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11

At the 2014 International Bible Contest for Adults (חידון התנ"ך הבינלאומי למבוגרים תשע"ה) televised finals1, celebrated grammarian2 Dr. Avshalom Kor (אבשלום קור) posed this question among a series of short vignettes about "Ma'oz Tzur" that he presented while the next contestant was getting into place. He answered that the 'ו' preceding "his possessions" is ...


11

The Talmud (Megillah 16a) states: וסריסי המלך הגיעו ויבהילו מלמד שהביאוהו בבהלה.‏ "The king’s chamberlains came, and they hastened" - This teaches that they brought him in disarray. On which Rashi (ibid.) comments: מלמד שהביאוהו בבהלה - ולא רחץ יפה מטינופו This teaches that they brought him in disarray - And he did not wash properly from ...


8

In Riv'vos Efrayim (volume 8 number 267), Rabbi Efrayim Greenblatt suggests that it may refer to Haman's slaves. (He also refers the reader to Or L'avraham on Rus, by Rabbi Avraham Gurewitz (spelling?), page 98; but I don't have a copy.)


8

According to Pirkei De'Rebbi Eliezer (Chapter 50), he got his wealth by looting all the treasure houses of the kings of Yehuda and the Kodshei Kedoshim (Holy of Holies): רבי פנחס אומר שני עשירים היו לפנים בעולם, קרח בישראל והמן בשושן . . שלקח כל אוצרות מלכי יהודה ואת כל אוצרות קדשי הקדשים


7

I discovered that the מגילת אסתר of the תורה שלֵמה has some answers: For פרמשתא, citing מדרש רבי עקיבא בן יוסף על אותיות קטנות:‎ פרמשתא, ש׳ ת׳ של פרמשתא קטנה, הסר פ׳ ור׳ וישאר שמתא.‏ This one is hard to translate and explain. So I'll leave it as is. For ויזתא: The Gemara in Megila (16b) says in the name of Rav Yochanan - the Vav of ויזתא needs ...


7

R' Rachmiel Zelcer in סימן יב of his נר למאה on פורים cites the צפנת פענח on מסכת סופרים: The name of Agag, king of Amalek, was in fact Hamdata. And "Agag" is actually the title for kings of Amalek. So why does the מגילה call Haman an Agagite (instead of Amalekite)? Since Sanherib mixed up all the nations, we can't be certain that any individual is in fact ...


7

The מהרש"א on that Gemara explains that Moshe having died on the 7th of Adar is something which could be worked out from Scriptures, as the Gemara works it out on Kiddushin 38a (it says they wept for Moshe for 30 days, then Yehoshua told them they had three days before crossing the Yarden, and they came through the Yarden on the 10th day of the 1st month, so ...


6

Haman is called an Agagite to link him directly to the failure of Saul to kill Agag before he could reproduce. Mordechai and Saul were both of the tribe of Benjamin and it is literarily significant that one Benjaminite avenges the failure of another. That is why it is specified that he is an Agagite and not a mere Amalekite. I have also heard that Mordechai ...


6

Sefer Ginzei Margoliyos in his Ginzei Nistaros on Megilas Esther ponders this and explains as follows. Haman could not control himself until the time of killing all the Jews as he was incensed by Mordechai's refusal to stand up for him. Haman's plan was to get other's to hang Mordechai thus it will remain a secret that he was the one behind this plot. My ...


5

Her name was אמתלאי בת עורבתי. ואמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב אמיה דאברהם אמתלאי בת כרנבו אמיה דהמן אמתלאי בת עורבתי וסימניך טמא טמא טהור טהור Bava Basra 91a See also my answer to What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?


5

You're mixing up one important point: the original decree was not overturned. Achashverosh says explicitly that it cannot be overturned (8:8). The second decree in Sivan merely gave the Jews the right of self-defense, to stand up and kill anyone who tries to attack them (8:11). Indeed when the day came the enemies tried to attack per the first decree and ...


5

The Rama 690:17 brings the Avduraham who brings the minhag(a minhag one should not make fun of) of banging during the megillah which initially started outside of reading the megillah(little children writing hamans name on a shoe and stomping). The Ben Ish Chai hilchos purim 10 brings the Yaavetz who quotes the minhag of his father to bang by Haman,but the ...


5

Haman and the King were the guests. However, as nobility there were servants and "members of the staff" there. The modern concepts of privacy did not exist in those days. Consider that a noble would be able to sit down without considering if a chair was there, because one would "miraculously" appear under him. Thus, Charvonah was standing there waiting to be ...


5

The midrashim I found don't mention her name, but it seems that her name is mentioned in some old Aramaic translations of Esther. I couldn't find one of these versions, but her name is mentioned as either "שבחטנות" (under "מדרשים") or "שכחטנת" (page 3, comment 20) or "שלחטוות" (page 4, comment 147).


5

Yes, the Manos Halevi brings what the actual Shtar said: אני המן בן המדתא מזרע אגג, שלח אותי מלך אחשורוש במלחמה על עיר הינדקא, ומנה אותי המלך על ששה רבוא אנשי הצבא, ונתן לי המלך צידה לפרנס אותם, וכן עשה למרדכי בן שמעי בן קיש משבט בנימין, ואני בזבזתי נכסי המלך ויצאו מתחת ידי, ולא היה בידי ממון לפרנס חיילי צבא המלך, הלכתי ללוות מן מרדכי בריבית, ואמר דאסור ...


