Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Esther - Chapter 4

Esther - Chapter 4

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 4

1. And Mordecai knew all that had transpired, and Mordecai rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and he went out into the midst of the city and cried [with] a loud and bitter cry.   א. וּמָרְדֳּכַי יָדַע אֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָׂה וַיִּקְרַע מָרְדֳּכַי אֶת בְּגָדָיו וַיִּלְבַּשׁ שַׂק וָאֵפֶר וַיֵּצֵא בְּתוֹךְ הָעִיר וַיִּזְעַק זְעָקָה גְדוֹלָה וּמָרָה:
And Mordecai knew all that had transpired: The Master of Dreams told him that the celestial beings had concurred about it, because they had prostrated themselves to an image in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and because they had enjoyed Ahasuerus’s feast.  
2. And he came up as far as the king's gate, for one may not enter the king's gate dressed in sackcloth.   ב. וַיָּבוֹא עַד לִפְנֵי שַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אֵין לָבוֹא אֶל שַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ בִּלְבוּשׁ שָׂק:
for one may not enter: It is improper to enter the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth.  
3. And in every province, wherever the king's orders and his edict reached, there was great mourning for the Jews, and fasting and weeping and lamenting; sackcloth and ashes were put on the most prominent.   ג. וּבְכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה מְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתוֹ מַגִּיעַ אֵבֶל גָּדוֹל לַיְּהוּדִים וְצוֹם וּבְכִי וּמִסְפֵּד שַׂק וָאֵפֶר יֻצַּע לָרַבִּים:
the king’s orders and his edict: When the couriers carrying the letters passed, the edict was given in the city.  
4. And Esther's maidens and her chamberlains came and told her, and the queen was extremely terrified, and she sent clothing to dress Mordecai and to take off his sackcloth, but he did not accept [it].   ד. וַתָּבוֹאנָה (וַתָּבוֹאינָה כתיב) נַעֲרוֹת אֶסְתֵּר וְסָרִיסֶיהָ וַיַּגִּידוּ לָהּ וַתִּתְחַלְחַל הַמַּלְכָּה מְאֹד וַתִּשְׁלַח בְּגָדִים לְהַלְבִּישׁ אֶת מָרְדֳּכַי וּלְהָסִיר שַׂקּוֹ מֵעָלָיו וְלֹא קִבֵּל:
5. Then Esther summoned Hathach, [one] of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed before her, and she commanded him concerning Mordecai, to know what this was and why this was.   ה. וַתִּקְרָא אֶסְתֵּר לַהֲתָךְ מִסָּרִיסֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱמִיד לְפָנֶיהָ וַתְּצַוֵּהוּ עַל מָרְדֳּכָי לָדַעַת מַה זֶּה וְעַל מַה זֶּה:
6. So Hathach went forth to Mordecai, to the city square, which was before the king's gate.   ו. וַיֵּצֵא הֲתָךְ אֶל מָרְדֳּכָי אֶל רְחוֹב הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי שַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ:
7. And Mordecai told him all that had befallen him, and the full account of the silver that Haman had proposed to weigh out into the king's treasuries on the Jews' account, to cause them to perish.   ז. וַיַּגֶּד לוֹ מָרְדֳּכַי אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר קָרָהוּ וְאֵת | פָּרָשַׁת הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר אָמַר הָמָן לִשְׁקוֹל עַל גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּיְּהוּדִים לְאַבְּדָם:
the full account of the silver: the explanation of the silver.  
8. And the copy of the writ of the decree that was given in Shushan he gave him, to show Esther and to tell her, and to order her to come before the king to beseech him and to beg him for her people.   ח. וְאֶת פַּתְשֶׁגֶן כְּתָב הַדָּת אֲשֶׁר נִתַּן בְּשׁוּשָׁן לְהַשְׁמִידָם נָתַן לוֹ לְהַרְאוֹת אֶת אֶסְתֵּר וּלְהַגִּיד לָהּ וּלְצַוּוֹת עָלֶיהָ לָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהִתְחַנֶּן לוֹ וּלְבַקֵּשׁ מִלְּפָנָיו עַל עַמָּהּ:
9. And Hathach came, and he told Esther what Mordecai had said.   ט. וַיָּבוֹא הֲתָךְ וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶסְתֵּר אֵת דִּבְרֵי מָרְדֳּכָי:
10. And Esther said to Hathach, and she ordered him to [tell] Mordecai:   י. וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לַהֲתָךְ וַתְּצַוֵּהוּ אֶל מָרְדֳּכָי:
