Megillah, Daf Yod, Part 6



Today’s section continues with more "opening derashot" on the book of Esther.


רבי יהושע בן לוי פתח לה פיתחא להאי פרשתא מהכא: +דברים כ"ח+ והיה כאשר שש העליכם להיטיב אתכםכן ישיש להרע אתכם. ומי חדי הקדוש ברוך הוא במפלתן של רשעים? והא כתיב +דברי הימים בכ‘+ בצאת לפני החלוץ ואמרים הודו להכי לעולם חסדו, ואמר רבי יוחנן: מפני מה לא נאמר כי טוב בהודאה זולפי שאין הקדוש ברוך הוא שמח במפלתן של רשעים. ואמר רבי יוחנן: מאי דכתיב +שמות י"ד+ ולא קרב זה אל זה כל הלילהבקשו מלאכי השרת לומר שירה, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא: מעשה ידי טובעין בים ואתם אומרים שירה? – אמר רבי אלעזר: הוא אינו שש, אבל אחרים משיש. ודיקא נמי, דכתיב כן ישיש ולא כתיב ישוש, שמע מינה.


R. Joshua b. Levi opened his discourse on this section from here: "And it shall come to pass that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish" (Deuteronomy 28:63). Now does the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoice in the downfall of the wicked? Is it not written, "As they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks unto the Lord, for his mercy endures forever" (II Chronicles 20:21), and R. Yohanan said, Why are the words "for he is good" omitted from this thanksgiving? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, does not rejoice in the downfall of the wicked?

And R. Yohanan further said, What is the meaning of the verse, "And one came not near the other all the night? (Exodus 14:20) The ministering angels wanted to chant their hymns, but the Holy One, blessed be He, said, The work of my hands is being drowned in the sea, and you chant hymns?

R. Elazar replied: He himself does not rejoice, but he makes others rejoice.

This is indicated also by the text, which writes yasis and not yasus; learn from this.


R. Joshua b. Levi’s derashah is based on Deuteronomy 28:63. We should note that the connection made between this verse and the Megillah is not completely clear.

The verse seems to say that God takes joy in causing the children to suffer or perish. But we have many other traditions that God does not even rejoice when the enemies of Israel suffer so how could it possibly be that God takes joy when the children of Israeli themselves suffer.

R. Elazar answers that God Himself does not rejoice but he does cause others to rejoice. This is indicated by the verb to rejoice, "yasis" which can be read as causative, instead of "yasus" which would imply that God rejoices.

According to Rashi the rejoicing here eludes to Esther 3:9 or 5:9 where Haman rejoices either after the Jews were sentenced to death or after he was invited to Esther’s feast.


רבי אבא בר כהנא פתח לה פיתחא להאי פרשתא מהכא: +קהלת ב‘+ לאדם שטוב לפניו נתן חכמה ודעת ושמחהזה מרדכי הצדיק, ולחוטא נתן ענין לאסף ולכנוסזה המן, לתת לטוב לפני האלהיםזה מרדכי ואסתר, דכתיב: ותשם אסתר את מרדכי על בית המן.


R. Abba b. Kahana opened his discourse on this section from here: "For to the man that is good in his sight he gives wisdom, and knowledge and joy" (Ecclesiastes 2:26). This is the righteous Mordecai. "But to the sinner He gives the task, to gather and to heap up"; this is Haman. "That he may leave it to him, that is good in the sight of God"; this refers to Mordecai and Esther, as it is written, "And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman" (Esther 8:20).


R. Abba b. Kahana interprets Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) 2:26 in light of the main characters in the Megillah. God gives the property that Haman gathered and heaped up to Esther to give to Mordecai’s house.


רבה בר עופרן פתח לה פיתחא להאי פרשתא מהכא: +ירמיהו מ"ט+ ושמתי כסאי בעילם והאבדתי משם מלך ושרים. מלךזו ושתי, ושריםזה המן ועשרת בניו.


Rabbah b. Ofran opened his discourse on this section from here: "And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from them king and princes" (Jeremiah 49:38). "King" this is Vashti, and "princes" this is Haman and his ten sons.


As we learned above, Vashti descended from a king.


רב דימי בר יצחק פתח לה פיתחא להאי פרשתא מהכא: +עזרא ט‘+ כי עבדים אנחנו ובעבדתנו לא עזבנו אלהינו ויט עלינו חסד לפני מלכי פרס, אימתיבזמן המן.


R. Dimi b. Isaac opened his discourse on this section from here: "For we are servants; yet God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia" (Ezra 9:9). When was this? In the time of Haman.


I think this one is self-explanatory.