[Avodah] Esther and the King

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Feb 27 10:21:01 PST 2013

On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 08:33:55AM -0500, Michael Feldstein wrote:
: This subject piqued my curiosity about something, too.  Was the concept of
: adultery as a yeharog v'al ya'avor in place at the time of the Purim story?

The gemara (Megillah 15a) assumes so, and gives two answers:

1- Abayei: "Esther qarqa olam haysa." Gilui arayos is not yeihareig
ve'al ya'avor for women, since it can be done passively. When Mordechai
Esther agrees with Mordechai that she'll have to go to Achashveirosh
rather than remain passive, she realizes she is violating a YVY and
says "kaasher avadti avadti".

2- Rava: An aveirah is not yeihareig ve'al ya'avor if the nakhri is
asking for the aveirah for his own hana'ah. And even if the avreirah
is berabbim.

As for whether the 3 yeihareig ve'al ya'avor were in place yet, I think
quite the reverse. At the time of the Purim story, the pesaq that there
were ONLY three mitzvos that were YVY wasn't yet concretized. In Seifer
Makkabiim we learn that the Chassidim haRishonim wouldn't fight a war
on Shabbos. Piquach nefesh -- saving SOMEONE ELSE's life -- is only a
matir / dokheh Shabbos because of the opportunity to keep more Shabbos
later if kept alive. So it would seem to me (miqal vachomer) that Shabbos
is only off the YVY list for this reason. And not like the other 609.

So it may be that the machloqes about the size of the list may have only
been between 3 and 4. But there is little reason to assume earlier pesaqim
had FEWER than the current three.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is equipped with such far-reaching vision,
micha at aishdas.org        yet the smallest coin can obstruct his view.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

More information about the Avodah mailing list