the biblical book of Esther

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Why does the book of Ester use the present tense so often?

I noticed that the book of Ester uses, often very awkwardly, the present tense to describe things that usually are written in the past tense (I didn't notice this much use of the present tense in ...
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How did Vashti grow a tail?

In מגילה דף יב (Megillah 12a-b) it gives two reasons as to why Vashti did not go to Achashveirosh when he requested her to the party. The first reason is that Vashti had Tzarat (a metaphysical skin ...
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Where else is Hashem's name missing?

In Shmuel Aleph, when Shmuel becomes a Navi, he runs to Eli each time Hashem comes to him thinking it is Eli not Hashem. After the fourth time Eli realizes it is Hashem and tells Shmuel (in ...
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Who were the “girls” that fasted with Esther?

Esther 4:16 says: גם אני ונערותי אצום כן Me and my "girls" will also fast Who were these "girls", and Why did she make these girls fast? Were they Jewish (converted, perhaps)? I assume ...
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Interruption while listening to Megillat Esther

I was on the bima during the Rabbi's reading of the Megillat Esther this year and was holding one end of the scroll flat. As he advanced through the columns he moved the scroll along and at one stage ...
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Meggilah Minyan

Does meggilah require a Minyan And why and how far must one go to get one?(there is a great story about the Gra with this one)
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Why does a Torah have 2 poles and a Megillah have 1?

A Torah scroll is a very long piece of parchement with two poles ("atzei chayim") at either end, while a Megillat Esther is a not-as-long piece of parchment with one pole at the end of the book. ...
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How could Haman see Gd's face and live?

Continuing the series: The Megillah writes: יד וְהַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו, כַּרְשְׁנָא שֵׁתָר אַדְמָתָא תַרְשִׁישׁ, מֶרֶס מַרְסְנָא, מְמוּכָן--שִׁבְעַת שָׂרֵי פָּרַס וּמָדַי, רֹאֵי פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, ...
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When in history did Purim happen?

When in history did Purim happen? I understand that there are several opinions that this is based on (who אחשורוש was, whether this was before or after the end of the exile), but I've been unable to ...
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What happened to Haman's money?

One of the more interesting encounters in the megilla takes place between Achashveirosh and Haman right after Haman decides to kill the Jewish people. Having decided on a date, Haman approaches ...
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In the book of Esther, was Haman plotting to kill/overthrow Ahasueros?

At first reading, Haman is very powerful and wants to use that power to kill the Jews, but he's not actually interested in harming his boss, King Ahasueros ("Achashveirosh" to most of us), in any way. ...
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Why would Haman “restrain himself”?

In Esther (5:9), when Haman leaves the king's palace after Queen Esther's first party, all happy and feeling on top of the world, gets very upset when he sees Mordechai sitting there, and not bowing ...
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What is an “iggeres”?

The Shulchan Aruch in Siman 690:17 brings down a minhag klal yisrael to fold the megillah like an iggeres (Esther 9:26,29) when reading from it. The Mishnah Berurah mentions that one should not pause ...
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“Vashti the queen” vs. “Queen Vashti”

Is there a peshat difference between the usual wording, “ושתי המלכה” Vashti the queen (or “אסתר המלכה” Esther the queen), and the wording used twice in Chapter 1 (verses 12 and 15), “המלכה ושתי” the ...
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Are there any different implications from the three ways Achashverosh speaks to Esther?

In Megillat Esther, Achashverosh asks Esther what he can do for her three times (text and translation from chabad.org): 5:3 And the king said to her, "What concerns you, Queen Esther, and what is ...
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May I change Megillot in the middle of reading Purim Megillah?

I read the majority of Megillat Esther in my shul. At night, a few teenagers like to read a few verses from the Megillah, as well. Last year, I used my personal Megillah. When one of the boys came up ...
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Why didn't Esther reveal her origin earlier?

Mordechai tells Esther not to reveal her origin (Esther 2:10) ostensibly in the hopes that they would assume she was of ignoble birth and dismiss her (Rashi ad loc.). Once she is chosen by the king, ...
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Haman's sons in three p'sukim

Me (quoting Ester 9:7–10): 7 And Parshandasa and Dalfon and Aspasa 8 and Porasa and Adalya and Aridasa 9 and Parmashta and Arisay and Ariday and Vayzasa, 10 the ...
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Ish Yehudi - where else?

Where else in Tanach are there the words "Ish Yehudi" besides Megilas Esther?
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Hearing Megillat Esther in a mixed minyan

If the only available minyan to hear Megillat Esther is a mixed minyan with no mechitza, can one attend the minyan or is it better to not hear megilla at all? Would it matter if the baal megilla was a ...
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Doesn't Zeresh know Mordechai was Jewish?

In Esther 6:13 Zeresh says 'If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.' Wasn't it already ...
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Different miracle-publicization strategies on Chanuka and Purim

There are two commandments during the year that are explicitly associated with "publicizing the miracle" ("פירסומי ניסא"): lighting Chanuka candles and reading Megilat Esther on Purim. These are the ...
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“The drinking was according to doctrine, no forcing.” — Forcing to drink, or forcing to stop drinking?

The party is described at the beginning of the book of Esther as having drinking with "ein oness" -- "there was none forcing." I'd always heard (assumed?) that meant no one would force you to drink ...
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Why does the Megillah tell us Mordechai was a Jew?

Why are we specifically told that Mordechai was an Ish Yehudi as it says in the pasuk (Ester 2:5): אִישׁ יְהוּדִי, הָיָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה; וּשְׁמוֹ מָרְדֳּכַי Would we assume he wasn't a ...
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How does prolonged (multiday) fasting work?

