Archive for the 'Purim' Category

The Messianic Meaning of the Book of Esther (Part I)

 

 

Illuminated Megillah

Illuminated Megillah

Christian commentators of the Bible often have greatly disregarded the Book of Esther. As noticed for example by Trisha M. Gambaiana Wheelock,

“The early Christian community did not produce a single commentary on the book for seven centuries, and John Calvin never preached a sermon or wrote a book concerning the Esther text. Martin Luther’s infamous remark succinctly summarizes much of the Christian response to the Esther scroll, “I am so great an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it had not come to us at all, for it has too many heathen unnaturalities [it Judaizes too much].” [1]

Yet early Christians loved this book, which was appreciated by many Church fathers, like Pope Clement I, Athanasius of Alexandria, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, and Aphrahat the Persian. [2] Their appreciation seems to be based, however, on allegorical or typological interpretation. Jerome, for instance, saw its principal characters, Mordechai and Esther, as types of the Church and Christ. One should know, moreover, that, until Jerome, the Church mainly favoured the Greek version of the book, preserved in the LXX. [3] That’s probably why in the Eastern Church there never was a real controversy about Esther. The reason for its problematic position in the West was that the Hebrew text was perceived as too typically Jewish and lacking in piety. The conspicuous absence of any mention of God or religious practice had even caused some Jewish reservations about its canonicity [4]:

For how to explain the inclusion in the canon of a book which was ostensibly so secular in nature? Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind the view of the Christian Church for whom the Book of Esther was, on the whole, an embarrassment. Most premodern Christian exegetes would probably have wished that it had never been included in the canon. The Church Fathers ignored it completely, and in the Middle Ages it was commented upon very rarely. Those exegetes who did comment on it usually interpreted it allegorically. Many Christian scholars, and not a few Jews, even in our own century, are offended by its particularistic, nationalistic tone and especially by the bloody scenes of revenge and the joyful triumph of the Jews over their enemies described in the book. [5]

Jerome’s comparison of Esther to the Church introduces us into the problems of interpretations based on Replacement Theology. Should this comparison lead to the conclusion that while in pre-Christian times God saved the Jews from their persecutors and secured their national and ethnic survival, yet after the advent of Messiah he transferred this favour to the Christians? Such a reading is not only completely beyond the literal meaning of the Book of Esther, but flatly contradicts its message, which is that the Jews are physically saved as a nation and people, wholly apart from their spiritual and religious condition.

In the XIXth centure some of the first dispensationalists, in a predictable reaction to Church theology, moved to the opposite view that saw in the replacement of Vashti by Esther a veiled prophecy of the end of the Gentile Church. At least, in his Études sur la Parole, John Nelson Darby made the following intriguing remark:

Nous voyons l’épouse Gentile, mise a côté à cause de sa désobiesance et pour avoir manqué à montrer sa beauté au monde; elle est remplacée par une épouse Juive qui possède l’affection du roi. [6]

William Kelly, following Darby’s dispensationalist approach, was even more explicit. He typologically compared Vashti to Christendom in an explicit way in a 1873 lecture on the Book of Esther:

The book not only is a book of providence — God’s secret providence — when He could not name His name on behalf of his people — in behalf of the Jews in their poor and dispersed condition among the Gentiles; but, further, it is typical of the great dealings of God that are yet to be, because what, mainly, does the book open with? This — the great Gentile wife of the great king is discarded, and the singular fact comes that a Jewess takes her place. I cannot doubt, myself, that it is what will follow when the Gentile has proved himself disobedient, and has failed in displaying the beauty that should be in the testimony of God before the world. In short, it is what is going on now; that is, at this present time, the Gentile is the one that holds a certain position before God in the earth. The Jew, as you are aware, is not the present witness of God, but the Gentile. The Gentile has utterly failed. According to the language of the 11th of Romans, the branches of the wild olive — the Gentile — will be broken off, and the Jew will be grafted in again. Well, Vashti is the Gentile wife that is discarded for her disobedience and failure in displaying her beauty before the world. That is what Christendom ought to do. The Gentile, I say, will be broken off and dismissed, and the Jew will be brought in. This is what is represented by the call of Esther. She becomes the object of the great king’s affections, and displaces Vashti, who is never restored. [7]

Whether Kelly’s comparison has any sound textual basis remains to be seen. It is obvious, however, that in dealing with the interpretation of a biblical text we should not in the first instance run to a typological, allegorical, or any other kind of non-literal explanation. Our first concern should be to establish its literal meaning. This being said, it is also obvious that historical events described by a text may point beyond themselves to other and greater events of which they are preconditions and prefigurations. That’s why the redemption from Egypt and the birth of national Israel can point to the national end-time redemption in the Messianic Kingdom and even beyond that to the state of eternal redemption in the World to Come.

The reason for this possibility of a deeper explanation is that God not only reveals himself in the words of Holy Scripture but also in the historical events described by the words of Scripture. These events are all directed by God and are part of his all-encompassing purpose with creation. This causes not only the words of Scripture to have signification, but also the events described by the words. Hence a particular and limited story can point beyond itself and find a deeper and more comprehensive meaning in later events or in the broader context of scriptural history. Thomas Aquinas gives a succint account of this possibility in the opening question of his Summa Theologiae:

The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves. So, whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science [i.e. sacred doctrine — GtH] has the property, that the things signified by the words have themselves also a signification. Therefore that first signification whereby words signify things belongs to the first sense, the historical or literal. That signification whereby things signified by words have themselves also a signification is called the spiritual sense, which is based on the literal, and presupposes it. [8]

By this account of Aquinas a typological or other “spiritual” sense of a scriptural text that would go against the literal sense, or overthrow its gist, is rightly excluded. That’s why I discarded here above the typology of the Church father Jerome.

The preferred way to find out whether a biblical history contains a typological meaning is to examine its connection to the mystery of Messiah. When there are hidden clues which clearly signify the person and work of Messiah, then it is reasonable to assume that the text has a spiritual meaning related to the broader context of biblical history, since all divine plans and purposes culminate in Messiah.

To find such hidden clues in the Book of Esther is not particularly easy, because of its secular appearance. Neither God nor anything religious is explicitly mentioned by it. However, there’s a character which shows a resemblance with Messiah in his humiliation and exaltation. This is Mordecai. He is a Jewish official in the palace of Ahasuerus (Est. 2:5). When he gets the news of the decree of Haman, Mordecai puts on mourning apparal (Est. 4:1). But soon after he is exalted as “the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (Est. 6:11). Finally, he replaces Haman (Est. 8:2) and reigns under Ahasuerus, in a similar position as Joseph under Pharao (Est. 8:15; 9:4; 10:3). This is an indication that Mordecai can be considered a type or prefiguration of Messiah.

When we look a bit closer to the details of the text, this indication is confirmed and we see in the events of Mordecai’s life a striking resemblance of “the sufferings of Messiah, and the glory that should follow” (I Pt. 1:11). In the following paragraphs we’ll go into some of these details, by way of a preliminary survey, without trying to be complete.

The calendrical date of the publishing of Haman’s decree is the thirteenth day of the first month (Est. 3:7, 12), i.e. the 13th of Nisan or the day before Pesach. [9] According to the Gospel of John this is the day before the crucifixion. [10] It seems probable that this was the first of the three fast days demanded by Esther as a preparation of her appearing before the king. For we read in Est. 3:15 that the king and Haman set down to celebrate and drink on the publication of the decree, but that the city Shushan was perplexed. So the city seems to have known of the decree the same time when the king and Haman were celebrating. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Mordecai, being an official in the palace, would have found out about it at the same time or even earlier than the city. [11]

On the assumption that this is correct, Mordecai appeared in sackcloth before the king’s gate on that very day, and this would make the 13th of Nisan the first of the three days of fasting. The third day of this fast, the day of Esther appearance before the king and of her first banquet with the king and Haman, is then the  15th of Nisan , the first Yom Tov of Matzot and the day of the Pesach Seder. This is the day when Messiah was dead and resting in the sepulchre. Mordecai prefigures this death in remaining complete motionless before Haman. While at an earlier occasion (Est. 3:5) it is said that Mordecai bowed not before Haman, nor did him reverence, here (in Est. 5:9) it is said that Mordecai did not rise or even stir on Haman’s account. Surely he didn’t rise, for he was destined to be typologically risen — i.e. to be exalted — the next day, the 16th of Nisan, which was to be the day of Haman’s definite humiliation and death. According to the chronology of John’s Gospel the 16th of Nisan is the day of the resurrection of Messiah.

In the Book of Esther this typological resurrection day starts with the night when the king couldn’t sleep and the merits of Mordecai were read before him from the royal chronicles. Here Ahasuerus functions as an image of the King of kings, because “he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). [12] It isn’t difficult to recognize that Mordecai’s exaltation as “the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (Est. 6:11), on the very calendrical date of the resurrection, typologically functions as a prefiguration of the resurrected Messiah in whom all Israel will be saved in the end. The hanging of Haman on the same day (the 16th of Nisan) clearly prefigures the defeat of Satan by the resurrection of Messiah.

At this point we have to pay attention to the more difficult question of the typological role of Esther. We have already seen that this role is linked to that of Vashti, whom she supersedes as queen. Esther cannot simply stand for the Jewish nation, since the Jews’s literal presense in the story is manifest enough. But perhaps we can discover what she represents by exploring her connections to the persons whose typological functions we have establised thus far. We’ll attempt to do this in Part II.

To be continued.

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[1] Wheelock, Trisha M. Gambaiana, Drunk and Disorderly: A Bakhtinian Reading of the Banquet Scenes in the Book of Esther, Baylor University — Waco, Texas 2008

[2] According to Athanasius, the Book of Esther was not included in the canon of Scripture.

[3] Summer 16-17: “In his survey of patristic literature on Esther, Timothy Gustafson notes that the response of early Christian writers to the Book of Esther was largely shaped by the Greek additions described above: “Although the translators of the Septuagint could not know it, their pious recasting of the story would give the book a general religious appeal that Christians could accept.” Because the Greek version emphasizes Esther’s extraordinaryfaithfulness, patristic writers often interpreted the narrative typologically with Esther representing the Church. In a late fourth century letter, for example, Jerome offers a typological reading of the story. Esther is a type of the Church, he writes, who “frees her people from danger and, after having slain Haman whose name means iniquity, hands down to posterity a memorable day and a great feast.” Gustafson cites other Christian writers with similar interpretations, including Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Rabanus Maurus.” [Saralyn Ellen Summer, “Like Another Esther”: Literary Representations of Queen Esther in Early Modern England, George State University — Atlanta, Georgia 2006]

[4] Philo of Alexandria never mentions the Book of Esther at all; Josephus summarizes it in his Antiquities, but it is not clear that he viewed it as part of Scripture.

[5] Walfish, Barry Dov, Esther in Medieval Garb. Jewish Interpretation of the Book of Esther in the Middle Ages, State University of New York Press — New York, Albany 1993

[6] Darby 172 [John Nelson Darby, Études sur la Parole destinées à aider le chretien dans la lecture du Saint Livre, Tome II (I Rois à Esther), Éditions Bibles et Traités Chrétiens — Vévey 1974]

[7] Kelly 8-9 [William Kelly, The Book of Esther, Lecture by W. Kelly 1873, Bible Truth Publishers — Oak Park, Ill.]

[8] S.Th. I.1.10c: “[…] auctor sacrae Scripturae est Deus, in cujus potestate est ut non solum voces ad significandum accommodet (quod etiam homo facere potest), sed etiam res ipsas. Et ideo, cum in omnibus scientiis voces significent, hoc habet proprium ista scientia quod ipsae res significatae per voces, etiam significant aliquid. Illa ergo prima significatio, qua voces significant res, pertinet ad primum sensum, qui est sensus historicus, vel litteralis. Illa vero significatio, qua res significatae per voces iterum res alias significant, dicitur sensus spiritualis, qui super litteralem fundatur, et eum supponit.”

[9] Pesach in the strict sense is the day when the Pesach lambs are to be slaughtered, the 14th of Nisan. This is not the same day as the feast day of Matzot, which is the immediately following day, the 15th of Nisan (Lev. 23:5-6).

