In Megillat Esther, Mordechai is described as an איש ימיני, a right-winger. Why does he feel it necessary to defend his political positions in his megillah?

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closed as off-topic by Double AA Mar 14 '17 at 22:02

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    I read that as he is a "Ish Yemeni" a man from Yemen. – Mike Mar 12 '17 at 11:54

You assume that this was written by Mordekhai. However, let's not forget that Hadassah co-authored it (cf. Ester 9:29, Megillah 19a). Hadassah could certainly be characterised as more left-leaning. Accordingly, it is unsurprising that she noted Mordekhai's right-leaning tendencies.


If the left wingers of his day were anything like the left wingers of our day, they would have been pushing to assimilate into the Persian society of their time. Like J Street nowadays, they complained that he should have bowed to Haman and not insisted on being religious. They also complained that he caused anti-Semitism by not surrendering to the cultural superstitions of their day.


Immediately preceding that he is described as a בן יאיר, a son of your ear. If so, you may have thought he's a socialist, as he wants your ear. Ka mashma lan איש ימיני. If so, what does בן יאיר mean? It must refer to the fact that he was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, and, as such, always had people's ears when he spoke.

  • Potentially stupid question - was there a "Sanhedrin-in-exile"during that time? Was it an impropetu or official "council of elders" or something else that handled Jewish relations with the Persian government? – Gary Mar 12 '17 at 17:26
  • @Gary Not sure. But we know he was in the Sanhedrin at least before the Galus, and that he was hanging around the palace gates where the judges would sit at the beginning of the story before being promoted by the end. – DonielF Mar 12 '17 at 17:40

It's pretty simple, actually.

He's a "right" winger, meaning that his politics and the way he did things were "right" meaning "correct". He was looking out for the king's best interests. (He saved the king's life, afterall.)

In contrast, Haman was wrong. By attempting to destroy the Jews, he would have severed a significant source of the king's income. He wasn't looking after the king's interest. He was wrong and, therefore got "LEFT" over on a tree.

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