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Midrash Esther XI: The Angels Complain Print E-mail

Purim“That in those days.” This was one of the occasions on which the ministering angels lodged complaints before the Holy One, Blessed is He, saying: “Sovereign of the Universe, the Sanctuary is destroyed and this wretch sits and makes parties!” God answered them: “set Davies against days; for so it is written, “in those days saw eye in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:15).” (This was in the days of Artaxerxes, identified here with Achashveirosh. The idea is that the troubles which came upon the Jews, of which the Kings banquet was the starting point, were a punishment for the desecration of the Sabbath.)

The midrash is teaching us that the Jews should have paid attention to the fact that God allowed Achashveirosh to make such a party. It was a warning that God was displeased.

Although the Talmud explains that the sufferings in the Book of Esther were a result of idol worship during the time of Nebuchadnezar, this Midrash is reminding us that they were other important issues at hand; for example, Shabbat observance. The Seven day party was a hint that God was angry about the Seventh day, the Sabbath. God wanted the Jews to pay attention. They were not.

Is this Midrash teaching us that the Suffering in the book of Esther was a result of the people not paying close attention to the events around them?

Do we?
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