The Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) 1:1: And it came to pass in the days of Achashverosh, the same Achashverosh who ruled from Hodu to Cush, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. So begins Megillat Esther, the Book of Esther. The Hebrew word “Megillah” is derived from the word “Gilui” (disclosure) and “Esther” means hidden. Esther is the queen’s name, the wife of Ahasuerus. Megillat Esther symbolizes the revelation of the concealed, implying that although something is revealed to you, you should remember that it all remains in concealment.
The Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) 2:5, 2:7 – 2:20: He raised his cousin Hadassah, also called Esther, for she had neither father nor mother. The girl was of beautiful form and beautiful visage, and when her father and mother died, Mordechai adopted her as his daughter. Now when the king’s order and edict became known, and many girls were gathered to Shushan, the capital under the charge of Heigai, Esther was taken to the palace under the charge of Heigai, custodian of the women.
The girl found favor in his eyes and won his kindness, so that he hurried to provide her with her cosmetics and meals. [All the while] Esther did not divulge her race or ancestry, for Mordechai had instructed her not to tell.
Esther belonged to the Jewish people who had a connection to the upper force and if she had told the truth about her origin, it could have harmed her relationship with the king.
And the king loved Esther more than all the women and she won his favor and kindness more than all the virgins;
She obtained grace and favor in his eyes because she revealed a certain part of her spiritual potential in her relationship with the king.
Then the king made a grand feast for all his ministers and servants, “The Feast of Esther.” He lowered [taxes] for the provinces and gave presents befitting the king. And when the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordechai was sitting at the king’s gate.
Esther would [still] not divulge her ancestry or race, as Mordechai had instructed her. Indeed, Esther followed Mordechai’s instructions just as she had done while under his care.
Mordechai (Mor Dror) is the upper force, a very serious force which is totally concealed. Esther fully continued his line.
… Mordechai was sitting at the king’s gate.
This means the gate of the upper king, the upper force of nature. Sitting represents the state of lowliness, of smallness. Therefore, Mordechai waited patiently for the opportunity to pass on the attribute of the upper force to all the people on earth. The population of Babylon in those days was actually all of humanity.
The Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) 3-1, 3:5 – 9: After these events, King Achashverosh promoted Haman, son of Hamdata, the Agagite and advanced him; he placed his seat above all his fellow ministers.
There must be a very big desire in order to reveal the upper force, the Creator’s greatness. First it stems from the ego, then it is corrected and the revelation of the Creator is received in the corrected desire. Mordechai didn’t have that desire. He was in a state of smallness, sitting at the king’s gate, so it was necessary to include the ego in him in order to raise him to the next level. The ego that is added to Mordechai is called Haman.
When Haman saw that Mordechai would not kneel or bow before him, Haman was filled with wrath. But he thought it contemptible to kill only Mordechai, for they had informed him of Mordechai’s nationality. Haman sought to annihilate all the Jews, Mordechai’s people, throughout Achashverosh’s entire kingdom. In the first month, which is the month of Nissan, in the twelfth year of King Achashverosh’s reign, a pur, which is a lot, was cast before Haman, for every day and every month, [and it fell] on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
Haman represents the universal ego. He had to kill the desire called Mordechai, which constantly threatened the ego. He planned to annihilate and destroy all the Jews since the Jewish people are actually a conduit for the Light and the attribute of bestowal. If they began to bestow unto all the other nations they would certainly be able to correct them and turn them into altruists, and turn them into an upper nation too just like them; a nation that wouldn’t serve Haman anymore. Haman knew that he couldn’t correct himself and so he had no other choice and was obliged to act against Mordechai.
Haman said to King Achashverosh, “There is one nation, scattered and dispersed among the nations throughout the provinces of your kingdom, whose laws are unlike those of any other nation and who do not obey the laws of the King. It is not in the King’s interest to tolerate them. If it please the King, let [an edict] be issued for their destruction…”
Each of the nations that lived in the 127 provinces of the Babylonian empire had a territory of its own, but the Jews dispersed among all the nations and didn’t have their own land. However, they still attributed themselves to one particular tribe called the nation of Israel.
