Esther 9:21, Question 3. Why does the verse stress that the holiday would be celebrated “every year and year?”

  • According to the Talmud Yerushalmi (Megillah 1:4), the verse stresses that the holiday would be celebrated “every year and year” to demonstrate that Purim will never be abolished, even in the time of Moshiach.
  • R’ Yaakov Emden points out that these days were already established as days of joy. After all, Moshe Rabbeinu was born on the seventh of Adar, so his bris (“circumcision”) should have been scheduled for the 14th. However, the Talmud (Sotah 12a) says that he was born circumcised, so he only required a symbolic pin-prick called hatafas dam bris (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 262:1 and 264:1), and this procedure is not held on a Shabbos (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 260:2 and 263:1). Therefore, Moshe’s bris was on the 15th of Adar.

Esther 2:5, Question 1. Why does the verse call Mordechai an “ish” (“man”)?

ה אִישׁ יְהוּדִי הָיָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה וּשְׁמוֹ מָרְדֳּכַי בֶּן יָאִיר בֶּןשִׁמְעִי בֶּןקִישׁ אִישׁ יְמִינִי

5. A Yehudi man was in Shushan the capitol, and his name was Mordechai son of Yair son of Shimi son of Kish, a Yimini man,

Since it would seem redundant to call Mordechai a man, the Midrash (Esther Rabbah 6:2) learns that the verse calls him an “ish” to relate Mordechai to Moshe Rabbeinu because he, too, was called “ish” in the Torah (Bamidbar 12:3). Both were great leaders of the Jews who save their generation, and represent the Oral Tradition that helps guide us through the Written Law. His being called an “ish” was thus a term of respect.