Esther 9:1, Question 4. Why does the verse mention both enemies and adversaries?

  • The Rishon L’Tzion suggests from a verse in the Torah (Shemos 17:16) that enemies always means the nation of Amalek.

  • The Vilna Gaon says that an oyev (“enemy”) is someone who wants to commit harm, whereas a soneh (“hater”) is someone who rejoices in others’ misfortune and harm. In this case, the redemption was so complete, that both were attacked.

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Esther 1:8, Question 2. Why was there no force used in Achashverosh’s party, and why is this mentioned?

  • The Talmud (Megillah 12a) informs us that Haman and Achashverosh made the party for the express purpose of causing immorality there. If Jews sin through coercion, they are not held liable in the Heavenly court. On the other hand, if they (Heaven forfend) succumb without force, they become fully responsible for their actions.
  • The Malbim adds that, since there were so many cups at the feast, everybody had their own, and did not have to share. As such, no guests were forced to hurry with their drinks.
  • The Ohr HaChaim, in his Rishon L’Tzion adds that Achashverosh put the most delicious non-kosher cuisine before the Jews, hoping they will sin on their own. His ultimate goal would have been to strengthen his kingdom by restraining the Jews from rebuilding their own.