Haman builds gallows

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Haman Build’s the Gallows: [1]

Haman returns home from the feast in a bitter sweet mood. He is overjoyed over his close relationship with the king and queen although is disturbed by Mordechai’s constant refusal to bow to him. Upon taking advice with Zeresh, his wife, and his friends he decides to hang Mordechai on the gallows the next morning.

 

Q&A

Why was Haman so disturbed by Mordechai’s presence?[2]

Haman was actually the legal slave of Mordechai. The Midrash[3] states that the story behind Haman’s acquisition by Mordechai as a slave is connected with a certain trip Haman made together with Mordechai. They were both sent by the king with funds to lead a battle against a certain country. Haman used his funds carelessly and eventually had no money to support the war. Mordechai on the other hand used his money wisely and had half of the amount still remaining. When Haman ran out of food[4] he approached Mordechai for a loan. Mordechai only agreed to the loan on condition that Haman sells himself as a slave to Mordechai. Haman accepted the condition and signed a contract stating that “Haman is the slave of Mordechai-he has sold himself to Mordechai in exchange for food”. Thus now whenever he saw Mordechai he was reminded of this sale and how he was in truth the legal slave of Mordechai. Thus all of Haman’s wealth was meaningless as it legally belonged to Mordechai.

 

What type of tree was used for the gallows?

The Midrash[5] states that when Haman desired to build the gallows Hashem called upon all the trees from the time of creation asking which would be used to hang Haman. A fiery debate broke out between the trees, each one claiming the merit to have Haman hung on it. Others[6] however interpret that each one claimed why they did not want the impure Haman hung on them. The “Kotz” [thorn] was then chosen as the tree. Haman proceeded to search for a beam that would be 50 Amos long and could not find one. He had to destroy his pergola and remove from it a 50 Ama beam.[7] Haman positioned himself near the beam to demonstrate to his friends how Mordechai would be hung. A heavenly voice then proclaimed “The tree befits you; the tree is prepared for you since the times of creation”.[8] Another Midrash[9] states that they searched for a beam of wood that is fifty Amos tall and the only beam they found was in possession of Haman’s son Parshandasa who removed it from the ark of Noah.

 

Haman meets the 22,000 children:[10]

The Midrash states that after Haman built the gallows he went to visit Mordechai and found him in the Beis Midrash learning Torah in sackcloth and repentance. He had a count made and there were 22,000 pupils inside. He commanded that they be shackled in iron chains and he then stated “Tomorrow I will first kill these children and then I will hang Mordechai”. He appointed guards to watch over them. The mothers of the children, upon discovering the decree of Haman, brought food and drink to the children telling them “eat and drink for tomorrow you will die; don’t die in hunger”. They immediately closed their books and swore allegiance to Mordechai stating they will not eat and drink and will die out of fasting. They all screamed to heaven until their voice pierced the Heavenly chambers close to 2:00 in the morning. At that moment the mercy of G-d became revealed and He descended from his chair of severity to His chair of mercy. Moshe Rabbeinu then spoke up in the merit of the children and at that moment Hashem took the decree that he sealed and tore it to shreds. He then caused a tumult to occur below with Achashveirosh.

 


[1] 5/9-14

[2] Megillah 15a; Rashi “Vizeh Ba”; Iyun Yaakov ibid; Yalkut Shimoni 1056

[3] Yalkut Shimoni ibid

[4] So is implied from the Gemara and Rashi ibid; However the Midrash ibid simply states that he ran out of money to pay the soldiers.

[5] Esther Raba 32; Yalkut Shimoni 1059

[6] Anaf Yosef on Midrash ibid

[7] Yalkut Shimoni ibid

[8] Esther Raba ibid; Yalkut Shimoni ibid

[9] Yalkut Shimoni 1056

[10] Esther Raba 33; Yalkut Shimoni 1057

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