Esther 2:21, Question 2. Why does the verse repeat that Mordechai was “sitting at the king’s gate” as in 2:19?

  • The Me’am Loez writes that Mordechai’s sitting at the king’s gate meant that he resigned from his position with the Sanhedrin. He became involved with the government instead in order to thwart any possible anti-Jewish decrees. The Rabbis were critical of this decision as we shall see, with H-Shem’s Help, when we get to 10:3 at the end of Megillas Esther.
  • According to the Malbim, this again indicates the hand of the Divine in the Purim story, as Mordechai’s being at the king’s gate gave him the ability to uncover the plot.

Esther 2:11, Question 1. Why does the verse use the phrase “day and day?”

יא וּבְכָליוֹם וָיוֹם מָרְדֳּכַי מִתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי חֲצַר בֵּיתהַנָּשִׁים לָדַעַת אֶתשְׁלוֹם אֶסְתֵּר וּמַהיֵּעָשֶׂה בָּהּ

11. And every day and day, Mordechai would be walking in front of the courtyard of the house of women to know the condition of Esther and what was done with her.

  • The Midrash (Esther Rabbah 6:8) says that Mordechai’s caring for Esther merited his later caring for the entire Jewish nation, as the last verse in Megillas Esther (10:3) says “he sought the good of the entire nation, and found peace for all his offspring.”
  • According to Sfas Emes, the phrase “day and day” means that Mordechai checked on Esther consistently, daily. The mark of a true “tzaddik” (“righteous person”), as we said before, is consistency. Mordechai’s constant care for Esther merited his participation in the Purim miracle. The Tarlaz notes that Megillas Esther uses the same language of “yom v’yom” (“day and day”) again later (3:4) when Mordechai refuses to bow to Haman, again, consistently.