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A Bit About Purim

A Purim Lesson About Anger
















A Bit About Purim
Tze-ena Purim-18 Adar: Yemenite Jews suffered one of the most bitter diasporas of all Jews through the centuries, and the stories they relate of disasters and near disasters that befell the community would fill a heavy book. In "Kovetz Teiman", Yosef Meyuchas relates how the king's ministers were jealous of his position as the viceroy of the king, and they schemed to remove him by spreading a base libel about him. When the king's son went on a trip to the Jewish quarter accompanied by two of the king's ministers to see the celebrations one Purim, the ministers murdered him in cold blood as he descended from the horse. Then the ministers hurried to the king and told him, "The Jews decided to revenge Haman by killing your son! They murdered him!" When the king heard this, he became enraged, and he commanded that the Jewish street be closed off. He demanded that the murderer of his son be given over to him within 3 days, or else he would burn all the Jews alive. The Jews' happiness that Purim was turned in an instant to mourning. 

The Jews hurried to the synagogue and fasted and cried out to Hashem. In the meantime, the king was sitting next to the bed on which his dead son was lying. Suddenly the son opened his eyes and murmured to the king, "Your ministers stabbed me." and then immediately fell dead on the couch again. When the king heard this, he commanded that the ministers who had murdered his son be hung. The Jews' mourning and fasting was turned back into happiness. The Tze-ena Jews decreed that the 17th of Adar would be a fast, and the 18th of Adar would be a second Purim when feasting and praising Hashem would be the order of the day. This story was provided by the Yated Neeman Publication...















A Lesson About Anger

        "But Queen Vashti refused to come in accordance with the King's
commandment as conveyed by the chamberlains. The King became furious
(vayiktzof), and his anger burned within him" (Esther 1:12).
        The Talmud asks a question on this verse: "But why did Achashveirosh
become so angry?" (Megillah 12b).
        The Talmud then goes on to explain that Vashti, in addition to
his royal command, added insult to injury by sending him the following
message: "My father's stable boy would drink a thousand barrels of wine
stay sober, whereas you get stone drunk after only a few cups!"
        Upon further analysis this segment of the Talmud is enigmatic. For one
thing, why is it so difficult to understand why Achashveirosh grew
angry at
Vashti? He had every right to! By not obeying his royal command, she
embarrassed him in front of the world's greatest leaders. This was
certainly sufficient reason to become angry with his wife. Why then
the Talmud wonder what got him so upset?
        The word vayiktzof-translated here as "became furious"-is a derivative
the word ketzef, or foam. It refers to an overt expression of anger,
symbolized by the sea on a stormy day, when the waves wear a crest of
        The Talmud's question is as follows:
        Since Achashveirosh vented his anger, why did his anger still "burn
him"? Anger can be said to "burn" within a person when he neglects to
expression to it. But when one gives expression to one's anger, the
of indignation usually subsides.
        The Talmud explains that Vashti's rude message concerning
tendency to become drunk easily was what made his anger burn within
        True, his anger over her refusal to follow his command had already
itself, but he had still not gotten over the disgrace of being on the
receiving end of her private little joke. What really frustrated
Achashveirosh was the knowledge that he could not afford to publicly
his anger at her for sending him the obnoxious message, because had he
so, her crude remark would have soon made the headlines, which would
only magnified his sense of embarrassment.
        This is what made his anger "burn within him."

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