Party Like its 366 BCE

March 5, 2017 at 9:21 PM ,

“…A seven-day feast in the courtyard of the king’s palace garden. White, green and blue fabrics, embroidered with cords of linen and purple wool, were draped on silver rods and marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a pavement of green, white, shell, and onyx marble…” – Esther 1:5-6

…מִשְׁתֶּה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בַּחֲצַר גִּנַּת בִּיתַן הַמֶּלֶךְ: חוּר כַּרְפַּס וּתְכֵלֶת אָחוּז בְּחַבְלֵי בוּץ וְאַרְגָּמָן עַל גְּלִילֵי כֶסֶף וְעַמּוּדֵי שֵׁשׁ מִטּוֹת זָהָב וָכֶסֶף עַל רִצְפַת בַּהַט וָשֵׁשׁ וְדַר וְסֹחָרֶת… – מג”א א, ה-ו

The feasts that Achashveirosh hosted are mentioned in the Megilah merely as a prelude to the Purim miracle; when “his heart was merry with wine”, Achashveirosh summoned his wife, Queen Vashti, to appear before him. Her refusal resulted in her death and thus the stage was set for Esther to become the Queen.

Why then must the Megilah fill us in on all the details of the floor plan and decoration of the palace? Is it relevant for us to read each year the extensive details of the lavish accommodations and décor of Achashveirosh’s party, and how it came on the heels of another ostentatious party that lasted for no less than 180 days?!

These elaborate details serve, however, as as an extraordinary lesson – about purposeful living, no less.

Party Like its 366 BCE

Achashveirosh’s display of wealth was intentional. Seeking as he did to impress upon the world his confidence in his monarchy, he threw a feast as can only a king of one hundred and twenty seven lands! Anything less, even if above and beyond the abilities of anyone else, would not have made his point.

The Megilah recounts the extents he went to show his potential to serve as a lesson that the same is true of every potential, whether in talent or means, with which G-d blesses any individual. Our successes cannot and must not be defined in relation to others whose achievements we have exceeded. Only when one has made his fullest impact on the world, and influenced as many people as he possibly could, using all the means that he – and only he – has, can “his heart be merry” with the celebration of fulfillment and purpose.

 

 

 

 

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