"המן הרע הזה"
“This wicked Haman” (7:6)

QUESTION: In the Haggadah of Pesach we are told that the way to deal with a rasha is to knock out his teeth. There is no doubt that Haman was a rasha, so why didn’t Mordechai knock out Haman’s teeth?

ANSWER: According to the Midrash, Achashveirosh once sent two divisions of his army to battle. One was headed by Haman and the other by Mordechai. He gave each one an equal supply of food. Haman was careless and let his soldiers finish the food in a short period of time. Desperately, he came to Mordechai and begged him to give him some of his food, but Mordechai refused. Haman, fearing that his soldiers would revolt against him, sold himself to Mordechai as a slave and, thus, Mordechai supplied him with food.

When a Jewish master knocks out the tooth of his non-Jewish servant he becomes free (Shemot 21:26). Not wanting to lose such a slave as Haman, Mordechai refrained from knocking out Haman’s teeth.


"ויזתא"
“And Vaizata” (9:9)

QUESTION: Why is the name “Vaizata” (ויזתא) written with a long vav”?

ANSWER: According to halachah (see comments of Rabbi Y.F. Perla to Sefer HaMitzvot of R’ Saadiah Gaon, positive Mitzvah, 86, 87, 88, vol. I. p. 612, for extensive disucssion of this issue), when a person has ten cows (beheimot), he is to bring them into a room and let them come out through a door one by one. The tenth cow to pass through the door is considered ma’aseir beheimah, and is given to the Kohen. If the tenth cow jumps through the roof, the farmer is not obligated to give it away to the Kohen as ma’aser beheimah.

The Kohanim in Shushan Habirah considered Haman’s ten sons as ten animals. Haman also thought very little of his children, and agreed with the Kohanim that they were likebeheimot. A Kohen came to Haman and told him that since his children were like animals, he was supposed to give one of them away as ma’aseir beheimah. Haman agreed with the Kohen and told him that he would take them into a room and let them walk out one by one. After nine of Haman’s children walked out and Vaizata was about to come through, Haman grabbed him, and attempted to pull him by his head through the roof. The Kohen, wanting to get him, tried to pull him by his feet through the door. Thus, Vaizata was stretched, and the big “vav” symbolizes this.


"ביום שלשה עשר לחדש אדר ונוח..."
“On the thirteenth day of the month Adar and Noach...” (9:17)

QUESTION: What is Noach’s connection with the Megillah?

ANSWER: Haman was very upset with Mordechai and did not know how to deal with the problem. His wife Zeresh suggested that he make gallows 50 amot (cubits) high upon which they would hang Mordechai. Haman ran all around town, searching for a massive wooden beam. Suddenly, he remembered that many years ago Noach built a Teivah which was 50 amot wide, so he must have very large pieces of lumber. Haman searched until he finally found Noach and said to him, “Do me a favor, please lend me a wooden beam 50 amot long.”

Old Noach asked wicked Haman, “Could you tell me what you need this for?” Haman replied, “I want to hang Mordechai.” Old Noach began to yell, “Are you crazy? Do you think I am going to permit you to hang Mordechai the Tzaddik on my lumber?” Haman began to fight with old Noach, trying to get the beam away from him. Noach held on to it with all his might, but unfortunately, Haman, being much younger, dragged the beam together with Noach all the way into the Megillah.


"ומשלוח מנות איש לרעהו"
“Sending portions a man to his friend” (9:19)

QUESTION: The word “ish” — a man — is superfluous?

ANSWER: An apikoresheretic — who bore a grudge against the town Rabbi, for vehemently ridiculing and denouncing him, decided that Purim would be an opportune time to get even with him. To fulfill the mitzvah of mishlo’ach manot, he bought a few pounds of chopped liver which he molded into the form of a pig, put it on a platter, and sent it to the Rabbi. When the Rabbi received it, he took a portrait of himself, put it on a platter, and sent it to “his friend” with the following explanation:

“For a long time I have been bothered with an extra word in theMegillah. When mishlo’ach manot is mentioned in Megillah, we are told ‘mishlo’ach manot ish lerei’eihu’ — sending portions, a man to his friend. I always wondered, it would have been sufficient to say ‘mishlo’ach manot lerei’eihu’ — sending portions to a friend, without the extra word ‘ish’?

After receiving your thoughtful package, my question was answered. The Megillah is saying, the portions being sent should consist of ‘ish’ — the type of person you are. Obviously, you fulfilled the mitzvah accurately and sent me a description of yourself. To reciprocate, enclosed is my picture so you may have a vivid description of me.”


"להיות עשים את יום ארבעה עשר לחדש אדר...בכל שנה ושנה"
“To observe annually the fourteenth day of Adar” (9:21)

QUESTION: Moshe Rabbeinu was born on the seventh of Adar, thus his brit took place on the 14th day of Adar, which is Purim. Was the brit performed before the reading of the Megillah or after?

ANSWER: Moshe was a great tzaddik and he died on the same day he was born. Since Moshe passed away on Shabbat, he was also born on Shabbat. Thus, his brit took place eight days later on Shabbat — 14 days in the month of Adar. Since it was Shabbat, the reading of the Megillah took place on Thursday the 12th of Adar.


"לעשות אותם ימי משתה ושמחה"
“Observe them as days of feasting and gladness” (9:22)

QUESTION: Is eating a festive meal on Purim and becoming intoxicated a Torah rule or only a Rabbinic ordinance?

ANSWER: From the pasuk in Bereishit 21:8 “vaya’as Avraham mishteh gadol beyom higameil et Yitzchak — “And Avraham made a great feast on the day Yitzchak was weaned” — we can derive that eating and drinking on Purim is a statute of the Torah.

The Torah is telling us that Avraham made a great feast and drinking party on the day of "הגמל" — which can be rearranged to spell the word ",מגלה" on Purim when the Megillah is read.

Since Avraham’s festivities were in honor of Purim, why does it say "הגמל" and not "מגלה"? This proves that during the Purim meal it is incumbent to become intoxicated to the extent that one does not know the difference between "מגלה" and ".הגמל"

If that is the case, why does the pasuk conclude “et Yitzchak”? What does Yitzchak have to do with the reading of Megillah?

The reason is that from Yitzchak we learn an important halachah regarding Purim. The shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah to recall of the Akeidah of Yitzchak. However, when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, our Rabbis tell us to refrain from blowing shofar because one may forget and carry the shofar four cubits in a public domain. Similarly, when Purim falls on Shabbat, theMegillah is not read for the same reason (Rosh Hashanah 29b).


"ודבר שלום לכל זרעו"
“Concerned for the welfare of all his posterity” (10:3)

QUESTION: Why isn’t Kaddish said after the reading of the Megillah?”

ANSWER: Haman himself was hung on Pesach (Megillah 15a), and all his sons on the day before Purim, thus, there were no survivors left to say a Kaddish.”