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Why was Mordechai not living in Israel? One of the commentators suggests that in the absence of Nefesh B'Nefesh it was just too difficult to make Aliya.

However Targum Sheni [pasuk 7] explains that Mordechai was living in Israel but he returned to Chutz Láretz to take care of Esther who was an orphan.

In other words the whole Purim story would not have happened if Mordechai had not been a caring and concerned individual who was willing to give up his own dream of living in Eretz Yisrael [the Kabbalists teach us that he had the spark of Moshe Rabbeinu and we know how much Moshe wanted to come. 515 prayers offered for the zchus] in order to take care of someone in need.


It is clearly a Mitzva of great importance. Some say it is Biblical, some say it is Rabbinic. But it carries tremendous weight beyond its formal status as a Mitzva. It is the place where ALL of the other Mitzvos are supposed to be kept!! The Torah says that Hashem gave us the Torah in order to keep it in Eretz Yisrael. So Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael much more significant than Shabbos in Chutz Láretz and davening in Eretz Yisrael cannot be compared to davening in Chutz Láretz. I personally cannot live in Chutz Láretz knowing that the Torah that I learn there is only second rate in Hashem's eyes.

But sometimes the contingencies of the situation demand that one live outside of Israel. Chesed is MAJOR!!!

And we must remember that in order to leave Israel, Mordechai was granted a hetter by a member of the Sanhedrin - namely himself. So for us I think the lesson is: Ask a Gadol - then act.

May we all be zoche to live in Hashem's palace!!!!!!!!!

Love and Blessings

Elchanan ben Henna Miriam

Heilege Rebbe,

What's pshat in Targum Sheni? If Mordechai was exiled with Yechonya, how did he return? In this light, Menachem Leibtag has a great shiur on the whole premise of the Megillah that might answer that question (maybe the Targum Sheni does also?). See: http://tanach.org/special/purim/purims1.htm

You suggest that the whole Purim story would not have happened; I assume you mean the yeshua wouldn't have happened without Mordechai's guidance of Esther. Menachem's shiur suggests that had the Jews taken the opportunity to go back to the Holy Land, there would have been no reason for the threat to have even surfaced.

Furthermore, the gemara in Megillah (13a), suggests that Knesset Yisrael was upset that Mordechai provoked Haman. Had there been no Mordechai to provoke Haman, maybe the threat never would have arisen.

But BOTTOM line, had the threat come and Mordechai was not there, whether the Jews were in Israel or not, רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר. And from that understanding, we pray that G-d will always deliver us from our enemies!

i just looked at my comment and realized an error. obviously you don't think that the yeshua would not happen, but just that a key player such as mordechai was instrumental in facilitating the yeshua. my error. sorry.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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