09/17/2007

Book of Esther: Chapter 2 (Updated study)

(Note: To read the third chapter of this book, please click on the following link: http://www.breslov.com/bible/Esther2.htm#2. This way I hope that you will be able to follow, and understand the study much easier.)


Previously, we have come to learn what queen Vashti did, and what had been ruled about her. It was certainly not a very wise decision made by the king. Nevertheless, what was done could not be undone. It was the rule of law, and also the king had to show it its utmost respect. Yes, we may not forget that he stands as an example to his constituencies. But now that he was sober again, he came to realize the extent of damage one of the biggest mistakes in his entire life had caused his beloved wife. The festivities had taken place, and it heralded the beginning of a new era. However, it in the eyes of the king was the worst nightmare that could have happened to him at that particular moment because he clearly loved Vashti. We can therefore be assured that no shortcomings will have fallen upon her, even when she was to be no queen anymore. She was still one of his wives who he regarded in high esteem. She will stay living for the rest of her entire life within the palace. But we are witnessing at the same time the element of silence once more. As queen Vashti was about to be replaced as queen within one year, becoming a ray of hope and wisdom to the kingdom, she had every opportunity to guide the new queen to be, to educate her, and to make the king love her. You would almost start wondering if the king's chamberlain Hegai didn’t do what he did based on the vision of Vashti. After all, having the privilege of being a queen, a very wise one indeed, she knew the talents a person in such a dignified position had to have more than anyone else. It wasn’t so much about the beauty of the body, rather the personality that lives within. Every human being has this wonder of wonders within him-/herself, or rather around him-/herself as an aureole, to tap its wisdom, and create something wonderful with it, a rose alike. It doesn't give us of course the guarantee that we will live by it, nor was this the case thus for all the beautiful virgins who were to be brought unto Shushan the castle, into the house of the women. Nonetheless was there one single person who ran unknowingly into the spotlight, namely Hadassah, the daughter of Mordecai's uncle. There was something special about her. She was no princess, as she was not raised to be one. Only a very humble person, as Mordecai was, did raise her as the person she had become, immerging her into the wisdom of Torah, as was appropriate for a woman.


True, it's written that Esther pleased Hegai, the king's chamberlain, and that she obtained kindness of him in return. But we aren't told of the reason behind this behavior. We may therefore not forget that he without doubt knew Vashti very well, the queen knowing her husband even better than Hegai, or one of the other king's chamberlains for that matter. Anyhow, it does reveal the brilliance of queen Vashti, the beauty of her personality. She felt no remorse at all, on the contrary. Yeah, she handled the entire new situation as a queen properly befits. What she had done was the right thing to do at the most perfect moment that it could have been done, not later and not sooner, just right on time. An opportunity did arise, and she took it firmly with both hands knowing what the consequences would be when fulfilling the cause of action that, let us not forget, was a good deed indeed. The responsibility would lay entirely with her and hers alone. So knowing very well which place she as a woman occupied within the king's palace, it was most appropriate for her to take a step backwards as of now, keeping a low profile, working behind the scenes, accepting with dignity and honor the king's decision, and keep on caring for the well-being of the king's empire in her new role so to speak. She was therefore within her very own capacity the most appropriate personality within Shushan the castle who could with an almost 100% certainty pick out the virgin who clearly would befit a queen's delicate and most important position. The whole scenario fits well into the place and time of what we’re becoming immersed into. And it's for certain no fairy-tale. Hence, those tales are often constructed around things that really have happened in the first place. No, Hadassah's beauty was so overwhelmingly visible to everyone that she truly without any doubt had the qualities of a queen to be. She only needed her presence, being who she truly was, and nothing else when it would become her turn to be brought before the king. Still, the final decision would lay entirely within the king's power, not the chamberlain, nor Vashti. Of course, a little bit of a gentle push into the right direction wouldn't be that wrong in this case, as the daughter of Mordecai's uncle Abigail did befit the profile that even Vashti will have lived by, and thus her real beauty in the king's eyes, the one he truly did love very much.


However, it, as the Midrash does teach us, could have been Mordecai's wish that the king wouldn't choose her. We’re told that she truly was a princess after all, as she descended from king Saul, the very Hebrew/Jewish king who thanks to his degree of appeasement had caused the rise of Haman in Esther's time to occur. Thus when we take this angle of view into consideration, then it seems that something had to become rectified, and this task strangely enough did fell upon the shoulders of the same royal house that had caused it to happen in the first place. Naturally it's always useless to just look at the past wrongs because what happened did happen, and nothing that can be done about it. We can only look ahead, learn from the past, and try to correct our mistakes, or past mistakes made as best as possibly can be done. And here they manifested themselves within a veiled concept. Yes, as good as no one was aware of this important detail. It became only revealed to the entire world after a thorough study of the events in question had been done. The house of Esther was given through miraculous circumstances the opportunity of putting things back straight. But G-d wouldn’t be G-d if He won’t present it within the kind of freedom He is so well-known about throughout the Judaic world. Therefore, in a veiled manner of perception, every individual kept his/her free will, to choose this or that. No one became pushed into accepting just one decision only, the same as it was within the time of king Saul. After all, no one was aware of what was about to happen, or how everything would unfold itself. Mordecai had to rely on what he heard at the king's gate from a possible third person unless Bigthan and Teresh couldn't have seen him sitting, and would therefore have thus not been aware of his presence. Or that they, as some do suggest, wrongly thought that he couldn’t understand them. But we, based on the English phrasing of the sentence, may perhaps fairly accept that some third person told Mordecai about the intentional plan to murder the king. Nonetheless, the result would have been the same in either way we could interpret the situation as how it became revealed to us being the reader. Mordecai would have told Esther who had to rely on the honesty of that same third personality when so. The king on his turn had to rely on Esther's word, already queen Esther. At the end, the matter became proven right. So, not Mordecai, nor Esther, and certainly not that unknown person had to do what they did. Neither had the king to accept it, and order an investigation into the matter. They all freely choose what they thought was the right thing to do at that particular moment. And it was right and justified to act as they did in the given circumstances!!


