The Megilla starts,


And it was in the days of Achasverosh





Why does the Megilla assume that the people listening are hard of hearing?

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3 Answers 3


The M'gila starts with the party of Achashverosh. The midrash explains that Achashverosh threw this party upon realizing (incorrectly) that the prophesied seventy years of exile were concluded and the bes hamikdash would no longer be built. He had items from the bes hamikdash taken out of storage, the midrash continues, and used at the party, to show his invitees there was no longer any bes hamikdash to worry about.

We know he invited Jews to the party: this is one reason the midrash gives for Haman's edict to destroy them. But obviously he did not invite all Jews. I propose that he invited those who would be most emotionally affected by the signs that there would be no bes hamikdash: the ones who would otherwise be building it. Taking his clue from the description of the building of the first bes hamikdash (M'lachim 7:14), Achashverosh invited

בן אשה אלמנה… ממטה נפתלי ואביו איש צרי חרש
the son of a widow from Naftali whose father was from Tzor. He was deaf.

It was he who said "Who?".


Just assumes that they are already after a few lechaims.


By the Chasidim it is not who it is he, so he is deaf, Achasverosh is deaf.

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