11. "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who comes to the king, into the inner court, who is not summoned, there is but one law for him, to be put to death, except the one to whom the king extends the golden scepter, that he may live, but I have not been summoned to come to the king these thirty days."   יא. כָּל עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְעַם מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ יֹדְעִים אֲשֶׁר כָּל אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל הֶחָצֵר הַפְּנִימִית אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִקָּרֵא אַחַת דָּתוֹ לְהָמִית לְבַד מֵאֲשֶׁר יוֹשִׁיט לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת שַׁרְבִיט הַזָּהָב וְחָיָה וַאֲנִי לֹא נִקְרֵאתִי לָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ זֶה שְׁלוֹשִׁים יוֹם:
12. And they told Esther's words to Mordecai.   יב. וַיַּגִּידוּ לְמָרְדֳּכָי אֵת דִּבְרֵי אֶסְתֵּר:
13. And Mordecai ordered to reply to Esther, "Do not imagine to yourself that you will escape in the king's house from among all the Jews.   יג. וַיֹּאמֶר מָרְדֳּכַי לְהָשִׁיב אֶל אֶסְתֵּר אַל תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל הַיְּהוּדִים:
Do not imagine to yourself: Heb. אַל תְּדַמִי, do not think, like (Num. 33:56) “And it will be, that which I thought (דִמִיתִי).” Do not imagine to yourself; do not think to escape in the king’s palace on the day of the massacre; because you do not wish to imperil yourself now to come to the king without permission.  
14. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father's household will perish; and who knows whether at a time like this you will attain the kingdom?"   יד. כִּי אִם הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר וְאַתְּ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם לְעֵת כָּזֹאת הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת:
and who knows whether at a time like this: And who knows whether the king will desire you next year, which is the time of the massacre.  
at a time like this: For he was presently in Nisan, and the time of the massacre was in Adar of the next year.  
you will attain the kingdom: if you will attain the greatness which you now enjoy.  
15. Then Esther ordered to reply to Mordecai:   טו. וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לְהָשִׁיב אֶל מָרְדֳּכָי:
16. "Go, assemble all the Jews who are present in Shushan and fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, day and night; also I and my maidens will fast in a like manner; then I will go to the king contrary to the law, and if I perish, I perish."   טז. לֵךְ כְּנוֹס אֶת כָּל הַיְּהוּדִים הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּשׁוּשָׁן וְצוּמוּ עָלַי וְאַל תֹּאכְלוּ וְאַל תִּשְׁתּוּ שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים לַיְלָה וָיוֹם גַּם אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי אָצוּם כֵּן וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר לֹא כַדָּת וְכַאֲשֶׁר אָבַדְתִּי אָבָדְתִּי:
contrary to the law: for it is contrary to the law for one who is not summoned to enter. And the Midrash Aggadah [explains]: contrary to the law, for until now, I was coerced [to cohabit with him], but now [I will do so] willingly.  
and if I perish, I perish: And just as I have begun to go to destruction [by appearing before Ahasuerus without being summoned], I will go and die. And the Midrash Aggadah (ad loc.) [explains]: As I am lost to my father’s house, so will I be lost to you, for from now on, that I am submitting willingly to a heathen, I will be forbidden to you.  
17. So Mordecai passed and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.   יז. וַיַּעֲבֹר מָרְדָּכָי וַיַּעַשׂ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוְּתָה עָלָיו אֶסְתֵּר:
So Mordecai passed: i.e., he transgressed the law by fasting on the first festive day of Passover, for he fasted on the fourteenth, the fifteenth, and the sixteenth, since the letters were written on the thirteenth day.  
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG