Thursday, July 05, 2007


It is written in the Megillah [2:5]: There was a Jewish man in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordechai, son of Yair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, from the tribe of Binyamin. The Gemora asks: What is the significance in mentioning all these names? The Gemora cites a braisa which states that all these names are in fact referring To Mordechai. He is called the son of Yair because he brightened the eyes of the Jewish people in prayer. He is referred to as the son of Shimei because Hashem listened to his prayers. He is called the son of Kish because he knocked on the Gates of Mercy and they were opened for him.

The Shem Meshmuel asks: According to this explanation, the phrases are seemingly in reverse order. First, one knocks on the Gates of Mercy, then Hashem would listen to his prayers and afterwards he would brighten the eyes of Klal Yisroel.

Rabbi Eliezer Ginzburg in his sefer, The King’s Treasures cites an important principle that was often said by the Mirrer Mashgiach, Reb Yerucham Levovitz.

The Medrash in Parshas Beshalach (61:5) states: Why did Hashem scare the Jewish people? The Medrash answers: Because Hashem desired their prayers. The Medrash is teaching us that the primary purpose behind the Splitting of the Sea was to stir Klal Yisroel to prayer.

Our Gemora tells us that Hashem desires the prayers of the righteous. The Matriarchs were barren only so that they should pray to Hashem for children. Their desire for progeny caused the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs to pray to Hashem at a level that under normal circumstances they would not have done.

This can be said in regard to the hardships that happened to the Jewish people in Shushan. It was to chase away the spiritual gloom that comes with exile and to brighten the eyes of Klal Yisroel through tefillah. The phrases are thus arranged in levels of importance.