The Talmud (Megillah 11a) teaches that the word “hamolech” indicates that Achashverosh was a self-made king. There is discussion as to whether or not this can be seen as a positive or negative indicator of his character. In other words, he is either a “rags to riches” hero or an upstart who didn’t deserve his position. The question remains: why does the present tense indicate that Achashverosh was self-made? Malbim writes that the use of present tense is due to Achashverosh’s rule occuring so fast, starting from when he was a mere commoner. It happened so fast, that nobody remembered which land he conquered first – they only knew that he rules now.
I would like to dedicate this blog today to the memory of Avraham Baruch ben Mordechai (Abe Sonabend) on his yahrzeit today (5 Kislev). He was a great man, a Holocaust survivor, and the memory of his firm handshake reminds me to never give up, and to dream big.