab,[22] others to R. Aharon Rokeach[23] or R. Michael Ber Weissmandl,[24] the teaching is generally brought without any attribution.[25] The teaching gained prominence in the 1980s, with the publication of Nosson Munk’s article in the March 1986 issue of the American Orthodox magazine Jewish Observer as well as in two articles in the Israeli Charedi newspaper Yated Neʾeman (“The Faithful Peg”).[26]

See the footnotes in the article with expansive sources regarding the attribution to each of these Rabbanim - R' Mordechai Schwab, R' Aharon Rokeach, or Rav Weissmandl.

Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl (1903–1957) was famous both for his rescue efforts during the Holocaust, and his teachings based on what would be later be termed Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS), popularly known as “Bible codes.” For this attribution, see Alexander Firestein, Yalkut Divrei Assaf (Jerusalem: 2001), 46 [§16]; Moshe Menachem Ludmir, Yagdil Torah – Megillat Esther (Jerusalem: 2013), 75; R. Eliezer Ginzburg, Ginzei Hamelech on Megillat Esther (Brooklyn: 2000), 152, who says that “people say (אומרים)” it in the name of R. Weissmandl; Chaim Alexander Neiman, “Leika Midi d’Lo Remiza b’Orayta” [Wondrous Hints Regarding Events in the Holocaust Years], Or Yisrael 29 (Tishrei 5763/Sept 2002), 217. Yechiel Michel Stern, Otzar haYediot (Jerusalem, 2010), 2.172; Chaim Weissmandl, Ish Chanudot (Monsey: 2007), 281–282; Yosef Chaim Ohev Zion, Ata Baati (Jerusalem: 2014), 210. Notably, the Nuremberg teaching does not appear in any of R. Weissmandl’s writings, and was first attributed to him in 2002. Nevertheless, R. Chaim Alexander Neiman wrote that Weissmandl taught him the Purim Code directly, saying that it was his idea. While the Nuremberg teaching is not itself an example of ELS, it is often mentioned in the context of other “Bible codes,” and viewed as part of that genre. See for example Eran Ben Ezra, Sefer HaHochachot (Tel Aviv: 2014), pp. 126-130.

7
  • Interesting. I already linked to this page. So, can it be concluded that it is teaching unattributed? Is this teaching discussed in other sources?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:10
  • I couldn't open your link. I assumed it was the same article as this, which doesn't provide any sources.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:18
  • Yes, that seems to be the same, and from the same author.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:23
  • In which case my link was a different article. You may find some of the sources quoted interesting.
    – chortkov2
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:27
  • Yes, thanks. It is supposed to be in איש חמודות but I don't have that. Do you have any links or original texts that discuss it? I have trouble finding any of the mentioned seforim.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 16 at 19:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .