Description: Purim 06
Sichos Rav Shimshon Pincus
Mordechai and Esther have a discussion whether it’s the correct course of action to enter into the king’s private chambers. Mordechai commands Esther to enter. Esther replies, everybody – every single man and woman knows, that if you enter the king’s chambers uninvited the sentence is immediate as is the execution of the sentence. It’s a death wish. This is not some fine print, or an archaic rule. It’s something universally known, like stopping at a red light. If you run a red light and get stopped by a cop, you can’t argue, I’m from a different country with different traffic rules. Everybody knows a red light means stop. That’s how simple it was that entering into the inner sanctum of the king uninvited was punishable by death.
Esther added, I’ve not been called for thirty days, and undoubtedly, the king will summon me very soon! From the Gemarah it seems that he didn’t go a night without Esther, so it is very likely that he won’t wait long to summon me! If I go now, I am ruining whatever chance we have. But not only that, Esther argues, the whole reason I am here is clearly to help Klal Yisrael when they need it. If I blow it by entering too soon, the whole purpose of me suffering through this torture of living with Achashveirosh will have been for nothing! Imagine how much is at stake here – not only her life, the whole of Klal Yisrael’s chance, and her whole ruchniyos!
Mordechai argues back – if we were trying to approach this with the regular avenues of hishtadlus you would be correct. But that’s not the approach because that won’t work. We are past that – the decree has already been sealed. Our only hope is mercy of Hashem, rachamei Shamayim. If now is a time that we can be me’orair Rachamim, because Klal Yisrael is on the verge of calling out to Hashem truthfully, how can you wait? You will lose all chance to redeem yourself!
Rabbi Pincus relates a story that happened to him. When he was a young bachur learning in the Yeshiva of Bais Hatalmud in Bensonhurst, the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shmuel Charkover zatzal was deathly ill. The whole yeshiva had assembled in the Beis Medrash to say Tehillim for him. Rav Pincus had gone outside to make a phone call. As he was on the phone, his rebbe, Rav Leib Malin zatzal passed by, and asked him, ‘What are you doing on the phone now?’ He answered, ‘I am calling other yeshivos so that they too should say Tehillim.’ Rav Malin told him – ‘It’s not time to be speaking on the phone – it’s time to say Tehillim!’ Rav Pincus countered, ‘But I’m calling so that they should say Tehillim?’ Rav Malin repeated again and a third time, ‘It’s not time to make phone calls, it’s time to say Tehillim!’ Rav Pincus says eventually he understood. It was a very crucial time, Rav Charkover was deathly ill, and clearly it was a time that the decree about him was being sealed in Heaven – it’s not time to make different kinds of hishtadlus – the only thing to do is to call out to Hashem – cry out to Heaven!
This is what Mordechai was telling Esther, the problem of Klal Yisrael isn’t Haman or Achashveirosh, our problem is up in Shamayim – that’s where we have put our effort. In order to change this decree, it requires causing Hashem to have great mercy, and that can be achieved with great mesiras nefesh. Mordechai wanted Esther to enter into the chamber as an act of mesiras nefesh – not hishtadlus.
The Gemarah has many reasons why Esther asked Achashveirosh and Haman to a party. But one of the reasons given is because, ‘Maybe Hashem will look at me and make a miracle!’ What does this mean? This is what Mordechai wanted – that her act of extreme selflessness will cause Hashem to open up the gates of mercy and a miracle would occur!