[10] Jn. 19:14 says that the day of the crucifixion was on the preparation (day) of the Passover. This is to be understood as the preparation of the feast day of Matzot, as is clear from Jn. 19:31. According to John’s chronology the Lord Yeshua was thus crucified on the 14th of Nisan.

[11] Berlin 45: “Mordecai heard the decree at the same time as the city of Shushan. Unlike the dumbfounded city, Mordecai springs into action, taking definite steps to publicly demonstrate his feelings.” [Adele Berlin, The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther, The Jewish Publication Society — Philadephia, Pennsylvania 2001 (5761)]

[12] This is confirmed by the opinion of R. Tanhum, who said that “the sleep of the King of the Universe was disturbed” (BT Megillah 15b). Actually, the Hebrew text doesn’t say “disturbed”, but that the kings sleep “fled”, according to Young’s literal translation of ‘nâdad’. The same Gemora explains the passive form used for the reading of the chronicles — “they were read” instead of “they read them” — as an indication “that they were read of themselves”, meaning perhaps a passivum divinum.

 

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Purim in Washington: Appearing Uninvited Before the President

 

Netanyahu versus ObamaDuring their first exile, thousands of years ago, the Jews faced the threat of extermination in the days of ancient Persia. The highest ranking Prince of the Persian Empire, Haman the Agagite (Est. 3:1), was determined to get rid of them because he considered them an alien element within the State. He tried to convince his Sovereign, King Ahasverus, of the necessity to destroy them.

Today the State of Israel faces the threat of annihilation. The most high ranking Islamic clerics of Iran (which is Persia) are determined to destroy it because the Jewish State is considered an alien element within the Islamic culture of the Mideast. That’s the deeper motive why Iran’s diplomats are presently seeking to convince the word leaders, in particular US President Obama, that it is necessary for them to become a nuclear power.

In the Persia of Haman only Mordechai the Jew, a Benjamite, realized the ominous tidings. Since he was the stepfather of Esther, the newlywed Queen, he urged her, “that she should go in unto her husband, the King, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people” (Est. 4:8). Yea, he even charged her to defy the royal protocol and appear uninvited, which was a major offense and an insult to the King.

Today only the tiny Jewish State seems to realize the threat of an Iranian ascendancy for itself and the entire Western world. That’s why it has sent its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to Washington to speak about the dangers involved before the American Congress. Netanyahu comes uninvited by the American President, and risks his ire. His visit is viewed as an insult by the White House and as a serious violation of the diplomatic protocol.

We seem thus to be witnessing an astonishing historical analogy, a reenactment of the Purim story at the theatre of today’s world politics.

In ancient Persia, King Ahasverus was prepared to go along with Haman’s plan, until Queen Esther changed his mind. In today’s world, president Obama and the leaders of the Western world seem prepared to go along with the aspirations of Iran to become a nuclear power. The important question is: Will Netanyahu be able to change their minds? Such a miracle seems rather unlikely.

Nevertheless we can be sure that, independent from Netanyahu’s success or the lack of it, and independent from the world’s leaders willingness to play their part in the unfolding events of today’s Purim story, Israel will be saved. For, if the world refuses to listen, then “shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place” (Est. 4:14). It is this mysterious reference to a predetermined divine redemption which is the essence of the Purim miracle.

Permanent Messianic Halachic Authority Taking Its Seat in Jerusalem

 

From our special reporter, M. Charbonah

Under the inspiring and energetic guidance of Rabbi Mordechai ben Benyomin, the city of Jerusalem now seems close to enjoy the establishment of a Center of Halachic Authority for Messianics. The new institute, comprising a Beth Din, a Synagogue, and a Yeshivah, will take its residence at Hadassah Street, in a magnificent modern architectural building. The building can be easily recognized, seeing that it is surrounded by a white fence, reminiscent of the Mishkan, to protect its sanctity (view the picture above). “Good fences make good neighbours”, says Rabbi Benyomin, when asked about the function of this enclosure.

