‫איי הים‬ The pasuk says: ‫תהרסנו‬

1

‫בס"ד‬

‫:חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה ואולת בידיה‬

And we know the famous gemara in Sanhedrin (110a):

‫חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה זו אשתו של און בן פלת ואולת‬ ‫בידה תהרסנה זו אשתו של קרח‬
What many people don't know that in the geniza in the attic of the Altneuschul (under a big pile of dust) they found an old ksav yad from before the censorship that says:

‫אחרים אומרים חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה זו אסתר ואולת‬ ‫.בידה תהרסנה זו ושתי‬ We don't have this girsah so ‫!ועל כרחך אינו אומר אלא דרשני‬

The sefer Atzas Zeresh brings down this girsah and she taanas that it wouldn't make sense because Mishlei was written by Shlomo HaMelech and he was way before Esther and Vashti. But the Eitz Govoha wants to be mekayem the girsah and say that just like the gemara in Chulin says ‫ אסתר מן התורה מנין‬and answers

‫ המן מן התורה‬and answers ‫, המן העץ‬ Shlomo HaMelech also understood ‫ ושתי מן התורה מנין‬and the answer would be that we all know that Vashti got ‫ צרעת‬and by ‫ צרעת‬it says ‫בשתי‬ ‫. ובערב‬

‫הסתיר אסתיר‬

and ‫מנין‬

He goes on to explain the girsah that the Acheirim were bothered by what kind of a ‫ ראיה‬is it on what 2 different wives do to two different husbands? As long as it is 2 different husbands, maybe it's not really the din in the wife, maybe it has more to do with the husband? (Like we say: It takes 2…) So the Acheirim learn that the real limud comes from what 2 different wives do to the same husband. We need a mekor of one man with 2 wives, where while he was married to one wife, his life was being ruined, and with the other wife he was very matzliach. And by who do we see this? By Achashverosh! He had two wives – Vashti and Esther – and you can see that by each wife he was a totally different person. Vashti who all but ruined Achashverosh was mikayem ‫ ואולת בידה תהרסנה‬and Esther who was metaken Achashverosh was mekayem

‫חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה‬

.

What's the ‫ ,? ראיה‬says the Eitz Govoha - Pashut! As we know, one of the main tests of a man's character is his temperament. This is what the gemara in Eruvin calls ‫ . בכעסו‬So what was Achashverosh's temperament when he was married to Vashti? It says: ‫בו‬

‫ . וחמתו בערה‬He was very short-tempered. But what happened after he married Esther? It says: ‫ . וחמת המלך שככה‬The king's anger subsided.
So we see clearly that Achashverosh had a serious fault while he was married to Vashti that totally destroyed his marriage. And when Esther came around, she was metaken it, so she is certainly mekayem ‫. חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה‬

‫איי הים‬

2

‫בס"ד‬

Comes the Imrei Memuchan and points that it's not so pashut. After all, ‫ כעסו‬is only one out of 3 midos that we have to evaluate. The gemara actually says: ‫ . בכוסו ובכיסו ובכעסו‬Are we sure that Esther was metaken him in all 3? Unfortunately we see by the very first one, ‫ , כוסו‬that not only was Esther not metaken, she may have made things worse. How do we know? Because by Vashti it says: ‫ . כטוב לב המלך ביין‬Evidently, when the king drank he could hold his liquor and he was in a jolly mood. What happened after he married Esther? ‫ . והמלך קם בחמתו ממשתה היין‬It doesn't say ‫ במשתה היין‬but

‫ .ממשתה היין‬The king arose in anger because of the wine party. It looks like

after he married Esther, he was even a worse shikkur so we cannot actually say ‫.חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה‬ Ellah mai, what do we have to say?

‫וכן שני כתובים המכחישים זה את זה. עד שיבוא הכתוב‬ :‫השלישי ויכריע ביניהם‬ rd Let's see how Esther did with the 3 midda: ‫ .בכיסו‬How did Achashverosh handle
his money? Well, what we know from his first marriage is that he was a greedy slob and a crazy spendthrift. Can you imagine such a wild party for 180 days? Looks a bit like Obama's inauguration which cost about $20M just to clean up the Washington DC pedestrian mall. And who do you think pays for all these State parties? That's right – John Q. Taxpayer, that's who! You can bet that Achashverosh piled on the taxes and didn't offer any tax breaks for years to come! And, sure enough, the only time we ever see that Achashverosh lightened up and gave a tax break was 4 years later right after he married Esther. The megilla tells us this: ‫ . והנחה למדינות עשה‬So it seems that Esther was metaken Achashverosh both ‫ובכעסו‬

‫בכיסו‬

so even though she was not

matzliach ‫ בכוסו‬she was still metaken him in 2 midos out of 3 and we can truly say

‫חכמות נשים בנתה ביתה‬

.

