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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim: A Guest Post from Reb Anonymous Drush Guy

Here is something a commenter sent. I think it is very nice, and I hope you enjoy it.
Yasher Koach!

Who was the true hero of this miracle? The Megilla seems to indicate that the victory was won only by the combination of Mordechai and Esther. In what sense is that so? And why is Mordechai Hatzadik the only individual in Tanach whose lineage from both his mother's and father's side is mentioned?

Why was Esther such an essential figure? What was her specific contribution? For this we must understand that the battle is fought as much on a spiritual battleground as it is on a physical one. We can now rephrase the question: What gave Esther her spiritual domination over the power of Amalek?

Perhaps this is the answer.
The power of Amalek comes from Eisav. Eisav had one spiritual power above his brother Yakov– his almost perfect respect for his father. Esther was an orphan, raised without a mother or father. This, ironically, means that Esther was not weakened by an imperfect Kibud Av Ve’em. Even though Eisav's respect of parents was of greater than his Brother Yakov's, Esther was not at a disadvantage, as she never failed in any duty to her parents. Now: it may be true that she didn't have any imperfection in her mitzvas Kibbud, but oneis lav ke'mahn de'avid, being prevented from doing an act is not the same as having done it. But that is not the case here: Not only was she not weakened by imperfect Kibbud Av Ve'eim, one can assume that she wished, with all her heart, that she had parents she could honor, and Chazal tell us that Hashem deems one who wants to do a mitzvah but is unable to fulfill it as if that person has fulfilled the mitzvah. In theory, each of us wants to do proper Kibbud Av Ve'eim, but in real life, the Yeitzer Hora gets in the way. Esther, on the other hand, had only the pure desire to do the perfect Kibbud Av Ve'eim. So in a sense, her Kibbud Av was not only unflawed, it could be viewed as perfectly done.

Step two brings us to the second element– Mordechai. The original question has yet to be addressed: why the double lineage? Let us once again return to Eisav. His strong point was his profound respect and concern for his parents--except in one situation. This perfect son sent his own son Elifaz to kill Yakov. Where was his concern for his parents’ suffering here? Didn’t he care that the death of Yakov would be a terrible blow for Yitchak and Rivka? So perhaps we have found the fatal flaw in the merit of Amalek! But, unfortunately, we lost our advantage, because the Shvatim sold Yosef and told their father Yakov that Yosef had been killed. So it seems that once again, we are at a disadvantage. But–at the selling of Yosef, were all the brothers involved? No we have one individual that was untainted by this blemish, and that is Binyamin, who was not involved in the sale in any way, neither in the sale nor by instigating the sale by bearing tales to Yakov, as Yosef did.. The perfect pawn in our game of spiritual chess, he was not involved as he was not born and can not be held responsible.


If so, you might ask, Mordechai should only need a lineage to Binyamin. Why was the Yehuda lineage important too? Because there is another valid complaint against Klal Yisrael– our treatment of a certain Princess Timna, Amalek’s grandmother. Timna, a gentile, so much so wanted to be connected to Avraham's family, but she was rejected when she came to convert. In desperation for some connection, she went and became a concubine to Elifaz and said "better to be a maidservant amongst the children of Avraham (as Elifaz was his Grandchild) than a Princess among the other nations" Here again it seems we have a problem in our treatment of people trying to join Klal Yisroel. And that flaw is countered by the Yehuda linage. Shevet Yehuda is the model of behavior for accepting of Geirim! Yehuda married a Canaanite Giyores named Shua and then another Giyores named Tamar. Than later, his descendant Boaz married Rus, another convert. We have come full circle, and now we can see how both Mordechai and Esther, and Mordechai lineage from both Yehuda and Binyamin, were essential to the victory over Amalek.

Homer Bshem Omro Mevi Es Hageulah
דברי מהרי''א

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Written way Better but you left out
Homer Bshem Omro Mevi Es Hageulah
דברי מהרי''א

Barzilai said...

Done.

Anonymous said...

A question and an Addtion DID YOU SAY IT OVER?
and The Chida says that MEMEUCHAN IS GEMATRIAH YOSEF BECAUSE HE CAME TO BE MICHAPER ON MICHRAS YOSEF

Barzilai said...

No, I didn't, for two reasons. First, I was not in a matzav to say anything over. Second, although I enjoy reading cheshbon drush, as yours is, it's not my saying-over style.

Anonymous said...

I was not in a matzav to say anything over- KITOV LEV HAMELECH BYAYIN?

Barzilai said...

Exactly.
And what was left of my brain was too busy ripping some poor kid who was collecting for his yeshiva for not knowing the difference between a ruba de'isa kaman and de'lessa kaman.

Anonymous said...

NEBACH ON THE KID

Anonymous said...

I attempted to give over this wonderful Vort on Purim. I made sure to attribute it to you.

Barzilai said...

Thank you, both for the attribution and for letting me know.