Had I been thinking, I would have written some Purim Torah before the Fast of Esther began; I don't do my best comedy on an empty stomach. Oh, well. Something to remember for next year...
One thing worth mentioning. A critical point that often gets overlooked is that Mordechai initiated the conflict with Haman, by refusing to bow to him. We are never told why, and the commentators came up with all sorts of reasons, but all we know for certain is that Mordechai believed Haman unworthy of respect, enough so that he risked death to publicly demonstrate his opposition.
His judgement of Haman was accurate, of course, and Haman's reaction to his opposition put all of Jewry in mortal danger. One could ask, why did Mordechai risk antagonizing such a powerful man, who would apparently have been content to leave him alone in the absence of provocation?
The answer is that it is the duty of the righteous to oppose evil. We cannot excuse our inaction by saying that stirring things up will only make things worse. We may well be correct to say so, yet that does not change our obligation to act anyway. Obviously, this needs to be leavened with some pragmatism; yet how many people have died under evil regimes because the West cynically decided to avoid making trouble?
That is not the way of the righteous, especially the righteous Jew. And Mordechai knew that it was his duty to battle evil, and not to hesistate for fear of how it would end.
As in his days, so too in ours. I will never forget that President Bush gave his 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam and his sons on Purim night, two years ago. May we never shrink from confronting evil.
Have a happy Purim!