Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Queen Esther's Strategy


"The sages taught: Why did Esther invite Haman to her meal with Achashverosh?

"R' Eliezer: She planted a trap for him, as it is written (Psalms 69), 'May your table be a trap before them.'

"R' Yehoshua: While in her father's household, she learned that it is written, 'If your enemy hungers, give him bread.'

"R' Meir: So that Haman wouldn't consult his advisors and plot a rebellion against Achashverosh (as he would think everything was fine).

"R' Yehudah: So they shouldn't realize she was Jewish.

"R' Nechemiah: So the Jews wouldn't rely on having a sister of theirs in the palace, and stop praying to Gd for mercy.

"R' Yosi: So that Haman would be before her (in the presence of the king, and she could make him stumble).

"R' Shimon ben Minasya: Perhaps Gd would see the depths to which she had to stoop, and have mercy and perform a miracle.

"R' Yehoshua ben Karcha: I'll be friendly to him before the king, and the king will kill both of us.

"Rabban Gamliel: Achashverosh was whimsical (and might change his mind if it would take time to carry out his decree).

"Rabban Gamliel said: We still require the words of Moda'i, as it is taught: R' Eliezer haModai said: To cause jealousy of Haman from both the King and his other officers.

"Rabbah said: It is written (Proverbs 16), 'Arrogance comes before one is broken.'

"Abayye and Rava said: It is written (Jeremiah 51), 'In anger I will set their feasts (punishment will come at their feasts).'

"Rabbah bar Avuha encountered Eliyahu (the Prophet), and asked: Which explanation is the one which Esther saw, which motivated her to do this?

"He replied: Esther saw all of the rationales of these various sages."

(Talmud, Megilah 15b)

Have a great day,

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