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Daniel seems to play a significant role in the Megila. The Medrash says that Memuchan was Daniel. It is also mentioned that Hasach was Daniel. Interesting to note is that the Gematria of Daniel and the Gematria of Haman are both 95. Why is Daniel's name never mentioned outright? Why was he incognito?

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  • I have never seen any medrash that identifies Memuchan as Daniel. Can you provide a source?
    – jake
    Mar 1, 2011 at 7:00
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    @R'yaavetz: Tosafos, M'gila 12b s.v. M'muchan.
    – msh210
    Mar 1, 2011 at 7:49
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    Just checked out my Megillas Esther. Turns out it's right in Targum Sheni.
    – jake
    Mar 1, 2011 at 18:05
  • He was also know as ששבזר because he lived through six challenges 'שש צרות'. Refer to Pesikta Rabbasi 6 - sefaria.org/…
    – Dov
    Aug 20, 2020 at 18:23

3 Answers 3

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In regard to Hasach, Rav in the gemara holds that Daniel is called Hasach because he was "disconnected" from his previous greatness in the royalty. The Maharal writes that the megilla does not call him Daniel outright to emphasize the evil of Achashverosh, in that a person like Haman was brought to greatness while Daniel was removed from his position of influence.

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Me'am Loez (citing Menos Halevi) says that the fact that they both equal 95 is exactly the reason why the name was changed, so as not to associate the tzaddik Daniel with the rasha Haman.

(I had incorrectly remembered it as Daniel himself deciding to do so. However, I see that Menos Halevi says שינו את שמו בהזכירו אותו במקום הרשע, which sounds like Mordechai and Esther made this change when they wrote the Megillah.)

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As far as a Hasach there are a few reasons why:

Megilla 15a brings two reasons:

  1. He was lit. 'cut down' from his high position as a senior minister in Achashveirosh's reign. (as mentioned above by @jake)

  2. Daniel was called Hasach because all the affairs of the kingdom were decided [nechtachin] by his word.

Also...

  1. In the Midrash Megillah in Otzar Midrashim here it notes that he was called חתך because he castrated (חתך) himself in the days of the evil Nevuchadnezzar along with Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Basically, the enemies of the Jewish people at the time falsely accused all four of them of consorting with the king's maidservants. Nevuchadnezzar was resultantly furious and summoned them for execution. They showed him the severed organs (sorry to be graphic!) and Nevuchadnezzar was very happy (he had a 'simcha gedola').

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