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The Gemara in Megillah 12a relates that the students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai asked him:

For what reason were the enemies of Jewish people, in that generation deserving of annihilation?

Rabbi Bentzion Sternfeld, rav of Bilsk is said to have explained what was so bad about the feast of Achashverosh. He explained:

The Jews wanted to attend the feast in order to get on good terms with the king and his ministers, and eventually ask him to reinstate the permission to return to Eretz Yisroel and build the Temple. Mordechai told them not to go, for the redemption must come from Hashem, not through political means. A few Jews disobeyed Mordechai, but their numbers were small enough that the entire people would not have been punished on their account. However, most of the Jews “had pleasure” in the fact that this small group of Jews went to the feast and made these political efforts. It is this pleasure that showed their lack of trust in Hashem’s deliverance, and this was the sin for which they deserved the decree of Haman.

It is attributed to Rabbi Sternfeld in Shaarei Tzion, Parshas Zachor Drush 4. Does anyone know this sefer and where to find this explanation?

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You can find whole piece on Hebrewbooks here

The pertinent passage begins here by the letter vav.

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  • Thanks Dov. One more question, would you maybe be able to provide an translation? That way I can try to understand better what he says ;)
    – Shmuel
    Mar 20 at 23:01
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    If I get some time - it's a busy time of year!
    – Dov
    Mar 20 at 23:03

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