Megillas Esther

The first verse of Chapter 9 of Megillas Esther reads as follows:
Then, in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the month, when the time came for the king’s word and edict to be carried out – on the day on which the enemies of the Jews had hoped to dominate them – it was turned about, so that the Jews were the ones who dominated their enemies.
The Maggid says that here the Megillah is teaching us how we can tell just what diabolical plans Haman had in store for us. The Megillah tells us that Hashem arranged, in His kindness, for all of Haman’s evil plans to be “turned about” and redirected on him and his family. Thus, we can tell what would have happened to us, had Haman had his way, by taking note of what happened to him.
In this light, we can understand the following Gemara (Berachos 7a):
Said the Holy One Blessed Be He to Israel: “Be aware of how charitable I was to you by never getting angry at you in the days of Bilaam. Had I gotten angry, no remnant of Israel would have been left.”
The Gemara explains that Bilaam knew the exact moment each day when Hashem gets angry, and planned to curse the Jewish People at that exact moment. However, Hashem took it upon Himself not to get angry at all over the entire period during which Bilaam was trying to curse us.
The idea behind this Gemara is precisely the same as the idea behind the verse from the Megillah. We can tell how much the wicked Bilaam hated us, and how much he wished to curse us, by reflecting on the great outpouring of blessing we received when God inverted Bilaam’s planned curses into blessings. As our Sages say (Yalkut Shimoni I:570): “From the blessings of that wicked one, you can tell what was in his heart.” From the blessings themselves, we can tell that if Hashem had allowed Himself to get angry at us and given Bilaam the opportunity to curse us, no remnant of us would have been left.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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