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Midrash Esther Chapter Three V: Zeh Lo Fair! Print E-mail

Megillas Esther“You indeed have seen it, for You observe mischief and anger, and it it is in Your power to allow it; nevertheless upon You the helpless relies, for the orphan, You have been the Helper (Psalms 10:14–15).” The Community of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed is He: Sovereign of the Universe, “You indeed have seen it,” that the wicked Esau will come and destroy the Temple and carry Israel away from their land and fasten chains around their necks. “You observe mischief and anger, and it is in Your power to allow it,” and yet You did rest Your Divine Presence on Isaac even when he said to Esau, “behold, your dwelling on earth shall be on of its fat places... and you shall live by your sword (Genesis 27:39).”


“Nevertheless, upon You, the helpless relies,” tomorrow Esau will come and it seize orphans and widows and lock them in prison and say to them: “let Him of Whom it is written that He is 'A Father of orphans, and a Judge of widows (Psalms 68:6),' come and deliver you from my hands.”

But, in truth, “For the orphan, You have been the Helper,” two orphans were left to Esau, namely Remus and Romulus, and You gave permission to a she wolf to suckle them, and afterwords they arose and built to great tents in Rome.

Another explanation: “You indeed have seen it, for You observe mischief and anger.” The Community of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed is He: “Sovereign of the Universe, You have seen the wicked Nebuchadnezar come and destroy the Temple and carry away Israel from their land and put their necks in chains. “It is in your power to allow it,” You caused Your Divine Presence to rest on Jeremiah so that he said to us, 'And all the nations shall serve him (Nebuchadnezar), and his son, and his son's son (Jeremiah 28:7).' 'Nevertheless, upon You the helpless relies,' tomorrow Nebuchadnezar will come and seize Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and cast them into the fiery furnace and say to them, “And who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hands (Daniel 3:15).” But in truth, ‘For the orphan, you have been the Helper,’ one orphan was left to Belshazzar, and You made her Empress over the kingdom that was not hers.”

Who was this? This was Vashti.

This midrash is Israel's response to God's complaint described in the previous midrash (Midrash Esther Chapter Three IV: Where is God’s Celebration?): “You  have seen our enemies and all they have done. You hold the power to stop them, but You did not. You empowered them, such as when You gave Isaac the ability to bless the wicked Esau, the ancestor of Rome. Esau saw himself as the helpless one who turned to You. His descendants mocked the imprisoned widows and orphans when they turned to You for help. The Romans saw themselves as the orphans (Remus and Romulus) for whom You were the Helper, (by allowing the she-wolf to suckle them). You saw what Nebuchadnezar did to  Your Temple, but You did not stop him. You empowered him through Jeremiah's prophecies. You gave him the power to cast the three holy men into the fiery furnace and mock them as they turned to You. Who was the orphan who turned to You as the Helper? The evil Vashti.

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