I've heard that the role of taxi dispatcher (מְשַׁלֵּחַ מוֹנִיּוֹת) is an important one on Purim, but I don't have details.

  1. Why is a taxi dispatcher so important on Purim?
  2. What special role does the taxi dispatcher play on Purim?

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  • 1
    Halachically it only reaches its full importance if Purim falls out on Shabbat and one has to travel in a Car-melit. – rosends Feb 26 '17 at 0:01

The מְשַׁלֵּחַ מוֹנִיּוֹת is an extremely important character in the megilla story itself. However, as is the practice of the megilla the most important characters are not named specifically. If you pay close enough attention to the words, though, it's completely clear what's going on.

Of course, in the times of the megilla, the taxi dispatcher wasn't in charge of a bunch of cars... Such things didn't exist. When you needed to travel, you rode a horse and the taxis of the time were horses for rent. Now, the taxi dispatcher was a friend of the Jews. That's why when Achashverosh originally sent out his decree to kill all the Jews, the taxi dispatcher refused to send the horses out carrying such an evil decree. The messages had to be taken on foot:

הָרָצִים יָצְאוּ דְחוּפִים

The runners went out in haste

Esther 3:15

On the other hand, when Achashverosh realized what an evil man Haman was, he sent out another message allowing the Jews to defend themselves and in this case, the taxi dispatcher was happy to send out the horses:

וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים בַּסּוּסִים רֹכְבֵי הָרֶכֶשׁ, הָאֲחַשְׁתְּרָנִים--בְּנֵי, הָרַמָּכִים

and sent letters by posts on horseback, riding on swift steeds that were used in the king's service, bred of the stud

Esther 8:10


My answer may be a bit "localized", so take this within its context.

In a number of major cities in U.S., there is a cab comapny called "Uber". You have to download the Uber app to your smartphone, and you order the cab via your app. The point is, there is no cab dispatcher for Uber.

If you read the Megillah carefully, there is a discouragement to use Uber on Purim, as we see in Esther 9:27:

קימו וקבלו היהודים עליהם .... ולא יעבר

They accepted this upon them and not (to use) Uber

Well, if they can't use Uber on Purim, then they have to use a cab that has been dispatched to them. Hence, the need for the dispatcher.

  • Uber is all over the world. Not just the US – Daniel Feb 26 '17 at 3:14
  • @Daniel Thanks. I wasn't sure. B"N, next time I'm in Canada, I'll ask for Ubereh? – DanF Feb 26 '17 at 3:40
  • What about Lyft? Or Curb? – DonielF Mar 6 '17 at 17:20
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    @DonielF I wouldn't know. The verse that I cited, is specific to Uber. – DanF Mar 6 '17 at 18:16

I think the important role he plays is keeping drunk drivers off the street. And even though this is accomplished mainly through the drivers, the dispatcher sent them, and shliach shel adam kimoso, when one sends an agent it is considered as if he did it himself.

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    I think you mean Shlucho Shel Adam KeMotor, sending a messenger is like being a vehicle itself. – Double AA Feb 26 '17 at 0:59
  • That has the making for its own purim question. Or maybe why a messenger of a person is like his death? – user6591 Feb 26 '17 at 1:02

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