10/02/2007

Book of Esther: Chapter 4 (Updated study)

(Note: To read the third chapter of this book, please click on the following link: http://www.breslov.com/bible/Esther4.htm#4. This way I hope that you will be able to follow, and understand the study much easier.)

We have learnt in how we arrived at this point, namely the decree which Haman had devised against the Hebrew/Jewish population of king Ahasueres' kingdom. It's the same knowledge that also did put Mordecai into a situation of seemingly feeling guilty about it. The new law had been written, and it became known to all. Some do even argue that no one of the common people was aware of the reason of why that they should prepare themselves for the 13th of Adar, wherewith to explain the confusion. But something however feels not quite right when we would keep ourselves firmly attached to this kind of thinking. True, it's quite possible that Mordecai will have made the connection between this new edict, and how he acted towards Haman, even knowing the wroth that it accumulated against himself and the entire Hebrew/Jewish nation for not having bowed down before Haman. It’s therefore fair to assume that Mordecai, it seems, felt responsible, and that he wanted to take the entire blame upon himself. His most probable decision made shouldn't be treated lightly thus because such an act will weigh heavily upon everyone's shoulders. Still, it on the other hand would of course explain Mordecai's present behavior more obviously, more in line with his profile, meaning a deep religious man who had total respect for G-d. Yeah, he must have felt perturbed about the whole thing in relation to how people looked upon him. We naturally will probably never become aware of the full extend in how he must have felt. However, we can take note of the fact that he, based on his argument with queen Esther, couldn't but feel unease as well regarding the manner he had tutored her just moments before she would enter Shushan the castle. After all, it must have been not easy for him to ask her to keep her identity a secret, something that clearly without question meant forsaking on every halachic rule, when needed, that could and would betray her upbringing, whom she truly was and is. Anyhow, another subtle hint is given, one which undoubtedly proves that everyone could understand what the waiting was meant for. It became even known to the entire Hebrew/Jewish population, and they didn't run away. Hence, where would they have to run to in the first place within such a large kingdom? You can hardly ask of people who are to become annihilated to run for safety right into the arms of perhaps even worse enemies of those times, no?


We therefore do have the right to assume that everything was well known to everyone. And that it at the same time, like in previous similar circumstances, resulted in an upheaval of a more strict religious devotion, one not so much in finally coming to terms again with whom you really are, your roots, and how good it was, then the hope which started to shine more brilliantly anew, the hope of salvation, of becoming liberated, be freed of the bondage, and being fully entitled to be the very person you are within your own nation once again. It's thus quite understandable, no matter the prophecy, that some could have started to lose all hope after years of exile. Yes, we through our Judaic studies, whether done now or centuries ago, do always become aware of the deep rooted belief that there is for everything a reason when something happens, or has happened. In Judaism this means that G-d will one day come to our rescue, will save us from a dreadful situation we have tumbled into. So we wait and wait, but it's not right to wait any longer. He, that is G-d, wants action from our part, especially when it has something to do with the kind of respect we have for Him. Yes, no matter when we’re Jewish or a gentile, we sometimes tend to look into the wrong direction when hardship befalls us. We never start looking first and foremost within our own self, always wanting to blame others instead. Honestly, it's of course human nature to act in this manner. It's man’s ego that doesn't want to see its own image being revealed, namely the truth about itself within the mirror. But we spiritually do know better than that of course. We know that we will have to put the blame upon our very own shoulders for that what we mostly assume as being unjustified reactions. True, it's not always as such, and we therefore have to be careful with matters like these, to not create, or constructing the basis for even greater injustice instead of justice. Nevertheless do we have to be prepared, at any moment in time, to stand-up for ourselves, even when this would be against the very personality we have acquainted ourselves with, namely myself in being ego. Hence, it's never a surprise, and understandable, that people are losing hope whenever things aren't happening fast enough. And we, based on what is taught us about it in this particular situation, are here being submerged into the reality of how many Hebrews/Jews must have felt by interpreting the festivities in Shushan the castle, as it was given due to the joy that nothing has happened 'after' 70 years, that the Hebrew/Jewish nation didn't return to Eretz Yisrael. Of course, the worst nightmare that can happen to anyone is being thrown before the lions, as was done to the prophet Daniel. Only, here it were the ones of our own belief. G-d's authority/existence became attacked by a god's belief in a manner of speaking.


