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Esther is initially called Hadassah (Esther 2:7). Why does she change her name, ostensibly even before she is brought to the king's harem?

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What evidence do you have that she ever changed her name? You for instance have two names: vram and ichangedmyid. Perhaps she had two names as well? –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 4:15
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A simple reading of that text would imply that she was known by two different names, much as many American Jews have two names, one Hebrew and one "American". –  LazerA Dec 12 '12 at 4:20
    
@DoubleAA doesnt ichangedmyid show that there was a change of name/id ;) –  yehuda Dec 12 '12 at 13:40
    
...and even if she did change her name, how do you know which came first? The verse only says "Hadasa, who is Ester". –  msh210 Dec 12 '12 at 15:17
    
None of us have any evidence on Megilat Esther, so why the name change ani lo yodea. –  norman louis poole Jan 30 at 18:42
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2 Answers 2

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Haddasah was her hebrew name she changed her name to Esther which is Persian, as is Mordechai, to either hide her Jewish identity or, more likely since the megillah was written by her and Mordechai, to show that she has a sense of nationalism.

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Can you source this interesting position? –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 17:39
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It appears that the Tannaim Reb Meir and Reb Yehudah (and others) dealt with this question in Megilla 13a.

Rabbi Meir said: her name was Esther; why was she called Hadassah?
Because of the Righteos Tzaddikim who are called Haddasim.

Rabbi Yehuda said: her name was Hadassah; why was she called Esther?
Because she hid her words (the information about her family).

See the Gemara there for more views.

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How does this at all show that her name changed? –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 14:08
    
@DoubleAA Her name doesnt change, a nickname was added according to the Gemara. The OP has got it wrong. –  yehuda Dec 12 '12 at 15:44
    
(That's not surprising considering he brought no basis for his question.) –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 17:16
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@DoubleAA agreed, but with a slight edit his question can be made to ask why did she have two names? –  yehuda Dec 12 '12 at 18:46
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