Queen Esther, Moshiach, and the secret of the golden scepter

The holy Zohar tells us that the corridor that lead on to Achashverosh’s inner chambers was stuffed full of avoda zara, idols, sorcery and witchcraft. This is where Esther had to pass through and there was really terrible tumah (spiritual impurity) there.

It’s akin to sending the most saintly tzaddik to the worst night-club in Manhattan, New York, or in Thailand – this is an enormous blow to the soul of a person. So this is why it’s written:

“And Esther dressed in Malchut (royalty)”.

Before she entered that corridor, the Shechina was illuminating her from within, but the midrash and the Zohar tell us that the second she entered that corridor, the Shechina, and the Divine spirit of prophecy left her.

At that second, Esther experienced a terrible, deep feeling of sorrow:

I got sent into this terrible situation, and now even the Shechina has left me?!

Immediately, Esther cried out a chapter from Tehillim, ‘Elokai, Elokai, why have You forsaken me?’ Why did you leave me alone in this awful reality?

Where are there two ‘Elokais’?

The Arizal asks: why did Esther cry out ‘Elokai’ twice? After all, there are no superfluous words in our Torah. He explains that there are two types of rachamim, mercy: simple mercy and ‘great’ mercy. Esther cried out ‘Elokai, Elokai’ because that is the name of God associated with mercy and kindness.

She cried out twice, because she wanted to awaken Hashem’s ‘great’ mercy. She was in the most spiritually impure place on earth – but she did hitbodedut, and cried out to Hashem: Elokai, Elokai, why have You left me?

Esther came to try to convince the king, and an angel imbued a feeling of mercy in Ahashverosh’s heart, and he took pity on her.

At the moment that Esther touched the tip of the king’s golden scepter, all the judgments against Am Yisrael were sweetened. A short 24 hours later, Haman had already been hung, and all Haman’s decrees had already been nullified, due to the secret of touching the king’s scepter.

It’s written in the holy books that the king’s scepter represented the or ain-sof, the infinite light. The Arizal tells us that Moshiach will grasp the golden scepter in its entirety, and will rectify the whole world.

Esther had already attained an aspect of the Moshiach, and she merited to sweeten all the judgments against Am Yisrael.

Translated from Rav Ofer Erez’s teachings in the Ohr HaDaat newsletter #118


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