If it was to be true, then what about G-d? What about everything we stand for, we belief in, even the prophecies? Is the king right, and are we wrong? How can that be? Of course, we're a minority, but does that mean that we were wrong? Should we start reneging on who we are and connect, start assimilating with the customs of the local population, their beliefs? Is it right for us to begin walking into the same footsteps of our Hebrew/Jewish brothers and sisters of the kingdom of Northern Yisrael? Did they had it right all along when starting to worship foreign deities? But how can that be right when those nations who do belief in them have spilled so much innocent blood, even our own? Is dead thus the end? Is the culture of dead the only right and just path to be walked? Or is our belief in the sanctity of life the path that will truly enlighten the world entire? Have we and our forefathers, even the Patriarchs Avraham, Yitchak and Yaacov, been mistaken all along? Is the entire Judaic endeavor all been for nothing, even the Noahide one? Is life thus merely being born and die, and nothing more than that? But what does that tell us about the other one's belief, or beliefs, the one/ones of the king? Does it mean that there is no G-d? Yes, that He doesn't exist at all? Hence, should we fear those lions who symbolize everything where G-d stands for, afraid that they will devour us?


Just a few thoughts about what people could have been thinking in such a set time. It are very common thoughts, thoughts which will be as good as in every time the same ones when people like you and me become confronted with a straight attack on the very person we are. And a prophecy of that magnitude that became exploited, as how it was being done, will have had for sure a devastating effect on the entire collective mind of the Hebrew/Jewish nation when it would have 'proven' not to be right, for the prophet who uttered it in the first place was regarded in high esteem, to say the least. No one questioned his authority. Anyhow, the entire matter does give us the best example possible in how foreign nations throughout our entire Judaic history have always been eager in trying to present their case against even our deepest belief. We cannot but accept the fact that it even does stand to this day, or on any day for that matter that would comply with the same credentials. The resemblance with queen Esther's time, ours, and others is so darkening the place that we cannot but only do our utmost in enlightening it again, in uplifting it anew onto the right track of what human dignity truly does stand for, that Judaism is not a religion that sanctifies dead, neither literally nor figuratively, but only the one of life. Everything else is just plain and simple wrong, completely out of touch with the human collective mind of being a oneness, being created out of the same stem cell, a cell wherewith everything could become created, and live its life. Hence, if we're all connected to Adom, then even more so to that tiny cell which was empty first, but became later on filled with so much love and warmth into whatever form of life G-d could think about. Yes, all life stems from that one cell, the 'Adom' of our existence, the source of our gratitude that we may live, the one ‘who’ would be cultivating the Garden of Eden so to speak. True, G-d gave it authority over every form of life by its nature. It's not only our Judaic foundation, then the one of the entire world we live in, or do live upon, even the world to come. Every time someone tries to attack Judaism, s/he won't be attacking merely its belief and people. No, s/he will attack the very foundation whereupon every life has been build, is being build and will be build upon, even the one of the attacker. The one who attacks Judaism will thus attack his/her own world as well at the same time. When you would start trying to destroy the Hebrew/Jewish faith and its people, even its sanctified home, then you have begun destroying yourself!


