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The End of the Beginning

By Rabbi Mordechai Cohen

The Pasuk says “AcharHadevarimHa’ele” – after these things. After Achashverosh was saved by Mordechai from Bigtan and Teresh (the two who plotted to poison the King), Achashverosh decided to promote Haman to a top post – “GidalHamelechAchashverosh at Haman”.

Rabbi Levi explains that at one point Haman was a nobody – He was the one who advised the King not to allow the building of the Bet Hamikdash and Hashem wanted to kill him for this. But because he was a nobody, there would be no effect and no lesson learnt.  Rabbi Levi compares it to a young child who insults the King’s son. The King doesn’t want to just kill a nobody, so he promotes him and keeps giving him a higher rank until he becomes a minister and only then does he judge and kill him. The same happens to Haman; he was promoted until he reached high powers and only then does Hashem kill him.

“Hakesefnatunlachveha’amla’asotbokatovbe’enecha” – literally translates as “the money is given to you and the people are there for you to do whatever you finds favour in your eyes.”

The Gemara (13b) explains that the word hakesef has the same numerical value (160) as the word ha’etz, so the first part can be interpreted as “the tree will be given to you”.

Here is a mashal to explain the second part of the sentence. There was a man who had bad luck in his country, so he left his wife and children and went to America where over a few years he made a fortune and became a multi millionaire. However, he soon became ill and could not go back to his family to give them any of it. So what did he do? He chose his strongest slave and told him “I will give you everything I have, all my possessions on one condition – that you take the whole lot back to my country and whatever you want give it to my wife”. The slave was confused and said to his master “Do you really mean that? Even if I only want to give her £10?” His rich master said “Yes everything is for you and whatever you want give to my wife.” He even wrote a letter, a sort of will, confirming the same. The man died and the slave did as he was told and took all the money and possessions back to his maters homeland, to his wife. He came to her and showed her all the money and possessions her late husband had accumulated and then gave her a measly £10! The wife was shocked and could not believe her husband would not leave her anything, so the slave showed her the will. The wife took the slave to the Bet Din courts and argued against the slave and asked them to look at the will. The Dayanim studied it for days trying to come up with a way around it and eventually something clicked. They said to the slave “What do you want from you masters’ possessions?” And he replied, “I want everything!” and so they made him give everything to her! Why? The will states “Whatever you want give it my wife”. Whatever you want for yourself, you must give it to her!

This is the message that Achashverosh gave to Haman. Hakesefnatunlach – the tree (same gematria as money) will be for you, you will hang upon the tree. VeHa’amla’asotbokatovbe’enecha –Whatever you want for done for yourself, will be done for the people!

It was a complete “Vena’afochu” (turn around) for Haman. Everything he wanted and thought he would get, was turned upside down and interpreted against him.

Going back to “after these things”, it says “GidalHamelechAchashveroshet Haman Ben Hamedata” – that Achashverosh promoted and gave Haman a high ranking. Looking at the Taamim (notes) placed on top of these words, Hamman is Darga (literraly steps) ,Hamedata is Tvir (broken) we can understand a deeper meaning.  Although Achashverosh will place you Haman up on the steps (Darga) and promote you, at the end of the day, the steps will break (Tvir) and you Haman will fall to pieces.

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