Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson
Summary: Henry Kissinger may have been the world’s most famous Jewish diplomat, but he certainly was not the first. The Purim Megillah, named for Queen Esther, paints a picture of a smart, resourceful, courageous woman of faith. But a close reading of the story, and a proper analysis of her actions in the story also reveal her to be a masterful tactician and diplomat that even Kissinger would be blown away by. The simple question is the purpose of Esther’s two banquets. What was the point of the first? And why wasn’t one enough? Why couldn’t she have asked what she needed the first time? These questions are answered in the Megillah by the change of a single word. According to the Maharil, the main Purim miracle took place when Achashverosh had trouble falling asleep, yet his insomnia seem to have had no really influence on the Purim story. What actually happened that night? Why could the king not fall asleep? The sermon examines the relationship between Joseph Stalin and the ruthless Lavrentiy Beria, and uses it as a parallel for that of Achashverosh and Haman. Understanding this relationship and an in-depth analysis of Achashverosh will help expose the brilliant maneuvering of Queen Esther and the purpose of her two banquets.