“And thus I [Esther] will approach the
king.” [Esther 4:16]
Yosef Gackon writes, concerning Esther’s three-day fast, that Esther
[in fasting for exactly three days] had
the following kabbalistic intention. Namely, that three days and nights
contain seventy-two hours, and “B’chen” [“thus”, in 4:16]
equals seventy-two numerically
[in letter-gematria], corresponding to
the [exalted 72-letter] Name of
G-d hinted in the three verses [that begin], “Vayisa”,
“Vayavo”, “Vayet” [Exodus
14:19, 20, 21, each of which contain seventy-two letters precisely].
It was with the power of this Name that G-d split the
[Red] sea and had the Israelites cross
over, and He guided them in His protection and they had no fear
[of the enemy].
From that Name, [the flow of] the Divine life-force comes to Esther’s supernal [corresponding] sefira; for Esther [as our Sages say]
was greenish in complexion [green is a color associated
with the sefira Chesed, Divine kindness, as the life-flow descends
through the upper worlds, and the numerical value of "chesed"
Esther, with the power of these seventy-two
hours, approached [G-d], King of the world,
in her prayers; for she was sure of His help [that He would answer her
and save the Jews]. Then, in this [lowly
physical] world, she approached King Ahasuerus.
c. 5260-5340 (c. 1500-1580 CE), famed as the author of the mystical hymn Lecha Dodi in honor of Shabbat, was the
brother-in-law and Kabbala teacher of Rabbi Moshe Kordevero (the “Ramak”), leader
of the Safed Kabbalists before the holy Ari.
[Carmel Kehati is a diligent Torah scholar who has lived in Safed for nearly
two decades. He may be contacted at: POB 494, Safed Israel.]