TODAY'S MESSAGE IS DEDIICATED
IN MEMORY OF
LEAH BAT ESTRELLA A'H
BY HER CHILDREN
DAVID AND SALLY WAHBA
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QUESTION 1: Agag and Haman each had a son with the same name--what was it?
QUESTION 2: What is preferable—to increase the amount of Mishloach Manot you give or the Matanot La'Evyonim that you give?
QUESTION 3: What famous American object has the same gematria as "Amalek"? What can you learn from that?
QUESTION 4: How many humps did the Achashdranim Bnei HaRamachim have? How many legs did it have?
QUESTION 5 : Why did Esther invite Haman to her party with Achashveirosh? The Gemara gives 12 reasons and Eliyahu HaNavi (as quoted in the Gemara) confirms that Esther had all 12 of them in mind. Can you name at least three?
QUESTION 6 : What are the last five sefarim in Tanach?
QUESTION 7 : What was the sin committed by Bnei Yisrael that prompted the great gezaira against them?
QUESTION 8 : Which cities in Eretz Yisrael (and outside it) today would read the Megillah on two days--the fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar because of a doubt as to whether they were walled from the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun?
QUESTION 9 : Name two evil people in the Megillah whose names rhyme.
QUESTION 10 : True or false? In order to fulfill the mitzvah of Mishloach Manot, you must give two different foods that have two different Berachot.
QUESTION 11 : Identify six instances of Middah K'neged Middah that appear in the Megillah.
HERE ARE THE ANSWERS:
ANSWER 1 : Vayzata (see Esther 9:9 and Targum Sheni).
ANSWER 2 : According to the Rambam (Hilchot Megillah 2:17) it is preferable to increase the amount of Matanot LaEvyonim that you give over the amount of Mishloach Manot. See the moving words of the Rambam there.
ANSWER 3 : Amalek has the same gematria as "dollar"--both have the numerical equivalent of 240. As far as the lesson, we will only point to Amalek's grandfather--Esav--and his passion for money and worldly goods. We leave other lessons up to you.
ANSWER 4 : According to HaRav Yaakov Emden, Z'TL (Megillah 18A), these were a unique type of camel with two humps and eight legs, and were accordingly, exceedingly fast. Fascinatingly HaRav Emden notes that these camels were reportedly in existence in Persia even in his time. According to others, the phrase refers to a special type of mule which was driven by expert riders. (See Ibn Ezra to Esther 8:11 and Rashash to Megillah 18A).
ANSWER 5 : The Gemara may be found in Megillah 15B. Here are several reasons: a) she wanted Achashveirosh to suspect that she and Haman were plotting together against him; b) she wanted the Jews not to be overconfident with her political abilities to get them out of their life threatening situation--by her inviting Haman to the party(!), they would pray with even greater intensity; c) she wanted all the other ministers to be jealous of Haman and so unite against him; d) she wanted Haman to be available to trip himself up in some way ; e) so that Achashveirosh would not realize that she was Jewish prior to the party ; and f) so that Hashem would have special mercy on her--seeing that she, a Neviah and a Tzadeket, would have to be in the same room with this arch-enemy of the Jews.
ANSWER 6 : According to the printed Tanach, the last five Sefarim are the Megillot of Koheletand Esther, followed by Daniel, Ezra-Nechemiah and Divrei HaYamim. However, the Gemara in Bava Batra 14B-15A lists the following as the last Sefarim of Tanach: Eichah (describing the Churban), followed by Daniel, Megillat Esther, Ezra-Nechemiah and Divrei HaYamim. This second listing is, obviously, also chronological, as Sefer Daniel discusses periods prior to the events of Megillat Esther.
ANSWER 7 : The Gemara (Megillah 11A and 12A) lists three reasons: a) a laxity in Torah study and Mitzvah observance; b) participating in Achashveirosh's first party in which he used the Keilim of the Bet HaMikdash, and which he hosted in celebration of the Jews not being redeemed; and c) bowing down to the tzelem (idol) of Nevuchadnezzar and/or Haman--, which violated a prohibition of Avoda Zara.
HAKHEL NOTE: We see how severe sin the first one really is, if it can be compared to such grievous sins as the second two!
ANSWER 8 : Among the cities: In Eretz Yisrael: Chevron, Yafo, Gush Chalav, Akko, Tzefat, Lod, Shechem and Teveria (which is a separate issue--See Megillah 5B). In Chutz La'Aretz: Damascus and Baghdad. See Sefer Adar U'Purim by HaRav Yoel Schwartz, Shlita, for further discussion.
ANSWER 9 : Zeresh and Teresh (Teresh, one of the infamous plotters whose plan was overheard by Mordechai)
ANSWER 10 : False. Mishloach Manot must just consist of two **different** portions of food--they can both be meat, or any other type of food or drink (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 695:4 and Mishnah Berurah there).
ANSWER 11 : a) Vashti made Jewish girls who were her captives work for her unclothed--and so she was ordered to come before the king unclothed (Megillah 12B); b) Haman was hung on the tree that he prepared for Mordechai; c) Bigtan and Teresh wanted to kill the king, yet they were killed instead; d) The Jews ate and drank at Achashverosh's party, so they were forced to fast for three days; e) Haman wanted everyone to bow to him--at the penalty of death, and in the end Achashverosh ordered him to be killed--because he fell before Esther; and f) Mordechai put on sackcloth and ashes on his head over what Haman had decreed, and in the end, took over Haman's position, wearing the royal apparel and a large gold crown.
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