4

The Malbim says that it wasn't about idolatry, but about a lack of fear for Haman -- Mordechai didn't rise out of fear for any consequence which is why this verse simply indicates that Haman was filled with anger, not anger at the Jews אין לו שום יראה ופחד במה שיודע כי בנפשו הוא The Ralbag says that Mordechai wasn't showing any respect at all ר״ל שלא ...


4

This idea that Haman was Jew comes from the Chasam Sofer who writes that he was an eved canani and was considerrd a Jew. The question is then asked how can Mordechai make him into a convert if he was an Amaleki (who are barred from becoming converts of Israel). The Netziv brings down that only in times of war there is a problem of converting Amalek,but this ...


4

Haman may have restrained himself because of Mordechai’s status as an adviser of the king. Yalkut Shimoni 1053 says that the position of Mordechai at the king's gate was personally requested by Esther to Achashverosh. If he killed Mordechai at that time, the anger of the King and the Queen would turn against him. The Ginzei Hamelech (quoted here) makes a ...


4

Short answer: "Jewish sources" do not come right out and specifically state which exact religion Ahasuerus and Haman followed. However, we can read the Jewish sources, and secular historical sources, (archeology, ancient texts, modern scholarship) to try to find the best answer implied by the Jewish sources. Dr. Chaim S. Heifetz, a modern day Orthodox ...


4

Malbim says on Esther 8:5 that Esther first tried to get the original decree canceled. יכתב להשיב – עתה פרטה עצתה הנ״ל בפרטות שישלח המלך רצים לקחת את הספרים החתומים שבהם כתוב מחשבת המן בחזרה, כי השרים אין יודעים עדיין מה כתוב בהן, ולא יהיה בזה בזיון אל המלך. Write to return - ... The king should send runners to take the signed decrees that had ...


3

Haman never said "the Jews"; he just said "some small people out there." Technically true ... but Achashverosh didn't think he meant that people. Malbim observes that Haman offered l'abdam -- "to make them go away." It could have been interpreted as a massive social education/assimilation effort, especially in the context of the verse -- "they act ...


3

The source is אגדת אסתר ה׃ט. See page 30. The text there is: אני המן האגגי עבדו של מרדכי היהודי שנמכרתי לו בככר לחם אחת


3

Ibn Ezra on Esther 8:7 and 8:8 explains that Achashverosh told Mordechai and Esther that he was unable to change the decree. What they could do is say that Haman changed the intent of the decree that the king told him to write. Instead of writing that the king said the Jews could kill their enemies on the 13th of Adar, haman wrote that the Jews would be ...


2

I was told the following by a Rebbe of mine (My Yiddish is sorely lacking, so can't verify it to be true, but why would he make this up?): In Europe, they made "hamantaschen" out of poppy, which in Yiddish is Mon. A pocket in Yiddish is a Tasch. Mon-Tasch, or plural Mon-taschen, (poppy pockets) were a popular purim snack. The similarity of Mon to Haman ...


2

I think that re-reading the Megila may actually suggest that Hamman DID wait till morning to go to the king. The king was unable to fall asleep and so they read to him the Book of Memories, but I think that between Pasuk ג' and ד' a few hours have passed and it was already the morning. The reasons I believe that this would seem the most reasonable answer are:...


2

Haman hated the Jewish people and yearned to wipe them out, but he doubted that Achashveirosh would agree. Therefore, he fooled Achashveirosh into issuing a decree to destroy the Jewish people. Haman said to Achashveirosh, “im al hamelech tov yikateiv le’avdam (3:9) — “If the King agrees, letters should be sent out to make slaves (לעבדם) out of the Jewish ...


2

I heard this explanation from my rav a few years ago. In Esther 7:4, Esther says: כי אין הצר שוה בנזק המלך The oppressor is not concerned with the damage to the king In other words, Esther is hinting that these people pay taxes to the king and in general contribute to the kingdom's economy. By destroying these people, the king will suffer ...


2

Rav Dr. Yonatan Grossman, associated with Yeshivas Har-Etzion/Herzog College as well as a professor at Bar-Ilan University, has developed a fascinating study of Megillas Esther. It is published in three forms, a series of written English Shiurim on Yeshivas Har-Etzion's VBM website, an English book entitled Esther: The Outer Narrative and the Hidden Reading, ...


2

Taame Haminhagim 579 says Sh'ne Luchos Hab'ris [circa 1600] indicates one should memorialize Ester's meal at the meal of the second day of Pesach, as that was the day Haman was hanged. He doesn't say how to memorialize it, but I guess Shoshanas Yaakov is one way to do it. Update: Thanks to Aba, who found the Sh'lah (in the hagaha on the linked-to page). ...


2

According to the Ezras Torah Luach, 5774 Edition, pp. 101-102: Rav Henkin noted that the Reading of the Megillah, both at night as well as in the morning, is an obligation incumbent upon every man and woman. Therefore, the reader must have a powerful voice that can be heard by everyone. He must read very precisely, without swallowing any words ...


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