Part V -
Why Satire?

We have shown that the Megilla is laced with allusions to the fact that Am Yisrael does not answer its divine call during the Persian time period. Why is this message only hinted at but not explicitly stated by Chazal? Most probably for the same reason that it is not explicit in the Megilla. This is the power of satire. In order to strengthen the message, a powerful point is not explicitly stated, but only alluded to. The direct approach used by the other 48 neviim of Tanach had not been very successful. [See Mesechet Megilla 14a (top) - "gedola hasarat hataba'at shel Haman yoter mi-48 neviim..."!]

One could suggest that Anshei Knesset HaG'dola, in their decision to canonize Megillat Esther, had hoped that a satirical message would be more powerful than a direct one. The Midrashim of Chazal that comment on the Megilla follow a similar approach.

Back TSC Home Next