Esther 9:20, Question 1. What does Mordechai write?

כ וַיִּכְתֹּב מָרְדֳּכַי אֶתהַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים אֶלכָּלהַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָלמְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ הַקְּרוֹבִים וְהָרְחוֹקִים

20. And Mordechai wrote these things and sent books to all of the Yehudim in all of the states of King Achashverosh, the near and the far.

  • Malbim says that what Mordechai wrote were the details of what occurred, since he was concerned that Jews outside of Shushan knew very little about the miraculous success of the Jews of Shushan.
  • According to Rashi, what Mordechai wrote is the content of Megillas Esther, exactly as it appears today.
  • The Ibn Ezra wrote down the reason for the previously mentioned joy.
  • Pirkei d’Rebbe Eliezer writes that Mordechai wrote this down as the head of the Sanhedrin.
  • The Vilna Gaon explains that this means that he wrote the Halachic details of how to properly commemorate Purim, with what can and cannot be done on this day.
  • R’ Dovid Feinstein emphasizes that Mordechai is making the changes for the holiday that the Jews had accepted upon themselves spontaneously.
  • R’ Elisha Gallico notes that it is so important to remember the real source of Purim, there are two readings of Megillas Esther every Purim. This is why Moredechai did not make Purim an actual Yom Tov in order to allow the Jews to perform the other mitzvos of the day.
  • The Oznei Yehoshua notes that if we had Purim without its rules, we would end up having an empty, meaningless holiday. As it stands, Purim is the epitome of giving in the Jewish community.
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Esther 5:9, Question 1. Why does the verse stress that this occurred “that day?”

ט וַיֵּצֵא הָמָן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא שָׂמֵחַ וְטוֹב לֵב וְכִרְאוֹת הָמָן אֶתמָרְדֳּכַי בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹאקָם וְלֹאזָע מִמֶּנּוּ וַיִּמָּלֵא הָמָן עַלמָרְדֳּכַי חֵמָה

9. And Haman went out on that day happy and a good heart. And when Haman saw Mordechai in the gate of the king – and he did not rise and he did not stir from him – and Haman was filled with hate on Mordechai.

  • According to the Malbim, evil people are never totally satisfied, and the verse stresses that this occurred “that day” because it was the only time Haman thought he might finally be satiated.
  • In support of this idea, the Kol Sasson quotes a verse from Mishlei (13:25) that “the stomach of the wicked is lacking.” The very definition of wickedness is the desire to take without giving.