It's the same elementary basic knowledge for every human being with a freed soul who becomes attacked time and time again through many kinds of different strategies/tactics, militarily and/or diplomatically. Now it was being done through manipulation of the mind, of the collective one, of what everyone knew within the king's kingdom. Therefore, after that the king tried to expose the 'wrongness' of the prophecy wherewith he wanted to emphasize the correctness of his beliefs and that of the majority of the population, it would be just but a small step for someone like Haman to take it a huge leap forward. He, as written before, did try to achieve it by probably on the one hand using deceptive manipulative tactics within the king's entourage while quite more openly revealing his true intentions to everyone else outside, meaning that the king mostly relied on info regarding his kingdom and the people through those who were standing close to him. But you couldn't come to the king unless he would be holding out the golden scepter to you. Thus a manipulative mind as Haman was could surely and easily have manipulated all the king's rules to the benefit of his hand, of the kind of power that the king had given him. He stood closest to the king, and so it becomes obviously clear that he will have advised the king against something, or for this, or that. He even could have made sure that the king would never see those who would try to ask him more about this new law, and so revealing Haman's lie, certainly not Mordecai. Haman became even in the ability of putting all the laws to his hand now that the king had given him the ring wherewith everything can become sealed. The king didn't have to be aware of everything which was to become sealed with his ring, and was to be obeyed without questioning his authority, even when it meant that he had no clue whatsoever in what had been ordered in his name. Everyone had to obey what was sealed with that ring, no matter his/her own thoughts or feelings about the matter, even the queen. Yes, the power of Haman was quite substantive, a Yosef alike, albeit within an opposite reflection when compared with how things unfolded themselves during Yaacov's life. There are even quite interesting similarities between both, especially when we connect them with Moshe's tremendous achievements, using it as a bridge between both times.


To that regard it is said that G-d was more revealed, open, direct, and visible. Through the miracles of hardship that befell the Egyptians in support of the Hebrews/Jews well-being, the Pharaoh of Egypt eventually backed down, and did let the people go. G-d performed them all in a clear and concise manner. Every Egyptian couldn't go around the fact that they were witnessing a very harsh reality, meaning that whatever which was happening to them was completely out of touch with what they were capable to comprehend, unless you were a Hebrew/Jew of course. And even they had their moments of doubt. Still, the Pharaoh in first instance tried to counter Moshe by letting his wise men to perform the same till they ran out of fuel so to speak. This wasn't the case for Moshe, as he wasn't using something that was bound to this world, but was given it from above, a source that never dries up, not like the necessities needed to sustain a man’s ego with thus. He never had to refuel whatever that there was to be refueled. He stood in front of Pharaoh, and everything what was needed stood with him in his presence, the same as how queen Esther would be standing in front of the king within a moment. Everything was very visible, open and not veiled, something that wasn't to be the case in Mordecai's time. Here it was veiled. People were seemingly walking in the dark, in a fog. G-d was revealing Himself through a veiled manner of perception. Only through acts of certain persons did it became clear in what direction it all had to be steered. But it was still of utmost importance to go it carefully, so to make only the right choices when they were meant to be taken, not sooner and not later. However, some do argue that the reason for that veiled representation of G-d's manifestation was because our Hebrew/Jewish forefathers of that time were not entitled to see it. It's a stated argument spoken within a manner of guilt, not interpreted thus as a blessed opportunity that came knocking on the door of every Hebrew/Jewish household of the kingdom of Ahasuerus. Yes, it, through studies of that period in human history, was advised to perceive it as a time when the Hebrew/Jewish people were too far away from G-d's presence to witness it in a direct manner, as has happened many times before, not just only during Moshe's lifetime. Anyhow, there is an alternative view we can take into the depth of our heart, namely that it, as Mordecai warns Hadassah about, may all have occurred due to a sort of blessed interaction of G-d with His people. As Mordecai said to queen Esther: 'and who knoweth whether thou art not come to royal estate for such a time as this?' Why did it thus not became understood as an action one person, or an entire nation had to take without seeing Him, without visible miracles!?


Yes, why shouldn't we look at it from out of a different angle, perception? Wouldn't it be right? Or are we not entitled to have another point of view on the matter? Will we still have to be afraid that the lions will devour us?


