Thursday, March 1, 2007

Names in the Megillah

Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky zt"l writes that we find many names in Egypt where the name consists of the letters pey, reish, and ayin. I have written in the past that in the Megillah there are many names that contain the letters reish and shin, like Zeresh, Seresh, Karshena, Seishar, and Sarshish. This allude to the Gemara in Megillah 11a that states that Achashveirosh was thus called because hakol nasu rashin beyamav. The literal translation of this statement is that all the people became rashin, impoverished, in Achashveirosh’s reign. We can interpret this statement homiletically to mean that all the people in his era were rashin, i.e. their names contained the letters reish and shin. I would like to suggest in a similar vein that the words Mordechai HaYehudi contain the letters yud and daled, which equal in gematria 14. The word yad, hand, also equals in gematria 14. It is said regarding Amalek (Shemos 17:16) ki yad al keis koh, for the hand is on the throne of G-d. This is interpreted to mean that Amalek, so to speak, has his hand on the throne of HaShem, and HaShem’s Name and His throne will not be complete until Amalek is annihilated. It is fascinating that it is Mordechai HaYehudi who is the vehicle for the downfall of Haman, a descendant of Amalek. It is the Yad HaShem that is manifest through Mordechai that brings about Haman’s defeat. Kein yovdu kol oyvecho HaShem, so may all Your enemies be destroyed, O HaShem. May we merit seeing the destruction of Amalek and the arrival of Moshiach with the rebuilding of the third Bais HaMikdash, speedily in our days. Amen.

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