or did you think that was par for the course?
I don’t think I finished my thoughts about this section here:
What’s this Shushan thing? Why don’t we only all do Shushan? How could we celebrate outside of Shushan if it hadn’t gone well there? And after all, there are no certainties and it was not clear how that would work out for the Jewish inhabitants of Shushan, since there seemed to have been an extra helping of anti-Semites in the town.
I meant to write more, so here it is:
Why could we of the world outside of the walled cities celebrate on a day when the people of Shushan were still fighting? Isn’t there a principle here of waiting out the troubles for our brethren? If there isn’t, shouldn’t there be?
Here’s how the Megillah itself talks about it, in Chapter 9:
|טו וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ היהודיים (הַיְּהוּדִים) אֲשֶׁר-בְּשׁוּשָׁן, גַּם בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר, וַיַּהַרְגוּ בְשׁוּשָׁן, שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אִישׁ; וּבַבִּזָּה–לֹא שָׁלְחוּ, אֶת-יָדָם.
||15 And the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men in Shushan; but on the spoil they laid not their hand.
|טז וּשְׁאָר הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בִּמְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ נִקְהֲלוּ וְעָמֹד עַל-נַפְשָׁם, וְנוֹחַ מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם, וְהָרוֹג בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶם, חֲמִשָּׁה וְשִׁבְעִים אָלֶף; וּבַבִּזָּה–לֹא שָׁלְחוּ, אֶת-יָדָם.
||16 And the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of them that hated them seventy and five thousand–but on the spoil they laid not their hand–
|יז בְּיוֹם-שְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר, לְחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר; וְנוֹחַ, בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר בּוֹ, וְעָשֹׂה אֹתוֹ, יוֹם מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה.
||17 on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
|יח והיהודיים (וְהַיְּהוּדִים) אֲשֶׁר-בְּשׁוּשָׁן, נִקְהֲלוּ בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ, וּבְאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, בּוֹ; וְנוֹחַ, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ, וְעָשֹׂה אֹתוֹ, יוֹם מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה.
||18 But the Jews that were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
|יט עַל-כֵּן הַיְּהוּדִים הפרוזים (הַפְּרָזִים), הַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּעָרֵי הַפְּרָזוֹת–עֹשִׂים אֵת יוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר, שִׂמְחָה וּמִשְׁתֶּה וְיוֹם טוֹב; וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת, אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ.
||19 Therefore do the Jews of the villages, that dwell in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
|כ וַיִּכְתֹּב מָרְדֳּכַי, אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה; וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים אֶל-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים, אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל-מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ–הַקְּרוֹבִים, וְהָרְחוֹקִים.
||20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
|כא לְקַיֵּם, עֲלֵיהֶם–לִהְיוֹת עֹשִׂים אֵת יוֹם אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר, וְאֵת יוֹם-חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בּוֹ: בְּכָל-שָׁנָה, וְשָׁנָה.
||21 to enjoin them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
|כב כַּיָּמִים, אֲשֶׁר-נָחוּ בָהֶם הַיְּהוּדִים מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם, וְהַחֹדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לָהֶם מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה, וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב; לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם, יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה, וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ, וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיֹנִים.
||22 the days wherein the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
So there already was a built-in division of the cities. I don’t know why this isn’t a problem. We have so many divisions built up today between Jews, for various customs regarding Ashkenaz vs. Sephardic vs. Mizrachi vs. Yekke vs. Litvish vs. Chassidish, etc., but shouldn’t we at least have an understanding that we should stand together in times of trouble? What does it get us that we don’t?