Even after Haman was hanged (on the 17th of Nissan), his evil decree “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, from young to old, infants and women, in one day” remained in force.
Queen Esther pleaded with King Achashverosh to annul the decree. However, in ancient Persia, the royal decree had no retroactive effect (“a writ that has been written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s seal, cannot be returned”). Instead, Achashverosh suggested to Esther and Mordechai to ‘write about the Jews as you see fit, in the name of the king’.
On the 23rd of Sivan, Mordechai drafted a royal decree giving the Jews the right to defend themselves and kill all who rise up against them with the intention to kill. The decree was sent to all 127 provinces of Achashverosh’s empire. After which then the Scroll of Esther states:
“The Jews had light and joy, and gladness and honor” (Esther, 8:16).
The Rebbe explains that the special power of this day manifests itself in every generation:
– Every year on the 23rd of Sivan, the scribes of the “King” (King of the Universe) are summoned, and they write down “according to all that Mordecai commanded”.
These words (from the Scroll of Esther) refer to each of the Jews, to the entire “people of Mordechai”, because they all behave in the same manner: “do not bow and do not prostrate.”
And just like that, [due to this behavior], the Jew becomes the master of what is happening. He is the one who commands what exactly to write in the decree – and it is done “according to all that Mordecai commanded”.