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Purim: Tzemach Tzaddik: Save Us For Your Sake

“Had we been sold as slaves and maidservants, I would have kept quiet” (Esther, 7:4). It seems according to the Targum, that Esther was talking to Ahasuerus, yet she was really addressing

herself to The King of all kings, Blessed Is He. She said: “I would keep quiet”, if the people of Israel will remain alive. Even in exile and in servitude, the great Name of God will always remain in our hearts. But if, God forbid, we were to be exterminated; “for the adversary is not worthy of the King’s damage”- in reference to the King of the universe. And what will You do for your great Name? (Tzemach Tzaddik)

The Sages teach us that when it refers to “the king” in the Megillah, it is referring to God. Although Esther was beseeching Ahasuerus to save her people, her prayers were turned to the Almighty- to the only One Who could bring salvation. (See: Nehemia: To Whom Are You Talking?)

What Esther is voicing is what we say in Hallel: “Not for us…, but for Your Name”. When we feel crushed, when we feel in dire need of being redeemed, we echo Esther’s plea: You can’t let our enemies destroy us; it will be a desecration of Your Honor.

What we must remember though, is the premise on which Esther bases her argument. Even in exile and servitude, the great Name of God always remains in our heart. We can say: “Don’t save us for our sake, save us for Your Sake” only when we associate ourselves to God’s Name by the way we live our lives.

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