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From my preschooler:

What's an Achashvei?

I know that a rosh is a head. I want to know what kind of head Achashveirosh was.

Can you help me come up with a satisfying answer? I'd prefer not to have to rely on some sort of academic cop-out like saying the word is actually Ugaratic (whatever that is) or one of these other non-Lashon-Hakodesh languages that, they say, somehow snuck into Tanach, chas veshalom.


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closed as too localized by Isaac Moses Mar 12 '12 at 5:08

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5 Answers 5

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Achshevei is a Halachik principle which allows one to make something into food by designating it as such. For instance, even if noone wants to eat burnt Chametz, if you eat it, you are Achshevei the Chametz to be considered food to you and it is assur.

So here we have Achashveirosh = Achshevei Rosh: Even though his head didn't have a brain in it, since he used it as a head, it was to him as if it was a head. That is why the Megillah calls him that name.

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Achashvei is a paragraph lead by the chazan (and followed by the congregation) on our holiest day. It starts Achash, Achashvei achash, Achashvei shtaim, etc. The Chazan who leads the paragraph is given the title Achashvei Rosh. Because the king of Persia was an Achashvei Rosh, this holy day is called Yom KiPurim.

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"Chush" means "to feel"

Thus "Achash" -- "I shall feel"

"Vei" as in "Oy vey!"

Thus: "I shall feel ouch!"

And Achashvei-rosh: "I shall feel ouch in my head!"

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This supports my theory that Ahashverosh wasn't very smart :) –  Hacham Gabriel Mar 8 '12 at 15:42
    
Given all of the drinking he does, he probably did indeed feel an ouch in his head quite often –  Ze'ev Felsen Feb 13 '13 at 5:56

Looks like your preschooler got caught up in a false cognate. The word has nothing to do with a rosh. It's meaning actually derives from the way it's spelled:

Alef = 1

Ches = 8

Shoresh = root

This is a reference to a thing with 8 roots, which is a m'nora. (Normally they would be branches but v'nahafoch hu.) This alludes to the well-known fact that although we celebrate Purim on Purim it actually happened on Chanuka. We also hint at this fact by singing the Purim song Al Hanisim on Chanuka. So he was actually an 8-branched lamp, which is why we sacrifice a lam*b* on Pesach, which is an 8-day holiday outside of Israel, where Achashverosh lived. And 1 is Hashem.

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It comes from the hebrew which means, "brother of fire people". They people of Shushan got so drunk, that they though they were on fire, and the man who drank the most, would become their leader, thus he was the brother of the fire people.

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