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DID YOU KNOW?

by Torah from Dixie Research Department    

"There was a Jewish man in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordechai the son of Yair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin" (Megillat Esther 2:5).

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"There was a Jewish man in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordechai the son of Yair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin" (Megillat Esther 2:5).

Out of all of the tribes, why should Mordechai, the brave redeemer of the doomed Jewish people, have been from the tribe of Benjamin? Why was he not from Yehudah, the noble tribe from which descended King David, King Solomon, and the Messiah? Why was this courageous leader not from the tribe of Levi, the tribe of our greatest redeemer Moses?

The answer lies in this week's haftorah taken from the book of Prophets, Samuel I. During King Saul's reign, the prophet Samuel orders him to kill out the entire nation of Amalek, in keeping with the Torah's commandment. Saul carries out these orders quite efficiently; however he spares the Amalekite king and many of their flocks (which he plans to bring as offerings to Hashem). Saul had mercy on them and failed to follow the orders of Hashem. As a result, the nation of Amalek flourished and Haman, the bitter enemy of the Purim story, is a descendant of this notorious people. Were it not for Saul's grave error, Haman would have never been born, and since Saul came from the tribe of Benjamin, his fellow tribesman Mordechai was given the opportunity to rectify his predecessor's mistake. Mordechai did not just happen to be a member of the tribe of Benjamin; he was the destined descendent of Saul to carry out the orders of Hashem against the evil Amalek.

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