Wednesday, March 16, 2011

War of the Planets

Last year around Purim time I mentioned the fact that Esther is compared to many different celestial objects by various sources. Included in this list was the Moon, Venus and a star in the Pleiades star cluster. For more please click here.

I wanted to add one thought this year from Rabbeinu Bachye. Rabbeinu Bachye mentions how all the worldly events are reflected by the seven ancient planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and their movements. Of these two are primarily luminaries, the Sun and the Moon. Two of them portend evil and those are Saturn and Mars. Two of them signify benevolence and those are Venus and Jupiter. Lastly, Mercury is somewhat neutral affecting good in a good way and bad in a bad way. Based on various methods of analysis Rabbeinu Bachye displays how Achashveirosh was symbolic of Saturn and Haman of Mars, thus the two evil planets can be seen seeking destruction. Mordechai was symbolic of Venus and Esther of Jupiter (this was not mentioned last year) and thus the benevolent stars are expressed.The struggle throughout the Megillah is symbolic of the overall struggle of good versus evil. (Rabbeinu Bachye Kad HaKemach Purim; Please look it up because I know I am not doing it justice by typing it in such a brief post and without much of the explanation)

Although he did not mention it, perhaps by using the overall method one can assert that Charvonah was Mercury as he switched from bad to good. It all depended on the situation.

Another point that I wanted to point out is that according to Rashi Esther is somewhat symbolic of the Moon. (Rashi Megillah 13a) Obviously Purim always falls on the 14 and 15 of the month which is when the Moon is becoming its fullest. This month's full Moon might look especially big to some because the Moon is at its closest to Earth in 18 years.

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