An opportunity not only came knocking on the door of queen Vashti. Also the house of king Saul was given this same blessed status without anyone realizing the extension to the past that the turn of events at present did take, the depth behind the mystery of what was truly happening to everyone. A seemingly minor offense in relation to what was about to take place would cause a major shift within the thoughts and minds of many people of the region. The world was wrapped in darkness, and a ray of hope entered the picture. Now, the only thing that was about to happen was for the main personalities to make the right choices from the very moment the dices where thrown till it became time to collect the revenue in terms of a prophetic related matter. However, it could have only happened thanks to the presence of the Hebrew/Jewish people, and in particular the ones of the house of king Saul, even when they at the time were still living in exile, and had been forcefully thrown into this situation by Nebuchadnezzar who had exiled the last king of Judah, Jeconiah, and with him the people of Yerushalayim in an earlier period of Hebrew/Jewish history. It naturally doesn't mean that it all had to happen as it happened till that particular moment when Hadassah entered Shushan the castle. We may be even pretty sure that when king Saul wouldn't have taken a wrong turn, that there wouldn't have been not only a Haman, but perhaps neither an exile. And who knows, even no Persian empire for that matter as well, and thus no murderous threat to the king at all. Of course, this is all but speculation of what may have happened if this or that didn't happen, and another choice would have been made. As said, the past had happened as it happened, and the only just and wise thing to do is to learn from its mistakes, take a deep breath, jump into the ocean of Torah and become a light of enlightenment not only for your own good, then above all to give every individual within every generation, Jew and gentile alike, the same opportunities and rights to be whom one truly is. We may not only pinpoint ourselves to what king Saul had done because after him came king David and even king Shlomo (=Solomon), a very enlightened period in Hebrew/Jewish history, even religiously/spiritually. No, what is emerging to the forefront was the fulfillment of the prophecy in that those, and/or their relatives, who have been forced into exile with the last king of Judah would achieve the ability of returning to Eretz Yisrael after seventy years. Whether we should view it also in relation to what king Saul did is of course entirely up to everyone's free mind of thinking, or reasoning. But again, let us not focus our attention entirely upon that very small detail, as we all do know that many more things have gone wrong after king Saul, for certain after the reign of king Shlomo, and the one of his father king David. The only wrong that he, king Saul that is, did with regard to what we will become taught about in this Megillah was the element of appeasement, but far worse things have happened afterwards when we would put the Torah in front of us as a witness to the bench.


It would thus be entirely wrong to fool ourselves, and run into hiding behind just one person, to push all our sins upon the shoulders of just one personality, or even one nation, one people for that matter. This would be very wrong indeed, as it would by nature’s ego give every person, every nation living within such an ideology a blank check to commit the greatest atrocities a man could ever have performed in human history! We, in a G-dly religious and spiritual terminology seen, are well aware that the cause of an exile is not due to the faults, mistakes, and yes the sins, or even wrong behavior of just one person. This is thus where we should focus our attention upon when studying the Book of Esther. Her relation to king Saul is only a very small detail, nonetheless very important, but a detail within the entire picture of what had to be done, be rectified. And with Esther entering Shushan the castle, this rectification, the return of the Hebrew/Jewish people out of their second exile, the first being the one in Egypt, back to Eretz Yisrael again began to unfold itself exactly seventy years after king Jeconiah became exiled. Haman could emerge to the forefront of the story at present as a result of one of Esther's ancestors decision. But with her began the very first steps of renewal, of salvation that eventually would lead, or give every exiled Hebrew/Jew the freedom to return home, and also spiritually that is. Even the unknown person who told Mordecai about the conspiracy does give it all a gentle push forward into the right direction, just as queen Vashti had done as well. Both acted as they did in the hope that other persons would take upon themselves the most appropriate decision that had to be taken, and this for the well-being of the king's empire. However, when we look a bit deeper into this particular part of the story, then we can even unfold a spiritual message, namely that it on the outside only seems to be about the Persian king and the Hebrew/Jewish nation, but on the inside does it also give us a key to G-d's palace, the well-being of the Heavenly King. We are thus witnessing an emerging fact, a pillar whereupon the Judaic faith has been build, and one that is very important within Judaism, namely to believe in Him with our entire body, mind and soul. Yes, on the outside do we have king Ahasuerus and his kingdom while on the inside, within the inner depth of the story, G-d the King and His kingdom. Both instances do work in tandem with and between each other because only through the well-being of king Ahasuerus' empire can the well-being of G-d's kingdom become fulfilled as well. Groom and bride had to become one entity. If there is no oneness, then we can only have a division, a chaotic state of perception, of how we perceive things, an exile thus in a manner of speaking, figuratively and/or literally. And it was to be in this case also a figuratively one for all the people living within the king's kingdom.


