Esther 2:6, Question 1. Why does the verse specify that Mordechai was exiled if the entire Jewish people were?

ו אֲשֶׁר הָגְלָה מִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִםהַגֹּלָה אֲשֶׁר הָגְלְתָה עִם יְכָנְיָה מֶלֶךְיְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר הֶגְלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל

6. who exiled himself from Yerushalayim with the exiles who were exiled with Yechanya king of Judah who was exiled by Nebuchadnetzer, king of Bavel.

  • Melachim 2 (24:16) records that the Babylonians exiled 1000 Jewish scholars to be advisers for their royals. By doing so, they not only garnered wise advice, but taking away the scholars from the Jews also threatened to break Judaism. The Talmud in Makkos (23b-24a) tells us that the gematria of Torah (400+6+200+5) is 611, which are the total number of mitzvos (613) minus the additional two that we have from rabbinic authority. Torah is incomplete without the rabbis. As the Maharitz Dushinsky writes, “The land of Israel without Torah is like a body without a soul.”
  • The Tiferes Shlomo mentions that Mordechai anguished over the destruction of the Jewish homeland and spiritual center. As the Talmud (Megillah 13a) reports, he exiled himself. He learned this from our forefather Yaakov, who went down to Egypt (Bireishis 46:6) even before his descendants were exiled there in order to prepare for their spiritual growth by planting cedar saplings they would later use to build the Mishkan in the desert (Rashi to Shemos 25:5).
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