Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Purim Thought from Rav Yonason Eibshitz

I was going through the peirush of Rav Yonason Eibshitz on the Megillah and noticed a few interesting ideas.

1) When Haman made his lottery it says "m'yom l'yom u'm'chodesh l'chodesh". Rav Yonason Eibshitz explains that Haman made two sets of lotteries. He first wrote the 12 months on 12 pieces of paer and picked as month. Then he wrote the numbers 1-354 on 354 pieces of paper. This represented each day of the year. He then picked a day. If the day of the year fell out in the month he picked then he would know the lottery was correct. In this case the day he picked fell out in the 12th month so he knew the lottery was going to work.

2) From the time that Haman sent out his letters until he was hanged was 4 days. Yet Mordechai didn't send outhis letters until Sivan, 70 days later. Why did Mordechai wait so long to do this?

Rav Yonason Eibshitz gives a few answers.

1) He shows that Haman waited 70 days from the day he came to power until he came to Achashveirosh with his plan (I forget his cheshbon, but it was an interesting cheshbon). It must be that the reason Haman had to wait was because when a person first comes to power, he is not really accepted until 70 days into his rule. So too with Mordechai. He took over for Haman and he also had to wait 70 days until people accepted him. Once he was accepted he could send out his letter.

2) The 2nd answer he brings is that Mordechai wanted there to be an Adar Sheini. Adar Sheini has no mazal so teh koach of Haman would be diminished. (I saw the B'nei Yissascher says the same idea). However, in order for there to be an Adar Sheini he had to have the Sanhedrin in Eretz Yisroel do it. It took 70 days for his request to reach Eretz Yisroel and to get a reply back. Only after he knew for sure that there was an Adar Sheini did he send out his letters.

One ha'arah on this is that my chavrusah told me that there is a Levush that says Adar Rishon has no mazal. This is based on the metzius that if there was no extra month then all the constellations that makes up the mazalos would be off and the mazal of dag would be in Nisan. By adding an extra month we ensure that Adar Sheini gets the mazal of dag while Adar Rishon would fall out partially in Shevat's mazal (d'li).

The kasha on Rav Yonason Eibshitz and the B'ne i Yissascher would be that how could you say Adara Sheini has no mazal-the metzius is that the constellation of dag falls out in Adar Sheini.

A simple teretz is that when the seforim discuss mazalos they don't necessarily have to tie it into the constellations. However, I am not sure if this is a correct understanding of mazalos.

Another possible teretz could be based on a Chasam Sofer. The Chasam Sofer writes that Tu B'Shvat is thetime when the sap begins to flowe in the trees. In a leap year al pi teva this should happen in February which is Adar Rishon and not Shevat. However, teva follows the Torah, and in a leap year the sap will flow in January/Shevat. We could say the same for the constellations. Al pi teva the constellation of dag should be in Adar Sheini but since al pi torah there is no mazal it is in Adar Rishon.

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