Esther 10:3, Question 7. What is the significance of this verse/word/letter being at the end of Megillas Esther?

  • R’ Meir Zlotowitz writes that Megillas Esther closes with an idyllic pictures of peace, stature, and security for the Jewish people.
  • Specifically, the Vilna Gaon notes that the book ends with peace because, as the last Mishna (Uktzin 3:12) concludes, peace is the greatest container of blessing.
  • The Rokeach notes that the first and last letters of Megillas Esther are both vuv, giving the total gematria 12. This alludes to the twelfth year of Achshverosh’s reign, when the Purim miracle occurred (Esther 3:17); the month of Adar, which is the twelfth month of the Jewish year; and the miracle occurring for the 12 tribes though Mordechai who came from Benyamin, the twelfth son of Yaakov.
  • Ginzei HaMelech notes that there are 166 verses in Megillas Esther, which is the same as the number of words in the verses in the Torah (Shemos 17:8-16 and Devorim 25:17-19) that deal with Amalek. In mispar katan, 166 can be broken down to 1+1+6, which is 13. This is the gematria of echad (“one”) (1+8+4=13) symbolizing the hidden presence all along of the holy One, although He remains unmentioned in the entire book. Ginzei HaMelech notes that 13 is also the mispar katan of both Mordechai (40+200+4+20+10=274=2+7+4=13) and Esther (1+60+400+200=661=6+6+1=13).
  • Nachal Eshkol points out that the gematria of the last word in Megillas Esther, zaro (“his seed”) (7+200+70+6=283) added to the first word vayehi (Esther 1:1) (“and it was”) (6+10+5+10=31) is the same as Mordechai HaYehudi (40+200+4+20+10+5+10+5+6+4+10=314), the prophet who authored this holy work.
  • Finally, R’ Eliezer of Garmiza points out that the gematria of these same words is the same as Sh-dai (300+4+10=314), the Name of H-Shem that implies His unlimited power. This demonstrates that we must pray to G-d to put an end to our troubles, and rescue us from this long exile, bimheira biyameinu.

O holy One

King of kings

I am forever grateful that

I approached Your hidden light

drunk with ignorance

ad d’lo yada

and You masked me with grace

parading me through the streets

on Shifrigaz

letting me merit to relate Your decrees

in messages, letters, and books

please replace Your seed’s disgrace

with salvation

zeh l’umas zeh

and judge our enemies

mida kineged mida

and soon return us to Your house

fifty amos wide

Esther 9:6, Question 2. Why does the verse use the singular word ish to describe the plural dead enemies?

  • The Yosef Lekach writes that the verse uses the word ish to indicate that the dead enemies were important people.
  • Similarly, the Targum explains that all of these 500 were Amalek dignitaries.
  • Rav Eliezer of Garmiza adds that Haman’s sons led the battles, and were therefore killed first.
  • On the other hand, Ma’amar Mordechai writes that his sons were not killed at this point. Rather, they were preserved for later (see Esther 9:7-9).
  • Megillas Sesarim writes that ish in in the singular because, despite their greatness, they were easily mowed down as if they were but one man.
  • The Rema in Machir Yayin writes that they are united in their deaths because they were united in one purpose.

Esther 8:4, Question 1. Why does Achashverosh extend his scepter?

ד וַיּוֹשֶׁט הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר אֵת שַׁרְבִט הַזָּהָב וַתָּקָם אֶסְתֵּר וַתַּעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ

4. And the king extended to Esther the golden scepter. And Esther arose and she stood before the king.

  •  According to M’nos HaLevi, Achashverosh’s act stands in contrast to before (Esther 5:2) where Achashverosh extends his scepter to give Esther permission to enter and extend forgiveness for her entering without being summoned.
  • The Alshich writes that this was simply a sign that Achashverosh was pleased with Esther.
  • The R’ Eliezer of Garmiza writes that this was his sign that Esther could rise and speak without fear.