“Although we had some legal difficulties during the building process, and faced opposition from diverse corners, notably from a certain non-Jewish trouble maker, Mr. H.A. Man, all this now belongs to the past”, the Rabbi informs us. “Even this Mr. Man has offered us his services. Coming Thursday he will bring me on horseback through the main streets of the city and make a proclamation, so that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will have the opportunity to welcome me before my installation, which will be on Friday”.

In a special ceremony, planned on coming Friday, Rabbi Benyomin will be formally invested as the First Messianic Posek HaDor (Deciding Authority of the Present Generation) “with unlimited authority”,  according to the wording of the official installation documents.

“Our first objective”, explains R. Benyomin, “is to to bring strict halachic unity and purity to the Messianic movement. At the moment we have competing visions — ‘Divine Invitation’, ‘One Law’, ‘Noachide Volunteers’, and so on — and this must all end. As soon as I’m invested with the sacred authority granted to me, we’ll start separating the wheat from the tares”. After a thoughtful pause he adds: “And I can tell you that within a year from now, the world will see our first magnificent results. A person may be as goyish and treif as a dead shrimp, but ‘unlimited authority’ is able to change even that hopeless condition”.

Since the Rabbi is a great admirer of the mystics of the Kabbalah and engages in deep meditation each day for several hours, his residence (view the picture below and mark the mystical atmosphere!) will be separated from the institute and from the rush of business of the city. Nevertheless, his quiet home will be accessible to all seekers of truth. From all sides we hear that he is a very approachable man, and one of the rare public personalities in our days that succeed in combining an easygoing affability with a stern and frum mindset.

At the end of our short conversation the Rabbi declared his great delight in the contents of the Messianic613 website and forgot not to express his good wishes and a happy Purim to us and our readers. We are glad to join the Rabbi and wish all Messianics joyful days of Purim.

Purim Is About Avenging Ourselves On Our Enemies (Est. 8:13)

 

Queen Esther

This year we celebrate Purim with the Itamar massacre fresh in our memories, and with the knowledge that the Jewish people today are again surrounded by ruthless foes, hell-bent on the destruction of the Jewish State and the extermination of all the Jews. Again are we facing a deadly enemy arising from the power of Persia and Media (Est. 1:3) — today’s Iran — who’s relentless efforts to become a nuclear power are motivated by the wicked desire “to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day” (Est. 3:13).

And as in those days the Jews found themselves left to themselves, alone and without friends in the world, today’s State of Israel finds itself alone and without any real friends. The political friends which it supposedly has are often of a kind that one would exclaim: who needs enemies, with friends like these? The United States and the European Union have lost all moral courage and are since decades following a political line cynical to the core, and which is essentially based on the idea that it is advantageous to sacrifice Israel bit by bit for the sake of remaining on acceptable terms with the Arab world. With the Shoah horrors fading from the limited memorial capacities of the superficial and secular world of the modern West, antisemitism is rising its ugly head again on its road to a new fashionableness.

What is the comfort and joy we pour from the message of Purim in these perilous circumstances? When the blind forces of the world, which don’t know or care about G-d and are beyond the possibility of being moved by a religious or moral appeal, are turning against the Jews, then what can be done?

The Megillah of Esther shows us that a miracle can occur in a world which doesn’t know about G-d. In this book of the Tanach the name of HaShem never occurs, yea G-d is not mentioned at all. And yet it is clear from its pages that “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). The turning point of the story, which leads to the redemption of the Jews, is mysteriously contained in the opening sentence of the sixth chapter: “On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king” (Est. 6:1).

Lifting our attention from the wavering and unreliable Ahasverus to that trustworthty and unwavering King whose Kingdom is above all, this text tells us that He doesn’t sleep and that before Him is read “the book of records of the chronicles” of world history and that nothing is forgotten or hidden in the High Places of His Reign.

In a world that has lost all knowledge about G-d and his chosen nation, the world of the Jewish exile in the empire of the Persians and Medes with its pretentious laws which cannot be altered (Dan. 6:8), as well as the closed world of modern secularism and unchangeable natural laws, the miracle happens in a thus far unthought way. There occurs no public sign. The Hand of Heaven doesn’t become visible in any spectacular action. The miracle seems rather to be that the existence of the Jewish nation is ensured by an invisible hand and made part of the laws of world history.

