the biblical book of Esther

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Were the converts mentioned in the Megillah actually Jews?

Esther 8:17 says that many people of the various lands מתיהדים which means, literally "Made themselves Jewish". Does this mean that they were "valid" Jews, i.e. obligated in all the mitzvoth as ...
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1answer
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Is Esther's comment in Esther 7:4 a reference to one of the curses in Devarim 28:68?

In Esther 7:4, Esther says that had the Jews been sold for slaves and maidservants, she would have been silent. Devarim 28:68 says that we would be shipped to Egypt, and we would try to sell ...
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What is the meaning of the term יום טוב (Yom Tov)?

I did a search in Tanac"h for the term יום טוב (along with any prefixes to the term) The term appears a few times in Esther, esp. in the 2nd to last chapter. One example is: Esther 9:19: ...
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Why did Esther have to become queen and be forced into adultery?

Presumably God could save the Jewish people without Esther, a married woman, becoming the wife of Achashverosh. So why did He choose to bring the salvation in this fashion? (although she was ...
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Why does Megilas Esther describe Achashveirosh's sleepless night as “on that night”?

What was so special about the night that Achashveirosh couldn't sleep that it was referred to in the Megila (6:1) as "that night", i.e. בלילה ההוא נדדה שנת המלך It could have said something more ...
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Hearing Vs. Listening and Reading vs. Reciting [duplicate]

The obligation for the megillah reading is for one to read the scroll. If one cannot read it, one listens to the blessing and then listens to the reader read it. But what is the nature of ...
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Mitzva to hear Megillah Esther

My question has two parts: (1) I believe it is a mitzvah to hear the entirety of Megillat Esther twice on Purim, both at maariv and also at some point during the daytime. Is that correct? (2) would ...
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Why did Bigtan and Teresh want to kill the king?

I am very puzzled by the whole episode with Bigtan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23). What exactly made them so mad that they wanted to kill the king? The gemarah (megillah 13b) says they were complaining ...
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When and how did haman amass so much wealth?

In Masheches Megillah 15a at the bottom Rav Chisda brings a teaching on the passuk in the megilah 5:13 that Mordichai came with his wealth and Haman came with his poorness as Rashi explains the ...
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Haman servant of Mordechai: text of document

The gemara in Megillah 15 writes that Mordechai acquired Haman for a piece of bread. Rashi writes: וזה בא בפרוזבולי - מרדכי בא אליו בטענת עושר המן בא בטענת עוני שמכר המן את עצמו למרדכי קודם לכן ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
87 views

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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1answer
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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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Was Haman so discourteous as to bother the king's sleep?

There are actually 2 related parts to this question: Haman is annoyed with Mordechai and discusses with Zeresh, his wife and his wise advisers what to do. In Esther 5:14, they tell him to make a tall ...
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1answer
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What happened to Zeresh (Haman's wife)?

Virtually all of the major characters (and some of the minor ones) in Megillas Esther have a clear ending for them. Mordechai and Esther live happily ever after (sort of). Haman and his ten songs are ...
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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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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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Why were Haman's sons killed?

While the text explicitly states that Zeresh was involved in the plot to kill Mordechai (5:14), it never states that Haman's sons did anything wrong. If Korach's sons can end up being meritorious, why ...
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1answer
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How did Esther reveal to Achashveroch that Mordechay is her husband

Avrohom ordered Sarah to say that she is his sister (he was afraid that Egyptian kill him). How was Esther not afraid that Achashverosh kills Mordechay? (Esther 8, 1[1]) She was the wife of ...
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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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Hearing Megilla late tonight and break one's fast? [duplicate]

If you are going to hear Megilla much later than the fast ends (an hour for example), do you still need to wait till you hear leining?
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3answers
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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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Why don't we break the Fast of Esther until after Megillah? [duplicate]

Aish, NJOP, and Chabad all state that it is preferable to fast until after the Megillah reading. I'm looking for sources and some background on that. Is it universally practised or an "Ashkenazi ...
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Why was Esther permitted to Mordechai up untill the Feasts with Achashveirosh?

The Medrash tells us that Esther was the wife of Mordechai, and once she was forceably taken to be the queen and Achashveirosh's wife, she was still permitted to Mordechai becouse she was taken ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
142 views

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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What is the advantage of following the reading of the Megilla out of a scroll?

The halakha is that the reader of the Megilla needs to read from a kosher scroll. But what is the advantage of following the reading out a scroll? I see here in the name of the Pri Megadim that ...
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Why דָּת in Esther but דַּת in kidushin?

There are two places "דָּת" appears in Tanach in a form that means "the law of": Esther 2:12 and 9:13. In both places it appears as "דָּת" with a kamatz.[1] Yet, when we marry, according to the ...
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If one hears the Megillah read from a non-scroll version, has he completed the mitzvah?

If one hears the Megillah read from a chumash or the like, is he yotze the mitzvah b'dieved?
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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 is meant by the term “midina”/“provinces” as in the 127 ruled by Ahasuerus?

Esther 1:1 says: Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. For historical context, the period of the ...
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Why did Haman change his mind and decide to immediately hang Mordechai?

In Esther 3:6, it states that Haman was embarrassed to harm Mordechai alone, so he casts lots to decide which date to kill the entire Jewish people. In 6:14, Haman builds a special gallows for ...
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4answers
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What does Avot 6:6 mean when it invokes redemption?

The last element of the list of forty-eight habits of Torah-acquisitive people in Avot 6:6 is, unlike the previous forty-seven, presented with a statement about its particular positive consequences: ...
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Psikim in the sons of Haman

In the listing of the sons of Haman, there's a psik after each ואת. Normally when there's a psik, we pause a little bit. However, in this case we read the entire list in one breath. With practice, ...
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1answer
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Trying to understand Mishnah Megilla 1:4

Mishnah Megillah 1:4 states: קראו את המגילה באדר הראשון ונתעברה השנה, קורין אותה באדר השני. אין בין אדר הראשון לאדר השני אלא קריאת המגילה ומתנות לאביונים . If the Megillah was read in first ...
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Was Achashverosh drunk throughout the Megillah?

Achashverosh has almost no agency in Megillah. He basically walks around signing whatever anyone tells him to sign and making edicts out of anger. Was he totally schnockered from the half year of ...
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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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Do Karaites Celebrate Purim?

Karaite Judaism recognizes the Tanakh only as its source of Jewish Law and practice. The Tanakh includes the Book of Esther. A simple reading of Esther 9:20-32 has at least some segment of Jews ...
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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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1answer
292 views

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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Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
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1answer
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28-line Tikkun for Ester

I am looking for a 28-line tikkun sofrim for Ester which has the 10 b'nei Haman written within the same amud as either the prior, or subsequent text, rather than alone. Does anyone know where I could ...
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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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3answers
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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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338 views

Why did Esther make two parties; why not just one?

What was the purpose of the two parties that Esther made for Haman and Achashverosh (Esther 5:4–8 and chapter 7), if one could have done the job? In other words, what happened that she needed a ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
146 views

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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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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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 ...