This is the reason that Haman said: “There is one nation, scattered and dispersed among the nations throughout the provinces of your kingdom” which means that they were not connected to each other. The ego separated them and made them feel repulsed by one another. They couldn’t be a nation since all the other nations were defined by their origin and had a whole earthly egoism, which the Jews didn’t. They differed to such an extent that they spoke Aramaic among them and not Hebrew, their mother tongue.
In the time of the First Temple, the Jews were on a spiritual level and spoke Hebrew, but when they fell to an egoistic level that was much lower than the other nations they actually lost their language, the language of bestowal and of mutual love, and began to speak Aramaic, a language that is the reverse of Hebrew. What is more, every nation felt that they belonged to one social class and every nation respected the king and bowed to his idols, while the Jews had no idols, no respect for the king, and no proper mutual social relations among them. They were the greatest egoists who didn’t get along with one another at all.
Question: If the Jewish nation was separated to such an extent, what danger did it pose for Haman?
Answer: Haman felt that the time for the awakening of the Jews to unity was approaching. It is said that Haman was a great astrologist. He saw according to the signs, which means according to his inner feeling, truly what the Jewish nation actually is. Haman is the opposite side of a Kabbalist, of the one who bestows. He realized that something was about to happen that would bring the exile of the nation of Israel to an end and that they would return to their land, which for him meant death. They had to destroy him on their way back since it was impossible to rebuild the Second Temple without killing and destroying Haman. Therefore, he had no choice but to destroy them, not out of wickedness, but according to the clear and accurate laws of nature.
The Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) 3:10 – 11, 3:13: The king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, son of Hamdata, the Agagite, persecutor of the Jews. The king said to Haman, “The money is yours to keep, and the nation is yours to do with as you please.”
Achashverosh (Ahasuerus) thought of how to raise the nation of Israel. He realized that they must be frightened and thus forced to unite and connect since their power is only in unity and in ascending to the upper level. But this was possible only with the help of Haman. The Jews had to be terrified of their ego and destroy it so that they would turn it to altruism, and only then would be able to rise. They couldn’t rise without Haman.
The Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) 4:1 – 2: Letters were sent with couriers to all the provinces of the king: to annihilate, murder and destroy all the Jews, young and old, children and women, on one day—the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar and to plunder their possessions. Mordechai knew all that had occurred, so Mordechai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ash. He went out into the city crying loudly and bitterly. He went up until the king’s gate, for it is improper to enter the king’s gate wearing sackcloth.
Mordechai had to tell everyone what was about to happen and to awaken both the good and the evil forces in order to properly reveal the way humanity should follow. Therefore, He went out into the city crying loudly and bitterly. He wasn’t the unnoticed old man who sat quietly at the city gate anymore. He actually began to be active.
“Crying loudly and bitterly,” refers to the revelation, the call, the connection, which he recreated between the Malchut and Keter. Until then Mordechai was in a state of smallness (Malchut in Bina), but now when he changed into a state of greatness, a state of revelation, he connected the two opposite points of the Creation, Malchut and Keter, through Bina. It says: Mordechai tore his clothes. Clothes is the state a person hides behind. By tearing his clothes, Mordechai puts an end to his previous humble state. He wants to be revealed.
The attribute of Mordechai is the attribute of Bina, complete bestowal. It has nothing to do with the ego and cannot do anything by itself. There is a need for this connection now. The ashes are the very last egoistic level. When he puts ashes on his head Mordechai raises this level above himself, which means that he places himself below all of creations, below everything. These aren’t just nice words but a real spiritual action; an action that he performed so that he would be able to convey the great force of correction to everyone through him. Thus he prepares himself for the state of disconnecting from the ego and to the ascent to the attribute of Bina, when he could convey all the upper Light called Mordechai (Mor Dror), a great Light, through him.
From a Talk about Purim 2/19/15