"Yet all this is not worth [literally, ‘equal’] anything to me, every time I see Mordecai the Jew…." (Esther 5:13)

In the above verse, the wicked Haman expresses his frustration at the refusal of the righteous Mordecai, leader of the Jewish nation, to bow before him. In a simple reading of the verse, "all this" seems to refer to his wealth, sons, and the recent honor bestowed upon Haman. However, since all of these have been already mentioned explicitly, this term seems unnecessary. This anomaly becomes the means through which Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropole, the great 17th Century Kabbalist, reveals the mystical underpinnings of the rivalry between good and evil demonstrated in the Scroll of Esther.

At first glance it would seem that the words "all this" [in Hebrew, "kol zeh"] are superfluous, for it would have been enough to write "It is not worth anything to me", referring to all of [Haman’s] prestige in light of [the aggravation caused him by the steadfast righteousness of] Mordecai the Jew.

Mordecai and Esther manifest the Divine Name, Havayah...

[To understand the depth of the matter] let us look at what the Kabbalists teach, that Mordecai and Esther manifest the Divine Name, Havayah, because the "small" numerical value of "Mordecai" is 13, and that of "Esther" is 13 – and two times 13 [i.e. Mordecai and Esther] is 26, the numerical value of the Divine Name, Havayah.

The "small" numerical value, or "mispar katan", is essentially the numerical value reduced by adding the numbers in the various digit placements together, as illustrated below:

The standard numerical value of "Mordecai" - spelled mem (= 40), reish (= 200), dalet (= 4), kaf (= 20), yud (=10) - is 274.

2 + 7 + 4, the "small" numerical value, is 13.

The standard numerical value of "Esther": spelled alef (= 1), samech (= 60), taf (= 400), reish (= 200) is 661.

6 + 6 + 1, the "small" numerical value, is 13.

The numerical value of the Tetragrammaton, the name Havayah: spelled yud (= 10), hei (= 5), vav (= 6), hei (= 5) is 26.

their being equal...in value as well, revealing a profound and G‑dly dynamic within their relationship.

Thus, due to the congruence in their numerical values, the union of Mordecai and Esther, as exemplified by their respective "small" numerical values (13 + 13 = 26), demonstrates the power of the Tetragrammaton (= 26). But, as we will see, it is not only their collective numerical equivalence to the name Havayah which is significant, but the nature of their being equal to each other in value as well, revealing a profound and G‑dly dynamic within their relationship.

The "small" numerical value of Haman and Zeresh [his wife] are also 26, but not with the same equal nature, as that of Mordecai and Esther. This is because Haman equals 14, and Zeresh equals 12.

The numerical value of Haman, spelled hei (= 5), mem (= 40), nun (= 50), is 95.

9 + 5, the "small" numerical value, is 14.

The numerical value of Zeresh – spelled zayin (= 7), reish (= 200), shin (= 300) – is 507.

5 + 0 + 7, the "small" numerical value, is 12.

The Kabbalists teach that if Haman and Zeresh were to have had equal "small" numerical values, that of 13, like Mordecai and Esther, no [earthly] force could have defeated them.

The word [in question in the above verse] "this" [in Hebrew, "zeh", spelled zayin (= 7), hei (= 5)] has the numerical value of 12. And it is this that Haman was referring to when he said "Yet all this is not worth [literally, ‘equal’] anything to me…", meaning that all [of his misfortune and ultimate defeat] came about because the "small" numerical value of Zeresh was 12 [the same as the Hebrew word "zeh", or "this"]. "This [‘zeh’, = 12, referring to his wife Zeresh]…is not equal to me [i.e. "Haman", = 14]; it is not equal to his "small" numerical value.

As elucidated in the classic texts of the Kabbalah, of the various types of spiritual unions between the masculine and feminine spiritual archetypes, the most "elevated", or "mature", is that in which they are both equal in stature, effecting a union known as "face to face". Perhaps the bond between Mordecai and Esther, exhibiting the most lofty of relationships – that of equal respect for each of their unique roles – is what allowed them to triumph over their adversaries, the forces of chaos, ego and domination - the imbalance illustrated by Haman and Zeresh.

Understand this well.

[From Kehillat Moshe, translation and commentary by Baruch Emanuel Erdstein]