ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Megilah 13
MEGILAH 11-13 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.
(a) When Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi said (regarding Seifer Divrei ha'Yamim) that
all its words are one - he meant that the Seifer often tends to present a
list of names (as if they were all differnet people), who are really all one
and the same person.
(b) The Pasuk refers to Bisyah as 'Yehudiyah' - because she too (as we wrote
earlier about Mordechai), denied the idolatry of her father (Par'oh); since
Rebbi Yochanan explained the Pasuk in Sh'mos "va'Teired Bas Par'oh li'Rechotz
al ha'Ye'or" to mean that she went down to the river to cleanse herself from
the idolatry of her father's house.
(c) The Pasuk ascribes the birth of Moshe to Bisyah, despite the fact that
she only reared him - because whoever rears an orphan is considered as if he
had born him.
(a) Moshe was called 'Yered', because (through his merits) he brought down
the Man (or the Torah) for Yisrael; 'Gedor', because he repaired the breaches
of Yisrael. Chever, because he joined Yisrael with their Father in Heaven. He
was called ...
(b) The Pasuk actually calls him 'Avi Sochoh', 'Avi Yekusiel' and 'Avi
Zano'ach'; three times 'Avi' - because he was a father in Torah, a father in
wisdom and a father in prophecy.
- ... 'Sochoh' - because he shielded over K'lal Yisrael like a Sukah.
- ... 'Yekusiel' - because Yisrael hoped for Hashem in his days.
- ... 'Zano'ach' - because he caused Yisrael's sins to be removed.
(c) Kaleiv is called Mered - because he rebelled against the plan of the
(d) A fitting match for Bisyah who rebelled against the idolatry of her
(a) Rava learn from the Pasuk "Asher Haglah mi'Yerushalayim" - that Mordechai
volunteered to accompany Yechanyah into exile.
(b) If her real name was ...
1. ... Esther, the Pasuk also calls her Hadasah - because she was a Tzadekes,
and Tzadikim are referred to as Hadasim.
(c) According to Nechemyah, the Nochrim called her 'Esther' because she was
pretty like the moon. ben Azai explains that her real name was Esther, and
the Pasuk calls her Hadasah, because she was like a Hadas (a myrtle) -
inasmuch as she was neither too long nor too short, but exactly the right
2. ... Hadasah, why does the Pasuk also call her Esther - because she hid the
matters conceerning herself from Achashverosh (from the word 'Seiser' -
(d) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah explains that really Esther was green like a
myrtle - her beauty was not a natural one, but was the result of a 'thread of
grace' that Hashem placed on her.
(a) The Pasuk has already said that Esther had no father or mother. The
Pasuk nevertheless finds it necessary to add "u've'Mos Avihah ve'Imah" - to
teach us that her father died the moment she was conceived, and her mother,
the moment she was born.
(b) When the Pasuk writes "Lekachah Lo Mordechai le'Vas" - it means to say
"le'Bayis" (as a wife).
(c) Similarly, in the Mashal about the lamb that the Navi told David
ha'Melech where he said "and it (she) lay in his bosom and it was to him like
a daughter" - he obviously meant, not a daughter, but a wife (a hint to Bas
Sheva, who was Uri'ah ha'Chiti's wife - to whom the Mashal referred).
(d) Esther needed seven servant-girls - to keep track of the days of the
week, so that she would know when it was Shabbos.
(a) Hegai the valet looked after Esther and gave her only the best.
According to Rav, he served her Kasher food. Shmuel says he gave her cuts of
bacon (for which she was not punishable since it was outside her control).
(b) According to Rebbi Yochanan, he served her the same food as Daniel ate in
the royal court (many years earlier) - i.e. legumes, from which he
(miraculously) thrived (to become the healthiest-looking of all the
courtiers, even though *they* had eaten meat).
(c) For six months, the girls used 'Shemen ha'Mor'. Rebbi Chiya bar Aba says
that it is a certain oil called Sateches. According to Rav Huna, it is
synonymous with Shemen Anpiknun - olive-oil that has not yet grown one third
of its growth.
(d) This oil - removes body hair and makes the skin glow.
(a) "ba'Erev Hi Ba'ah, u'va'Boker Hi Shavah". Rebbi Yochanan said that from
Achashverosh's disgusting behavior we can learn something good (about him) -
that he never had relations with a woman by day (only at night).
(b) Rebbi Elazar explains the Pasuk which states that Esther found favor in
the eyes of all those who beheld her - to mean that everyone saw her as a
beauty from his country.
(c) The significance of the fact that Esther was taken to the palace in the
month of Teives - is that Teives is the coldest month, and consequently, the
month in which one body benefits the most from another.
(d) When the Pasuk writes that the King loved Esther "more than all the
women" and then switch to "more than all the virgins" - it is teaching us
that he found in her whatever pleasure he wanted; if he wanted the pleasures
of a married woman, then that is what he found, and if he wanted those of a
virgin, then he found that.
(a) The connection between the fact that the King made a party, freed all his
subjects from paying the head-tax and sent gifts to all the princes in
Esther's name - is that he did all of these things in an effort to tempt her
to divulge who she was.
(b) He then gathered the girls for a second time - Mordechai's idea. When
Achashverosh consulted him what to do with an errant wife who refuses to
speak, he advised him to gather all the girls to convey the impression that
he was planning to look for another wife. There is nothing, said Mordechai,
like jealousy to get a woman to talk (He did not, of course, tell the King
that it was he who had warned Esther to keep her mouth shut in the first
(a) Esther was a descendent of Rachel and of Shaul - all of whom knew how to
keep their mouths shut when necessary (which the Gemara refers to here
(b) Ya'akov informed Rachel that he was Lavan's equal in cunning - as David
ha'Melech would later write in Tehilim "Im Ikeish Tispatal" ('One may match
cunning with cunning').
(c) After Rachel warned him that Lavan would switch Le'ah for herself - he
gave her three Simanim (i.e. Nidah, Chalah and Hadlakas ha'Ner), which she
would have to repeat to him, when he asked her to (which Le'ach of course,
would be unable to).
(a) Ya'akov's plan misfired - when Rachel, worried about her sister's
imminent embarrassment, passed on the Simanim to her (in spite of the dire
consequences - as far as she was concerned).
(b) The reward (quoted in our Sugya) that Rachel receive for her 'Tzeni'us' -
was that King Shaul would descend from her, who inherited the Midah of
(c) We see Rachel's Midah of 'Tzeni'us' recur in Shaul - when he informed his
uncle about the episode with the lost donkeys, making no mention of the fact
that he had just been crowned first King of Yisrael?
(d) Shaul in turn, received the reward for his Tzeni'us that Esther descended
from him, who, inherited his ability to remain silent.
(a) Rebbi Elazar sas that - once G-d grants someone greatness - He grants it
to him and to his descendents.
(b) One might however, lose it - by becoming conceited.
(c) Even after, Esther was married to Achashverosh, she continued to do what
Mordechai had taught her - by showing her Dasm Nidah to the Chachamim.
(d) We explain the Pasuk "Ka'asher Haysah be'Amnah Ito" - that she would get
up from the bosom of Achashverosh, Tovel (so as not to disgust Mordechai) and
go into the bosom of Mordechai.
(a) When Rebbi Yochanan says that Hashem made ...
1. ... a master angry with his servants in order to do the will of a Tzadik -
he is referring to the chief butler and the chief baker, who incurred the
wrath of Par'oh, in order to fisrst cause people to stop talking about what
Yosef had done, and subsequently, to bring about his release from jail.
(b) Bigson and Teresh had it is for Achashverosh - for calling them at all
hours to serve him drinks (one of the tasks of the guards, it seems) to
quench his insatiable thirst (the result of the many hours he spent with
2. ... servants angry with their master in order to perform a miracle with a
Tzadik - he is referring to Bigson and Teresh, who became angry with the KIng
(as we shall now see), in order to get Mordechai inscribed in the annals of
(c) They planned to remain undetected - by one standing in for the other
whilst he went to put the plot into practice (though it did not help them,
since, once the plot reached the ears of the King, he made careful evquiries
and discovered that the wrong man was standing on guard).
(d) They spoke freely in front of Mordechai - because how could they have
possibly have known that that old man was a member of Sanhedrin, who was
obligated to understand every language (even the Tursian languauge in which
they were plotting).
(a) The Pasuk write after the episode with Bigson and Teresh "Achar
ha'Devarim he'Eileh Gidal ... es Haman", as if the two episodes were
connected - because they *are*! Since it is Hashem's way to create the cure
before dealing the stroke.
(b) This strategy is reserved for K'lal Yisrael only - and is not used vis-a-
vis the international community, whom He smites first, and, cures only
(c) Haman formulated his plan to kill the Jews in three stages - first to
kill Mordechai, then the Chachamim, and then the whole of Yisrael.
(d) Haman was delighted when the lots that he drew to kill the Jews fell out
in Adar - because that was the month in which Moshe Rabeinu died (so he took
it as a bad sign for the Jews). He did not know that it was also the month in
which Moshe was born!
(a) Rava branded Haman as a master in Lashon ha'Ra. Achashverosh was
initially reluctant to practice genocide agaist the Jews, because he was
afraid that he would suffer the same fate as various kings before him. Haman
1. ... answered him - that Yisrael had fallen asleep from the performance of
(b) And in anticipation of Achashverosh's question ...
2. ... answered him, when he said that there were Rabbanan (who had not
fallen asleep from performing Mitzvos) - that Yisrael were all one nation and
that the Rabbanan would suffer for the sins of the people (perhaps he meant
to say that they would get punished too, for failing to rebuke them).
1. ... that their destruction would leave a large empty patch in the kingdom
- he argued that this was not so, because they do not all live together, but
are spread out all over the kingdom.
(c) He complained that they did not eat their food or intermarry with them.
When he said "ve'es Dasei ha'Melech Einam Osim" - he meant that they always
saying - 'Today is Shabbos (so I can'y help you)!' or 'Today is Yom-Tov'!
2. ... that their productivity will be a great loss - he argued that they
were like a mule who does not produce fruit (can have no children).
(a) Haman offered Achashverosh 10,000 Kikar (30,000,000 Shekel) of silver
which Hashem preempted - by initiating the Mitzvah of half a Shekel in the
desert (see Tosfos 16a.). Chazal too, took their cue from hashem, and
instituted the public announcement reminding everyone to give his half-Shekel
(mi'de'Rabbanan) on the Rosh Chodesh Adar (before Purim).
(b) Achashverosh refused Haman's generous offer - because he hated the Jews
no less than Haman, and therefore needed no incentive.
(c) To demonstrate this, Chazal give the Mashal of two men, one of whom had a
mound of earth in his field (that he wanted to get rid of), the other, a
large hole in his field (that he wanted filled in). Each of them was willing
to pay whoever would supply him with the necessary service. One day they met,
and once they discovered the other's need, each one was only too happy to
supply the necessary service, free of charge.