Esther 4:6, Question 1. Why does the verse emphasize that Hasach encounters Mordechai on the “rechov?”

ו וַיֵּצֵא הֲתָךְ אֶלמָרְדֳּכָי אֶלרְחוֹב הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי שַׁעַרהַמֶּלֶךְ

6. And Hasach went out to Mordechai to the street of the city that was before the king’s gate.

  • According to the Alshich, the verse emphasizes that Hasach encounters Mordechai in the “rechov” because Hasach walked to Mordechai indirectly in order to seem like theirs was a casual meeting.
  • Similarly, Me’am Loez writes that they met in public to avoid spies and suspicion.
  • According to the Vilna Gaon, Hasach was asking Mordechai why he wasn’t embarrassed to weep here, out in public.
  • R’ Moshe Dovid Valle writes that the gematria of rechov (200+8+6+2) is 216, which is the same gematria as “gevurah” (3+2+6+200+5) (“strength”). He continues that the initial letters of the phrase in Tehillim (55:10) “rayisi chamas v‘riv b‘ir” also spell out rechov. This indicates a certain form of moral strength in publicizing one’s faith.