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In Esther 1:9 we read, “ושתי המלכה עשתה משתי נשים” Vashti the queen was made of two women. Aside from being biologically surprising, what are the consequences of this in our understanding of the Megilla?


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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 27 at 4:51

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I know this is late; maybe I’ll get an answer next year. – J. C. Salomon Feb 25 '13 at 18:38
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There’s a Purim Torah I remember hearing that dealt with this question. I don’t recall the details, but it involved Haman having a detachable nose. – J. C. Salomon Feb 25 '13 at 18:41
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הכי קרא שמה ושתי, שהיתה שתי נשים – b a Feb 26 '13 at 0:37
up vote 22 down vote accepted

One consequence is that Achashverosh had two mothers-in-law. This is further evidenced by the fact that the megilla provides both their names:

  • "כְּשֹׁךְ, חֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹש" - "Keshoch, the mother-in-law of Achashverosh". (Esther 2:1)
  • "וַחֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁכָכָה" - "And the mother-in-law of Achashverosh was Shachacha". (Esther 7:10)
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Nicely done :-) – Double AA Feb 25 '13 at 23:31
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In that case, who was בערה בו? – Yitzchak Mar 4 '14 at 21:12
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@Yitzchak, בערה בו is not a name, but rather a description. "בערה" = "his beast" (as in "ושלח את בערה" of Ex. 22:4), so that the full phrase "וחמתו בערה בו" means "his mother-in-law, his beast, was with him". This implies that one of Vashti's mothers was an animal that belonged to Achashverosh and that she happened to be with him at the time. – jake Mar 5 '14 at 0:19
    
@ephraimhelfgot, The quote from Shemos and it's translation as "beast" is not a joke. Check any translation to the Chumash, as well as much of the second chapter of Bava Kamma. Only the comparison to Esther was in jest. – jake Feb 9 at 22:06
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This would explain Achashverosh's predilection toward being drunk all the time... – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 10 at 20:20

What makes a person a person? His heart. Indeed, when Rashi wants to emphasize that a group of people are like one person, he says "בלב אחד / with one heart". So when the verse you quoted says Vashti was made of two women, all it means is that she had two hearts.

She is, in fact, a Time Lord.

As such, she is able to regenerate into a new form when suffering an injury that would kill humans. This explains why the book of Esther never specifies that she died, only that she lost her position as queen: although Achashverosh tried to kill her, she simply regenerated.

Moreover, Vashti's being a Time Lord and concomitant ability to travel through time explains her appearance at points in history we would not expect her to be at. For example, Ruth 1:9, "ושתי כלותיה / Vashti her daughters-in-law", and Genesis 19:30, "ושתי בנתיו / Vashti his daughters", which use the plural because of Vashti's dual nature.

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