the biblical book of Esther

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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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2answers
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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2answers
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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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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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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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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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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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119 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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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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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Charbonah related to destruction?

Charbonah is the person who reminded Ahashverosh about the tree that Haman made to hang Mordechai on. I realize that the names of most of the people mentioned in the Megillah are Persian. However, ...
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1answer
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How to fold Esther's scroll

The custom is to unroll the m'gila and fold it over, 'page' over 'page', before reading it in public on Purim, then to roll it up again before reciting the b'racha after the reading. Suppose there's ...
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1answer
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How did the sons of Haman die? (Chronology of Esther chapter 9)

The 10 sons of Haman were hanged as we read in the Megillah. (Esther 9:14) But it appears they were killed by the sword. Is this a correct chronology of the story / facts? Haman was hanged on or ...
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1answer
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Why has it not become customary for people to wish each other “Good Yontiff” on Purim?

I can't recall people wishing each other "Gut Yuntiff" (or similar, like "Good Yom Tov") or any reference to Yom Tov on Purim. (Maybe someone does, but I'm unaware of this.) Why don't people do this ...
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0answers
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Is a video “simulcast” Megilla reading for the hearing-impaired in shul permissible?

We have a many hearing-impaired people in our shul. Even with a microphone on, there is a lot of distortion and people can't hear well. We received a PowerPoint Megilla reading CD from Our Way, a ...
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2answers
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Was Mordechai correct in not bowing down?

The Megillah explains that Mordechai's refusal to bow to Haman is what provoked Haman and nearly resulted in the death of many Jews worldwide. Halachically was Mordechai correct in not bowing down, ...
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4answers
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Why is raising taxes in the the last, 3 verse chapter of Megilat Esther?

Why does the 3 verse conclusion/summary in Ch 10 of Megilat Esther tell of the King raising taxes?
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2answers
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Why did it take 2 days in the city of Shushan?

The reason Purim is celebrated for two days in a "walled city" is that the Megilat Esther says the Jews of the city of Shushan (the capital) needed/took an extra day to fight for their survival. My ...
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2answers
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Haman servant of Mordichai: text of document

The gemara in Megillah 15 writes that Mordichai 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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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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May a person who has sensitive hearing wear ear plugs during Kri'at Megilah?

There is a requirement to hear each word of the Megilah. What if someone has very sensitive hearing such that the loud noise of the graggers etc. after hearing Haman causes ringing in his ears and ...
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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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4answers
136 views

Why did Mordechai not let Bigson & Seresh assasinate the king?

Why did Mordechai report the assassins before they could kill King Achashverosh? What did he have to gain? Had the king been killed, Esther might have been free to go home. She definitely wouldn't ...
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3answers
355 views

How did Mordechai get *all* the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days?

My question is a bit long-winded so I'll summarize first: How did Mordechai rouse the will of all the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days? And further, why did Esther limit her request ...
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Why don't islands read the m'gila two days?

Bavli, M'gila 5 amud 2, cites a doubt as to when the m'gila is read in T'verya: on the fourteenth of Adar, as in most places, or on the fifteenth, as in a city walled since the time of Y'hoshua. The ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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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?
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When the terms “sasson” and “simcha” are mentioned together, is there meaning or reason to the order?

Compare two verses: Yirmiyahu (Jer.) 33:11 - "sasson" is mentioned before "simcha" Esther 8:16-17 - "simcha" is mentioned before "sasson" There are other such verses, as well, that we can compare, ...
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1answer
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Mordechai's ban on going to Achashveirosh's party

Is there a source that Mordechai banned or prohibited the Jews from going to Achashveirosh's party?
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1answer
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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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Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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2answers
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Walled from the times of Joshua: Why Joshua?

The Halacha is that those who live in a city that was walled in the times of Yehoshuah reads on a different day. The question is why from Yehoshuah (Joshua) when the commentaries explain it they speak ...
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1answer
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Pshat in Pasuk of Velo Yavor

Chazal say that the reason why we don't read the Megillah on the 16 is because the passuk (Esther 9:27) says "velo yavor" - וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר. Why is there a need for this Passuk? The Megillah said that ...
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Why not read missing words (in Esther) from a printed copy?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:19: צבור שאין להם מגילה כשרה כדינה מכל מקום אם היא כתובה כהלכתה רק שחסרים איזה תיבות באמצעה כיון שלא חסר בה ענין אחד שלם יכולין לקרות מתוכה עם הברכות והטעות יקרא הקורא ...
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6answers
424 views

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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Did Achashverosh rule over the entire Old World?

Megilla 11a says "Three ruled over the world - Achav, Achashverosh and Nebuchadnetzar." It suggests a few other names that weren't on the list and rejects them because they didn't rule over one ...
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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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1answer
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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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How did Achashveirosh have the utensils of the Beit Hamikdash?

In the first chapter of sefer Ezra we read that Koresh sent all the utensils that had been stolen by Nevuchadnetzar back to Yerushalayim as part of the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. However the ...
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1answer
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Being able to hear yourself while reading along with the ba'al koreih on Purim

I was told that on Purim when one reads the megillah with the ba’al koreih, only the ba’al koreih's voice should be audible to him and not his own. Where is the source for this halacha?
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Concerning the time when Esther must be read

The first Mishnah in Tractate Megilla says: מגילה נקראת באחד עשר, בשנים עשר, בשלושה עשר, בארבעה עשר, ובחמישה עשר--לא פחות ולא יתר. The Megilla is read sometimes on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, ...
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Why was Esther afraid to go to the King the second time, but not the first time?

When Mordechai told Esther that two of the King's guards were plotting to kill him, she went right away to tell the king directly. Yet when Mordechai later asked her to approach the king to save all ...
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Commonly ommited from Arur Haman

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 690:16 says One must say "Accursed is Haman, blessed is Mordechai, accursed is Zeresh, blessed is Esther, accursed are all who hate HaShem, blessed are all who believe ...
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On the gender of the implied “פַּעַם שֵׁנִי” in Esther 2:14

Ester 2:14 speaks of each candidate for the title of queen consort: בָּעֶרֶב הִיא בָאָה וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי In the evening she would arrive and in the morning ...
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Source for Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz's explanation of Ta'anis Esther

The three day fast that Esther and Mordecai and the Jew's of Shushan observed during Nissan fell out on (at least) the first day of Passover. I remember hearing an explanation from Rabbi Jonathan ...
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2answers
370 views

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 ...