Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is This Midrash The Source?

Is this midrash cited in Me'am Lo'ez, Esther 4:1 below the source for the inclusion of these three verses in the siddur after Aleinu?


Once the missives were sealed, Haman and his friends left the king in a jubilant mood. They saw Mordechai walking ahead of them. Mordechai stopped a child and asked him what verse he had studied that day. The child replied he had learned the verse, אַל-תִּירָא, מִפַּחַד פִּתְאֹם; וּמִשֹּׁאַת רְשָׁעִים, כִּי תָבֹא (Do not be afraid of sudden terror; the destruction of the wicked will come) [Mishlei 3:25]. He stopped a second child, and when he asked the same question, the child replied, עֻצוּ עֵצָה, וְתֻפָר; דַּבְּרוּ דָבָר וְלֹא יָקוּם, כִּי עִמָּנוּ אֵל. (Make your plans. They will not succeed. Speak all you want. Nothing will come of it. For G-d is with us.) [Yeshaya 8:10]. Upon being similarly questioned, a third child said, וְעַד-זִקְנָה אֲנִי הוּא, וְעַד-שֵׂיבָה אֲנִי אֶסְבֹּל; אֲנִי עָשִׂיתִי וַאֲנִי אֶשָּׂא, וַאֲנִי אֶסְבֹּל וַאֲמַלֵּט (When you are old, I will be the same; when you turn white, I will sustain you; I made you and will care for you; I will sustain you and rescue you) [Yeshaya 46:4]. Mordechai had already heard rumors of Haman's plot, but hearing these verses from the children which offered messages of hope, he was hopeful and at ease. Not matter what Haman did, Hashem would help His people.

At that point, Haman overtook Mordechai and asked him, "What did those children say that made you so happy?"

"Good news," replied Mordechai. "They told me that I have nothing to fear from the plans that you have just hatched."


At March 13, 2008 at 8:57:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

You are correct: boruch shekivantah!
The Ohr Tzaddikim (Tikun Tefillah os 84) Writes: "I found written that the Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael introduced the custom to say three verses before exiting shul daily...(lists the pesukim and quotes the Midrash. (Interestinly he says that Haman asked the children.) Therefore, they instituted that we say the pesukim which mention that Yisrael is beloved to Hashem all the time, perhaps in this merit Hashem will have mercy on us and redeem us speedily in our days, Amen Selah."
This minhag is mentioned in the Yesod V'shoresh Ha'avodah and the Chidah(Tziporen Shamir #35) as well.
Ashrecha v'tov lach,

At March 16, 2008 at 7:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

For those wishing to delve into this midrash, there's an amazing (yiddish) Purim sicha in likutei Sichos 22 . . . it's worth finding someone to learn it with.


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