Esther 4:7, Question 3. Why does the verse emphasize that Haman promised money to the treasuries?

  • Rav Hirsch (Collected Writings, Volume II, 404) writes that Mordechai mentions that Haman promised money to the treasuries to emphasize to Esther that, even though Achashverosh refused Haman’s bribe, Achashverosh still had a low character. This is clear from the very fact that Haman felt comfortable enough to even make such an offer, expecting Achashverosh to take it.
  • On the level of drush, hint, R’ Avraham of Slonim notes that this verse alludes to the idea that each and every Jew is treasured before their Creator. He derives this hint from the fact that following the words “ginzei hamelech,” (“the king’s treasuries”), is the word “Yehudim.” In other words, the most precious object in the treasuries of the King of kings are the Yehudim.

Esther 2:12, Question 2. Why is the “kadma v’azla” cantillation mark used for the words “nara v’nara” as opposed to the “munach” cantillation mark used for Esther in a few verses (2:15)?

The M’nos HaLevi and the Vilna Gaon write that the “kadma v’azla” cantillation mark is used for the words “nara v’nara” (“young woman and young woman”) because the literal translation of “kadma v’azla” is “coming and going.” In other words, these women were coming and going, or bustling about in their eagerness to become the future queen, as can be seen from their use of witchcraft and subterfuge (as we said before). After all, Rav Hirsch points out that the word “tor” (“turn”) indicates arriving at a point in life when something momentous is supposed to happen. These contestants were motivated to gain all of the benefits of royalty from this one event. This stands in stark contrast to the cantillation mark used for Esther in a few verses (2:15), which discusses Esther’s coming to the king. There, the verse uses the “munach” cantillation mark since it means “rest,” which implies Esther did not stir as she was reluctant to become the future queen of Persia.