In Esther 4:16, Esther tells Mordecai to have the entire Jewish community fast for three straight days: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and ...
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wine from his country

The g'mara (M'gila 12a) says that the drinking at Achashverosh's party's being described as "no forcing" means that everyone was given wine from his own country (so he'd be accustomed to it, according ...
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What does “He is the Ahasuerus” mean?

Why in the first Pasuk it is written that Ahasuerus is the Ahasuerus that ruled from India to kush? Where there other Ahasuerus's that were important enough that in our bible we wrote "that the ...
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Who is the master of dreams in Esther 4:1 (Rashi)?

Rashi on Esther 4:1 indicates that The Master of Dreams told him that the celestial beings had concurred about it, because they had prostrated themselves to an image in the days of Nebuchadnezzar ...
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Does a home megilla reading require separate seating (or a mechitza) between men and women?

Occasionally people hold additional megillah readings in someone's home on Purim. Assuming there's no prayers other than the megillah reading and its associated brachas, must/should there be a ...
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(Why) is Mordechai calling all the shots?

To the best of my knowledge there is no indication in Megillas Esther or in the Talmud that Mordechai conferred with any of the sages at any point during the events leading up to the undoing of Haman. ...
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What was Mordechai's excuse for checking on Ester?

When Ester was in the harem, and presumably after she became queen, Mordechai was constantly around to see how she was doing. וּבְכָל־י֣וֹם וָי֔וֹם מָרְדֳּכַי֙ מִתְהַלֵּ֔ךְ לִפְנֵ֖י חֲצַ֣ר ...
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Why hiss for Zeresh?

In every community in which I have heard Megillah, it seems customary to hiss whenever Zeresh is mentioned (in fact I have a mesorah from my father to do so). Are there any sources which mention ...
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Did Achashverosh (or his court) know that Mordechai was Esther's relative? [duplicate]

When Esther was chosen by the Persian king her uncle Mordechai told her to keep her identity a secret, which she did: Esther had not yet made known her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had ...
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Is there any place I can rent or borrow a Megillah from?

Specifically in or around Brooklyn, NY: I was wondering if anyone knows of a place that rents or lends out Kosher Megillos for Purim.
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Did Mordechai have children?

Megillas Esther ends by saying: וְדֹבֵר שָׁלוֹם לְכָל־זַרְעוֹ - and speaking peace to all his seed. I realize Rashi applies this to the previous clause, of all the nation, but perhaps there are ...
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Is it really kosher to “apply” to become a gentile king's wife?

Near the beginning of the Purim story, Esther lives in King Achashverosh's harem and "applies" to be queen by spending the night with him. What do our interpretations say about why she did this and ...
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If Sarah's Death is a “Merit” for Cheshvan, Why Isn't Moshe's Death a “Merit” for Adar?

When I was young(er) I used to listen to to Toravision's Purim Story tape. (Yeah, I know, I'm dating myself.) It's a great tape, and the older I've gotten, the more it's amazed me how close the tape ...
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How old was Esther?

How old was Esther when she was selected by Achashveirosh? I am familiar with the Yalkut (Esther 2:8) which offers ages up to 80 and seems to settle on 74/75 the numerical value of Haddasah, however ...
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May one eat before the obligatory reading/hearing of Megillas Esther?

May one eat before the obligatory reading/hearing of Megillas Esther? Does a year where Purim comes out on Motzei Shabbos make a difference?
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Source to make noise when Haman's name is mentioned?

Where is the source to make noise when Haman's name is read from the Megillah?
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How was Charvonah at Esther's private party?

If, as Haman states (Esther 5:12), only Haman and Achashveirosh were invited to Esther's party what is Charvonah doing there?
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Why are some letters in the names of Haman's sons little?

In Esther 9:7,9 there are letters in the names of Haman's sons which are written smaller than usual in the megillah. Barring the purimfest 1946 explanation, what is the reason for these letters being ...
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Why doesn't G-d's name appear in Megillath Esther?

Megillath Esther is a canonical book (i.e., in the biblical canon) about the salvation of the Jewish people. Why, then, doesn't G-d's name appear anywhere in the text?
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Was Vashti Evil?

Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?
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Vashti was never Killed

I was told that the Chacmie Tzarfas said that Vashti was never Killed Does anyone have a source for this view in a shiur or inside? Rashi (Esther 1:19) says that she was executed.
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Why is Megillat Esther the only Megillah that is still read from parchment?

Originally, all of Tanac"h was written on parchment. Thus, all 5 Megillot read during the year were read from parchment. Most minhagim that I have seen (Nusach Ahkenaz and Sefard) do not currently ...
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Kiddush Levana the night of Purim

It is the night of Purim and for some reason the majority of the Shul has not yet said Kiddush Levana. Should Kiddush Levana be said prior to Megila due to "Tadur" it being more frequent? (source)
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Rambam on Megilas Esther

There is a book seen here which purports to be the exegesis of the Rambam on the Book of Esther. I can't seem to find any information on the Rambam having ever written such a work. Question: ...
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How did Haman think he could get away with murdering Mordechai?

Haman persuaded Ahashverosh to sign a decree enabling the genocide of the Jews in the Persian empire. This much is clear from the text. But in between Esther's parties, Haman constructs a gallows 50 ...
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Why is Megillat Esther the only one to receive a bracha after reading it?

We read a total of 5 Megillot during the course of the year. AFAIK, none of the others have a blessing after its reading. What makes Esther unique that there is a blessing after reading?