Chazal tell us that the Jews enjoyed their participation in the feast of Achashveirosh – a feast established as a celebration of the fact that the Jewish nation had not returned from exile and that Hashem had apparently abandoned His people (Maseches Megillah 12a). Before this incident, the Jewish people were content to live their lives in galus within the Persian Empire and did not long to return to Eretz Yisrael nor rebuild the Temple.

They had despaired of ever being redeemed. In the innermost recesses of their hearts, they started to believe that Hashem had truly abandoned them. Mordechai knew that this yeush, this depression and apathy were very dangerous to the preservation of the Jewish People, since it would eventually lead to assimilation.

If the Jews would no longer listen to him, then he had to set the example. Come what may, he knew that Hashem, though His Presence may have been hidden, had not truly abandoned the Jewish People.

There is a saying: If the Jews don’t make Kiddush, the goyim make Havdalah. Chazal tell us that between the Jewish People and Eisav, from whom Amaleik is a descendant, there is the dynamic that when one is up the other is down. If the Jews are connected to Hashem and following His Torah, they will rule over Eisav. When the Jews are weak in their avodas Hashem, then Hashem sends Eisav to force them to do t’shuvah.

We see this in the Torah’s account of the incident at Refidim (Sh’mos 17:7-8). Shortly after the awesome revelation of K’rias Yam Suf, the Jewish People faltered in their emunas Hashem to the point that they asked themselves, “Hayeish Hashem b’kirbeinu? (Is Hashem among us?)”

Rashi explains that Refidim is “Rafu y’deihem min haTorah.” That is, they were weak in their study of Torah. Precisely, when they felt weak in their connection to Torah and Hashem, Amaleik was given the opening and the strength to attack.

Mordechai HaTzadik no doubt knew about this dynamic, and we could explain his refusal to bow as more than just setting an example or avoiding a situation of avodah zarah, as some Sages have suggested. Perhaps, he reasoned, if he, as their spiritual leader, combined with their Torah learning and mitzvos, were not enough to bring the Jewish people back to Hashem, then the threat of Amaleik would be.

But Mordechai had to show the Jews that in order to fight Amaleik, you have to be strong – especially at the “gate” of t’shuvah. You have to do what you can to maintain your connection to Hashem, His Torah, and Truth, even when you’ve made mistakes and have fallen from your previous spiritual level. Never ever give up; never ever bow down. Because once you give in to yeush and you weaken in your emunah – even a little – then you give Amaleik – which is the physical representation of the yeitzer ha’ra – an opening to attack.

(Material was previously published on

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Rachamim ben Sa’eda Mazal

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

Rav Shmuel Zalman ben Chanah

Yerachmiel Daniel ben Tovah Basha

Rafael Moshe Yehuda ben Feiga Necha

Chaim Meir Binyamin ben Chanah Sarah

Pinchas ben Feiga Dinah

David Israel ben Rivkah

Tzvi ben Miriam Rachel

Yitzchak Mordechai ben Rose Nizha

Refael Avraham ben Ivonne

Moshe ben Chasyah Hadassah

Meshulam David ben Alta Hendel

Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah

Yosef ben Basyah

Yeshayahu Yosef ben Zari

Nissan ben Shoshanah


Chayah Sarah Brachah bas Miriam Shifrah

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Shirah bas Devorah Leah

Adinah Aidel bas Sheina Mindel

Tinokes bas Adinah Aidel

Malkah bas Allegre

Yehudis bas Rivkah

Ruchamah Rinah Basyah bas Shifrah Rus

Tehilah Hadassah bas Elanah

Mazal bas Malkah

Malkah bas Nechamah

Miriam bas Rachel

Tziporah Stellah bas Shirin

Miriam bas Rachel

Tziporah Yeta bas Yehudis

Rachel bas Hindah Raizel

Efrat Tehilah bas Nina

Tinokes bas Efrat Tehilah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and complete the Google form.

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