Do Yourself a Favor

“…And Mordechai told him all that had befallen him…” Esther 4:7

וַיַּגֶּד לוֹ מָרְדֳּכַי אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר קָרָהוּ – אסתר ד, ז

Mordechai occupied an important position in Achashveirosh’s government (see Esther 2:19, “and Mordechai sat at the king’s gate.”) In addition, his cousin (or niece, see Targum,) was Achashveirosh’s queen. Presumably, even if Haman’s decree did come to pass for the rest of the Jewish people, G-d forbid, Mordechai would have been able to save himself through his connections in the palace.

the Megillah

Yet, when Mordechai was discussing the decree, the Megillah relates that he told Hasach about “all that had befallen him”—notably, referring to it as a decree that affected him, and not only them, the rest of the Jewish nation. Though Mordechai knew that his own life was not necessarily in danger, yet he sensed that when another Jew was in harm’s way, it was as though he too was being threatened.

The lesson we must take from Mordechai’s attitude and conduct is obvious. Certainly, one must always do his best to assist a Jew in need. Mordechai’s conduct takes this a step further, teaching us that your concern for another Jew must be as though his pain is your pain—you are not caring for someone else, but for yourself.  And when doing yourself a favor, wouldn’t you do it eagerly and happily?

—Toras Menachem 5745, vol. 3, pp. 1418-1419


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