Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv

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Effort and Miracle

Chazal say in Chulin (139b), “The people of Papunai said to Rav Masnah -- Where do we find Mordechai in the Torah? For it is written, Mar dror (fine myrrh, Shemos 30:23), which the Targum translates as Mira dachya.” It is impossible to say that the reference to Mordechai in the possuk is a mere play of words. Obviously, the hint at his name in the verse hints at a deeper message? What is it telling us? We find a very basic disagreement between Mordechai and Esther in the middle of the Megillah. When Mordechai commanded her via a messenger to come to the king to plead to him and to ask before him for her nation (Esther 4:8), Esther sent back that it was too dangerous. All the servants of the king… know that any man or woman that comes to the king to the inner courtyard who was not called, has one law to be put to death… And I was not called (ibid 4:11). Mordechai then warned herthat if she kept silent, she and her family would perish and the Jews would be saved by some other means.

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