Sometimes we just need to pull the brakes of a train for instance. And when we notice that we don't have them anymore, then the only right thing to do is pulling on the emergency brake. If even that doesn't work, then all what we perhaps could do is pray and hope for the best, or fulfilling in deeds what we are praying and hoping for, namely to derail the train which is heading straight towards a major disaster/catastrophe in a controlled manner. A miracle in such an instance would of course be nice to have, to occur, especially when it concerns a passenger train, but is fulfilling a deed with success based on our prayer not in itself the miracle that does bring the salvation into our homes, and salvage us from the eminent danger that could for certain have killed many thousands of people, maybe even more, perhaps tens of thousands or more? After all, when we review what we have been taught about, namely the inner depth of the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar, and many more religious inspired books, immerging ourselves into ancient old and sacred Judaic literature, even the writings of the sages thus, then there would be no alternative. We would only have the one option left, namely the one that we’re taught about here within the Book of Esther because let us not forget that every single passenger on that train did belong not only to the house of Haman, but were also those who followed him blindly as a puppy in whatever he decided that should be done with regard to the Hebrew/Jewish members of the king's kingdom. They truly believed very firmly in this for them 'holy' endeavor, just as this is the same still today in certain parts of the world entire, as was the case in other times beyond the one of Haman as well. When appeasement would have been applied this time again, then the train would have hit very hard that what it was bound to collide with, and cause innocent people to be killed as good as instantly throughout the entire kingdom of queen Esther's husband, the king. But when body (nature), mind (nature and spiritual) and soul (spiritual) are in a perfect unity/harmony, then there will be no need to have a miracle to witness one, as we will be, we all will be the miracle no matter when it only refers to an individual, a community, a people, yes, even an entire nation, the concept stays in every situation completely the same. We have the choice to make it happen, to let it emerge, or we let the choice slip through our fingers and bear, in this particular case, the extremely dramatic consequences of that choice for Hebrew/Jew and gentile alike thus. Remember that there were only a 75810 persons, a very tiny and powerful minority to become, who believed and wanted to see fulfilled Haman's vision at all costs!


However, one thing we can and may not ignore in this case neither, namely in that it all became written into the book of the chronicles before the king. And it at the right time would proven to be a very powerful witness to what was bound to become orchestrated unto an innocent people, something that would even bring devastation upon the entire kingdom. Now the light of enlightenment was there, the very light that could save everyone's blossoming destiny, even a people's one, Hebrew/Jew and gentile alike. The ray of hope had laid down the foundation of the future, the one that could become, but will luckily occur. It was now for the brilliance of the sun, for queen Esther to return its beauty into the heart of every Hebrew/Jew wherever s/he may live throughout king's Ahasuerus kingdom. And let us hereby not forget neither that a prophecy doesn't necessarily have to begin the way it seems to tell us. The fulfillment of the prophecy with regard to the return of the Hebrew/Jewish nation into its home began not with what Hadassah or Mordecai will do, or on the very moment the Hebrews/Jews would leave and return home, but with queen Vashti's, a gentile personality’s refusal to obey the king's order. On that very precise moment, no matter how small this seemingly unimportant occurrence in time may have been, to be overlooked, the prophecy had begun to take its course, the same as we may not regard the prophecy about Moshiach in a too literal fashion. It’s not because we don’t quite yet understand the full extent of the meaning, the depth of a veiled phrasing that we have to flee entirely and only to its literal expression. Such an interpretation wouldn’t only limit our ability to progress, even spiritually; it would always sooner or later also enchain us entirely, and put us into the inability of moving forward towards the most blessed time of all times, as it was to become for every Hebrew/Jew in the time of queen Esther, even the gentile. Yes, there are many more things to consider, or to reconsider, like here with this prophecy as well. After all, it doesn’t give us a day-by-day scenario of what truly would happen step-by-step. Our Hebrew/Jewish forefathers, even king Ahasuerus were only aware of the fact that the Hebrew/Jewish nation will return out of its exile back to Eretz Yisrael seventy years after that the last king of Judah had been taken into exile. It didn’t tell us how everything would unfold itself, only how it will end! Nevertheless, every lesson returns into a summary of that one simple word, namely oneness, a unison alike, in the likeness of G-d who is Oneness, and in how to understand the unfolding of a prophecy of this magnitude no matter the possible differences, maybe even huge ones, that there surely will have been, even in queen Esther's lifetime! Let us therefore remember that we Hebrews/Jews are as unique as everyone else, even amongst ourselves.

18:13 Posted by Bernadette Schaepdryver in Chapter 2 | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |