Why is it important for David ha'Melech to mention this quality of Esther in
his prayer and to relate Achashverosh's love for her?
[I] Our Sages tell us that "Malchusa d'Ar'a k'Ein Malchusa d'Rakia" -- the
affairs of a corporal, earthly king is reflective of what is happening in
Shamayim, in the Kingship of Hashem. This theme is also expressed in the
Midrashim which say that when the word "ha'Melech" ("the King") is used in
Megilas Esther (referring, on a simple level, to King Achashverosh), it is
an allusion to the King of Kings, Hashem (Esther Raba 3:15).
Therefore, when David ha'Melech discusses the love that the king
Achashverosh had for Esther, he is alluding to the relationship between
Hashem and Keneses Yisrael, the Jewish people. Because of the deeds of
Esther during the time of Purim, the relationship of Hashem to the Jewish
people changed, and Hashem expressed His love for them in a way that showed
that He loved them with the same love as when they first became His people
at Matan Torah.
This love is the reciprocal love for Klal Yisrael, who are the "Ayeles
Ahavim" of Hashem. The Gemara in Eruvin (54b) derives from the verse,
"Ayeles Ahavim v'Ya'alas Chen" -- "a doe of love and a roe of grace"
(Mishlei 5:19) -- that Divrei Torah are compared to a doe, and just as a doe
is beloved to its mate as when they were first together, so, too, Divrei
Torah are precious and beloved to the person who learns them as if he were
learning them for the first time.
This theme sums up the miracle of Purim. The Jewish people renewed their
love for the Mitzvos as if they had received them for the first time. Hashem
reacted measure for measure and showed them that He loved them as much as
when they first became His people.
We may expand on this further as follows. Haman, when presenting to
Achashverosh his argument for destroying the Jews, claimed "Yeshno Am Echad"
-- "there exists a certain nation" (Esther 3:8). Chazal explain that Haman
was saying, "This certain nation is sleeping (Yeshno) from the Mitzvos"
(Megilah 13b). That is, the Jews' fulfillment of the Mitzvos had become so
heartless that Haman reasoned that his attempts to destroy them would be
successful, since their apathy towards the Mitzvos would forfeit any Divine
protection to which they might otherwise have been entitled. Hashem reacted
to their "sleepy" performance of the Mitzvos measure for measure by acting
as if He was sleeping and He did not show His presence to them. In fact,
according to Esther Raba (7:12) Haman claimed outright that Hashem was
"sleeping from protecting his people," and cites the verse (Tehilim 44:24),
"Arouse, why should You sleep, Hashem!" (Esther Raba 10:1)
Later in the Megilah, the verse says, "ba'Laylah ha'Hu Nadedah Sh'nas
ha'Melech" -- "on that night, the king's sleep was disturbed" (Esther 6:1).
The Midrash (ibid. 10:1) comments that this refers to Hashem's sleep.
Realizing the danger that faced them, the Jews did Teshuvah and they turned
to Hashem in fervent prayer and fasting. They aroused themselves from their
slumber, and in return Hashem aroused Himself from His slumber, so to speak.
"Va'Yikatz k'Yashen Hashem" -- "and Hashem woke up as one who sleeps"
(Tehilim 78:65, cited by Esther Raba 7:12). When the Jews repented with a
complete Teshuvah and they took upon themselves to fulfill the Torah as if
they were accepting it for the first time, as it says "Kiyemu v'Kiblu"
(Esther 9:27; Shabbos 88a), Hashem responded accordingly and treated the
Jews with a display of renewed love.
This explains why David ha'Melech refers to Esther as an Ayeles, symbolizing
that it was she who caused the relationship between Hashem and Klal Yisrael
to change so that they were beloved to each other as they were at first
[II] This theme is reflected in other elements of Purim. The Gemara (Megilah
7b) states that a person should become inebriated on Purim "Ad d'Lo Yada
Bein Baruch Mordechai l'Arur Haman." The REMA (OC 695:2) rules that it does
not mean that one should get drunk, but rather it means that one should
drink a little and then go to sleep. Perhaps the reason that a person should
fulfill the Halachah in this way is to commemorate what happened on Purim;
the Jews were "sleeping" and Hashem was acting as if He was asleep, and
through the miraculous events of Purim, the Jews were inspired to do
Teshuvah and they awoke from their slumber, becoming worthy of Hashem
awaking from His slumber, so to speak.
In addition, the Gemara (Megilah 10b) says that Mordechai's name comes from
the words "Mor Dror" (or "Mor Dachi" in Aramaic) which was the first of the
Besamim used in the Shemen ha'Mishchah and the Ketores (Shemos 30:23). This
alludes to the fact that one of Mordechai's talents was arousing people to
renew their love of Hashem. Just like the aroma of the Besamim which went
into the Ketores was always stimulating and no one could ever become bored
of the smell, so, too, Mordechai aroused the people to a level of love of
Hashem that never becomes dull.
This quality of Ketores is hinted to in the Mishnah (Yoma 26a) which says
"Chadashim la'Ketores" (which literally means that only new Kohanim who had
never brought the Ketores could participate in the Payis for the Ketores). A
characteristic of the aromatic Ketores is that its sweet smell arouses
people to renew their love of Hashem. Perhaps partly in order to take
advantage of this point, it was instituted that only new Kohanim could bring
the Ketores, in order that the Mitzvah be done with even greater zeal and
Like Esther, the Ayeles, Mordechai shared the quality of being able to bring
his people to renew their love for Hashem and His Torah.