Comes the Pnei Haman and asks that there is only one problem. It looks like the tikkun of ‫ בכיסו‬didn't last because we see at the end of the megillah, while he is still married to Esther it says:‫ואיי‬

‫וישם המלך (אחשרש) מס על הארץ‬

‫הים‬
And he put a new tax on the land and the "Iyei HaYam". So how can we say that Esther was metaken Achashverosh when it comes to money? The Megaleh Panim on the Pnei Haman has a gevaldiga pilpul. First he wants to answer that this tax was a unique mandatory tax. This is because Esther made up with Achashverosh that: ‫ואלו לעבדים ולשפחות נמכרנו החרשתי‬

‫איי הים‬

3

‫בס"ד‬

Esther was saying that if we would only be sold ‫ למס עובד‬she would stop nudging him. Thus, Achashverosh had to put on this tax as a pidyon nefesh for Esther and the Jewish people per Esther's request. But this is okay if it's just a nominal tax, but if it is an excessively burdensome tax, then we still see that Achashverosh is a money hungry villain. So which was it? Let's look. It seems like this tax was a very cruel tax because it was not only levied on the land ‫ על הארץ‬but it was also levied on the ‫ . איי הים‬What are the Iyei Hayam? They are the islands that are offshore like Isle of Man. This says that Achashverosh was even taxing everybody who had offshore accounts. Nobody does that ‫ בזמן הזה‬so that tax was an unreasonable tax. If so, Esther was not metaken him ‫ בכיסו‬and she does not deserve to be called ‫בנתה‬

‫חכמות נשים‬

‫.ביתה‬
Says the Megaleh Panim that to answer this we have to say as follows. Why does it say ‫ ?איי הים‬It should just say ‫ על הארץ‬which means on land and ‫ובים‬ which means offshore. That covers everything so why do we need ‫הים‬ have to say that ‫ הים‬and ‫הים‬

‫איי‬

are not the same thing. ‫ הים‬by itself is

‫ ?איי‬So we

"Offshore" and ‫ איי הים‬is Iyei Offshore. Achashverosh only put the tax on what was Iyei-Offshore but he didn't tax what was only Offshore. If you had an offshore account, you weren't taxed. But, asks the Chafui Rosh, isn't it a kal v'chomer? If even what was Iyei-offshore was taxed, won't we say that kol sheken what was merely Offshore was vadai taxed? So he answers that it depends on whether we say ‫אפשר‬ (Danin Offshore from Iyei-Offshore) or

say ‫ דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬then the tax was even levied on regular offshore accounts and we have to admit that Esther was not metaken Achashverosh but if we say ‫ אין דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬then we know that he did not tax the regular offshore accounts and the tax was a necessary tax and Esther's tikkun wasn't lost. So everything is OK if we pasken ‫ אין דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬but if not we have a problem. This is actually a machlokes in a number of places in Shas. One place is Yevamos 61b which says as follows:

‫דנין אפשר מאיי‬ ‫ . אין דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬If we

‫מתני': לא יבטל אדם מפריה ורביה אלא א"כ יש לו בנים ב"ש‬ ‫אומרים שני זכרים וב"ה אומרים זכר ונקבה שנאמר זכר‬ :‫ונקבה בראם‬ ‫מאי טעמייהו דבית שמאי ילפינן ממשה דכתיב בני משה‬ ‫גרשום ואליעזר ובית הלל ילפינן מברייתו של עולם ובית‬ ‫שמאי לילפי מברייתו של עולם אין דנין אפשר משאיי אפשר‬
The gemara explains the machlokes:

‫איי הים‬

4

‫בס"ד‬

‫ .אין דנין אפשר מאיי‬But this would mean the Beit Hillel holds ‫ ! דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬Now, since we always pasken ‫ , הלל ושמאי הלכה כבית הלל‬then we must pasken that he
taxed the regular offshore accounts as well and Esther was not metaken Achashverosh. So how can the Acheirim say that Esther is mekayem ‫חכמות‬

So we see that Beit Shammai holds ‫אפשר‬

‫?נשים בנתה ביתה‬
So I want to bring a ‫ ראיה‬that in this case, ‫ חזרו ב"ש להורות כב"ה‬and, even so, the Halacha is not like either one. In Menachos 82a we have the machlokes again and the gemara says:

‫ופסח גופיה מנא לן דתניא ר' אליעזר אומר נאמר פסח‬ ‫במצרים ונאמר פסח לדורות מה פסח האמור במצרים לא בא‬ ‫אלא מן החולין אף פסח האמור לדורות לא בא אלא מן החולין‬ ‫אמר לו רבי עקיבא וכי דנין אפשר משאיי אפשר א"ל אע"פ‬ ‫שאי אפשר ראייה גדולה היא ונלמד הימנה חזר ר"ע ודנו דין‬ ‫אחר‬
So we see clearly that there is a machlokes between Rabi Eliezer and Rabi Akiva. Rabi Eliezer holds ‫ דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬and Rabi Akiva holds ‫אין דנין‬

‫ .אפשר מאיי אפשר‬So at first glance it looks like Rabi Eliezer is going in

shitas Beit Hillel and Rabi Akiva is going in shitas Beit Shammai. But this doesn't make sense because the reason that we never pasken like Rabi Eliezer is because he is a ‫ שמותי‬which, many explain, means that he is a follower of Beit Shammai. But, if so, how can he now hold ‫אפשר‬

‫ דנין אפשר מאיי‬which is shitas Beit Hillel? So we are forced to say that ‫חזרו ב"ש להורות כב"ה‬ which is why Rabi Eliezer can hold that way. But we see that Rabi Akiva holds ‫אין‬ ‫ דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬and since we pasken‫, הלכה כר"ע מחבירו‬ we can say Halacha lmaaseh ‫ אין דנין אפשר מאיי אפשר‬and that
Achashveroch did not put the tax on regular offshore accounts and Esther's tikuun of Achashverosh stayed in place. And this is how the Pri Me'allilim wants to pasken in ‫ סימן המ"ן‬and this is also the psak of the Ohr Tzaruah (‫ ,)עור צרוע‬the Sefer Agudah, Rabenu Mizrachi, the Knesset HaKofer and the Zol Poh.