י וַיָּסַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת–טַבַּעְתּוֹ מֵעַל יָדוֹ וַיִּתְּנָהּ לְהָמָן בֶּן–הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי צֹרֵר הַיְּהוּדִים
10. And the king removed his ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hamdasa the Aggagite, enemy of the Yehudim.
- According to M’nos HaLevi, the significance of Achashverosh giving Haman his ring is a sign that he consents to an agreement with Haman.
- The Midrash here (Esther Rabbah 7:20) that Achashverosh hates the Jews more than Haman. After all, “the custom of the world is for the buyer to give a pledge to the seller. But here, the seller [Achashverosh] is giving the pledge [the ring].”
- The Alshich writes therefore, that this giving of the ring is a legal transaction indicating an acceptance of Haman’s offer, an amount Haman is not likely to be carrying with him.
- The Megillas Sesarim writes the ring means Achashverosh is giving Haman full authority to do anything he likes.
- The Talmud (Megillah 14a) writes that the removal of the ring was stronger than forty prophets and seven prophetesses. None of them could encourage the Jews to repent as much as this one act. The Jews seemingly do not repent en mass until their very survival is threatened. R’ Mendel Weinbach says that this act is particularly frightening for the Jews because they know Achashverosh is capricious, and is famous for changing his mind. Once he gives authority to Haman, though, the Jews realize that they are in serious danger.
- The Bircas Chaim asks why, when Mordechai is elevated to Haman’s position (Esther 8:2), does Achashverosh immediately give Mordechai his ring? In contrast with Mordechai at that point, Achashverosh does not trust Haman. However, now that Haman is willing to give this great amount of silver to the government, Achashverosh is under the mistaken impression that he is patriotic.
- In Pachad Yitzchak, Rav Yitzchak Hutner wonders why the Talmud calls this incident the “removal of the ring” when it is Haman’s desire to kill the Jews which should be the focus. In response, he writes that whenever the descendants of Eisav or Yaakov prosper, the descendants of the other fall (see Rashi to Bereishis 25:23). Therefore, Achashverosh’s raising up of Haman necessitates a corresponding lessening of the Jews in the esteem of the king.