The real miracle of Purim is thus that the Jews are an undeniable and necessary part of the world and that the world cannot exist without them. The immanent laws of nature and history are so designed by the Most High that the existence of the Jewish nation is part of them and that all efforts to wipe out the Jews are made futile and ultimately lead to the consequence that the evil plans of those who design them return upon their own heads (cf. Est. 9:25). When HaShem chose the Patriarch and their descendants to be a holy nation before Him, He made the solemn announcement: “I will bless them which bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3). The Book of Esther reveals that this blessing and this curse are not only a divine promise maintained by HaShem. They are an immanent property of the structure of this world. Whatever happens, the world is so designed by G-d that it cannot suffer the extermination of the Jews.

This means that the actions of the Jewish nation are part of this structure and that from time to time this nation is afforded the golden opportunity to smite its enemies, as it is recorded in the Megillah: “Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them” (Est. 9:5).

Although the full fruits of redemption will not be experienced apart from true faith and trust in HaShem, the bare existence of the Jewish nation is not dependent on these virtues. It depends solely on the divine promise pronounced in old times and sealed by its inscription in the edifice of the world. Come what may, the nation of Israel will always stay and be able, at decisive moments, to destroy its enemies.

Good Purim!

“…until he no longer knows…” A Purim Riddle?

 

 

« Since wine served as a catalyst throughout the saga of the Purim miracle — Vashti lost her position at a wine feast, Esther was granted her [throne], and similarly, Haman’s downfall came about through wine — our Sages obligated us to drink wine and become intoxicated. [Megilloh 7b] ordains, “A person is obligated to become so drunk on Purim that he does not know the difference between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai’. » (Ganzfried 142:6)[1]

 

This precept of the Sages raises a question. Duly considered, the two sentences ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai’ are logically equivalent. For, in the context of the Purim saga, the cursing of Haman implies the blessing of Mordechai, and, vice versa, the blessing of Mordechai implies the cursing of Haman. The two sentences thus are two expressions of the same state of affairs, of basically the same fact.

 

Consequently, it seems that the drinking of wine is not needed at all to be in a state of not knowing the difference between these sentences. Why then, we may ask, did the Sages establish this as a measure for the amount of wine to be drunk at the festival? Is their precept itself perhaps a Purim riddle?

 

A possible solution of this riddle seems to be that at Purim we drink out of excessive joy, because the Jewish nation was in mortal danger and was miraculously saved. This excessive joy is thus not the result of our drinking, but the motivating cause of it. We are already ‘drunken’ of joy before we drink. And by drinking wine at this time we do not get drunk but instead  become ‘sober’, able to see and experience things as they really are. And we do see and experience things as they really are, if we see and experience them as they are made by HaShem, who redeemed his people on this day. What thus is the measure of our drinking at Purim? Our measure should be based on the experience of redemption of the Jewish people. As it is said, « The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour » (Est. 8:16). We cannot be honourable or see the light if we ‘are tight’. Nor are we able then to experience true joy and gladness.

 

Things are turned upside down at Purim. The order of this world is disturbed. Things raised high are cast down, and things cast down are being raised up. The order of the World to Come shines through these miraculous events. We already get drunk in a sober state and become sober by drinking wine.

This explanation of Megilloh 7b accords with the words of Rabbi Shneur Zalman, in his Shulchan Aruch (529) where he says: “It is impossible to serve HaShem either in levity or drunkenness”. One of the final authorities on halachah, the Chafetz Chaim, in Mishnah Berurah (695), states clearly that the proper thing to do is not to drink to intoxication, but rather to drink just a bit more than is customary — which would be a glass or two of wine — and go to sleep. This is the proper way to fulfil “not distinguishing between ‘cursed be Haman’ and ‘blessed be Mordechai’”.

 

Gut Purim!

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[1] Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, Kitzur Shulchon Oruch. A new translation with notes and diagrams by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger, Moznaim Publishing Corporation — New York, Jerusalem 1991.