Esther’s Purim Part Five: Shaul and Esther
Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Listen to Esther, according to the midrashim, Esther’s father died the minute she was conceived, her mother died the minute she was born, she was raised by Mordechai. The Gemara says Mordechai nursed her. So whether it means he physically nursed her. The idea is the relationship between Esther and Mordechai is one of total dependence.
Listen to the way the passukim describe Esther, Esther wouldn’t tell anyone her nation or her birth, meaning that she was a descendant of the king. Because Mordechai told her not to.
Esther comes in, she is brought to the king she doesn’t ask for anything, she’s brought in on the coldest day of the year. To Achashveirosh enjoys a warm body more than he usually would, the passuk says when he wanted to experience her physically as a virgin she felt like a virgin. When he wanted to experience her as a non virgin she felt like an experienced woman. Whatever he wanted her to feel like during intercourse she felt like. What does it tell you about Esther?
The Gemara is saying that obviously it’s not literal, but its trying to portray Esther in a certain way. Whoever looked at Esther saw in Esther whatever he wanted in a woman. What else did the Gemarah say, that she was green. And green is understood like last week, green is the color of chance. Why is a leaf green?
What idea does it give you about Esther? That she’s the perfect woman. The king is going crazy to find out who she is. He makes party in her honor she still won’t say who she is, he raises taxes in her honor and she still wont say who she is, he gives out gifts in her honor and still won’t.
Achashveirosh says to Mordechai what do I do about this woman she won’t talk. So Moderchai says why don’t you bring another woman to the house and then shell talk because jealousy will make a woman talk. He brings in more women but Esther will not say a word about where she comes from.
Her personality is exactly the same as her ancestor Shaul, she is a tzanua.
The decree is sent out to kill the Jews, Mordechai sends a message to Esther I want you to go to the king to ask for mercy. So Esther says I can’t do that, whoever goes into the king who hasn’t been summoned will be killed, I can’t do it. Mordechai says to Esther, what? You’re going to try and protect your own hide and not the Jewish people? What do you expect him to say, if you don’t do it your going to be killed so of course you’re going to do it. He says if you don’t go in well be saved anyway we don’t need you and you and your ancestors will be destroyed.
Instead of saying we need you go in, he says we don’t need you well be saved by someone else. But you and your ancestors will be destroyed. And who knows maybe it was for this minute that you became the queen. Who knows? I don’t know.
He doesn’t say it’s a sign from God.
So Esther says to Mordechai, go and I want you to gather to gather all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast for me, not to repent, but to fast for me. So I’m going to the king, so Mordechai goes and he does everything that Esther had commanded him.
You know who named it and commanded it and making it part of tanach? Esther. If she were Shaul she would not have gone into Achashveirosh, this is the tikun of Shaul, she could be a tzanua, but the minute she has an opportunity, and even though she is not sure, and even if it’s a total change of personality, she does it. Meaning she’s willing to take off one mask and wiling to put on another.
Esther is saying I have no idea if this is why God made my queen, I don’t know it could be a coincidence. But it doesn’t matter, I live my life not by defining my life, or defining myself a tzinua, or assertive queen. I don’t want to define anything I have one question. This moment, I live my life for immediate moments of accomplishment. I do not focus on defining myself for one moment. All the chance that exists in the world exists only for moments that are afforded to me, and it is the moments that are real, I’m not saying it permanent or definitive. I’m not. Of course God know what’s going to happen, God’s going to save the Jews no matter what. Maybe this is my moment maybe not. But who gives a damn, if it is I certainly want to be there.
This is the only question that a human being has. God will get out of me what ever he wants the only question is do I take advantage of moment that are afforded t me. And the only way to be ready for moments of change and growth and total metamorphosis, is to loose my data, self awareness. Daas is knowing how I fit into the world, community etc. and that’s why on Purim you drink until you don’t know.
And because God controls the world, does God get something good out of Hamman or not? Is there any difference between blessing Mordechai and cursing Hamman? No, it’s the same thing because it all depends on your perspective. That’s why you drink until you don’t know the difference between blessing Mordechai and cursing Hamman. It doesn’t mean that you get bombed out it means, daas, you stop worrying how people see you, you simply worry about the moment that’s right there and what happens on Purim as you reach out to someone and give them shalach manot and worry about that connection. Don’t worry about the past, what someone thinks, you just give and enjoy that moment of connection as being real and slowly you loose you daas.
If you look at someone the same way you have to look at someone in a new way, that’s why you need to drink on wine, you need to step beyond your daas, not get bombed. If you eat the meal the same way your at every other day it wont affect you.