If what we have come to learn from out of it all is just merely guilt, then we will have learnt nothing at all really. But right, it all comes with the factor guilt. However, it's not the most important element within the story. It's not the denominator. Guilt is here just only a tool wherewith it hides the deeper essence of what G-d wanted to teach everyone. And for that we have to use Moshe as the mediator, the center/bridge between queen Esther's time and the one of Yosef ben Yaacov. After all, we all do agree on the matter that He kept things veiled, hidden for the people and us who study it. So, it's all but obvious that we should look for our answers, to the why of what happened, not through what has always been visible, namely the guilt, or perception of it in relation to the exile. This was something very visible while G-d's message was veiled. We therefore have to look behind that what is visible when we want to find the invisible element, the one which truly will help us move forward, as we're all aware that the Hebrew/Jewish nation during Moshe's time only broke the circle of their bondage, their slavery by following the visible miracles. Now it was time for the people to be taught differently, to make them stronger spiritually, to do the same through means of veiled ones, to know them, so that every next generation can learn to differentiate between what is just something that happened, and something that happens with a reason, a message. For us to believe in the Torah with our heart, we have to learn to do so with our heart, even above all with our soul to the highest possible level. We will have to learn to take matters into our own hands if we want to succeed in this most enlightened endeavor, not forgetting G-d's wisdom always, and go for it ourselves. Our Hebrew/Jewish ancestors departed out of their slavery/enslavement in Egypt through a very visible Torah that stood in front of them, guided them out of their awkward situation. Now it was time for the people, even the entire nation, to learn to disconnect themselves from their bondage through the invisible Torah, the one that G-d did put into every person’s heart, Jew and gentile alike, the stem cell that he once filled with love, warmth, and compassion. Yeah, we don't really need His visibility anymore in a manner of speaking, as He entered our homes when He gave us His Torah through Moshe, even Adom, letting us become a miracle ourselves. We from that moment on became in the ability to move on with our lives without Him being visibly around us, but still a very vivid presence everywhere we went, and would want to go. Therefore, no matter if we would be thrown before the lions, they won't devour us, the same as they hadn't done so with the prophet Daniel.


But what if Mordecai would have bowed down before Haman? What would have happened when queen Esther would have been silent all the time, even when she hadn't been called to the king for these thirty days? Would those lions still have not devoured us?


No, they won't have done so because if they would, then they won't have been the same lions anymore. Yes, Mordecai warned queen Esther about it as well when he said to her: 'For if thou altogether holdest thy peace (appease!) at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father's house will perish.' It will be devoured by the king's kingdom, but not by His, that is the King's Kingdom, G-d thus. Rashi seems even to suggest, when we read his study about it, and alluding to that moment, that her descent would eventually become revealed, or who knows, is already so. It could of course explain why the queen hadn't come to the king these thirty days. Maybe that she had fallen into disgrace, or that he, the king, needed to have some time to come to terms with this new reality. But she eventually risks to fall into an even greater turmoil, or into one when revealed that she knew that something awful was bound to happen to her people, even to the king, and that she kept silent about it, knowing that the king has the authority to retract it, no matter the irreversibility of a king's law whether written in him being aware of it or not, to fight against it with a completely opposite one to the one made. In reality we, within a less veiled manner, do come to learn that it could well have been that Mordecai wasn't feeling guilty about it at all, but that he instead was trying to get Hadassah's attention so that she could work from the inside, to stop Haman's edict. He didn't felt guilty because every Hebrew/Jew would have done the same as he did, and because of what was being upheld throughout the entire Hebrew/Jewish nation of that time. Besides, he needed an excuse to keep himself out of the castle so that his connection with queen Esther wouldn't become revealed too openly, especially to Haman, and him becoming suspicious as a result. We therefore may fairly assume that Hadassah's Jewishness wasn't yet revealed to the king, or that he kept it in his heart well guarded, and veiled, even for Haman.

12:30 Posted by Bernadette Schaepdryver in Chapter 4 | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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