the biblical book of Esther

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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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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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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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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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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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How did Achashveirosh not know that Esther was Jewish?

In the Megila, Esther is taken from the house of Mordechai - who was clearly known as a Jew, and then Mordechai is constantly expressing interest in Esther ובכל יום ויום מרדכי מתהלך לפני חצר בית הנשים ...
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What is the correct vocalization for Megillas Ester 3:6

What is the correct pronunciation for the third word of Megillas Ester 3:6, "‎ויבז בעיניו לשלח יד במרדכי לבדו…‏‎"? Is it with a Patach under the ח or without it? I have seen many ...
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140 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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Did Esther eat at the first feast she made for the king and Haman?

Esther 5:1,5:4 says that Esther made the first feast on the third day of the fast. Earlier (4:16), Esther tells Mordechai that she will also fast for three days. Did she eat at the feast, or was ...
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Is it a sin to read parsha commentaries during leining?

I understand that one is supposed to follow along with the communal Torah reading in Hebrew. But is this actually a requirement, as opposed to just a good thing to do? Another way of asking the same ...
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43 views

Making shechayenu twice on megillah

If someone was able to put themselves into a situation that they would be required to read the megillah twice (for example they went to Bnei Brak on the 14th of Adar then came to Jerusalem for the ...
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Does anyone say not to make noise for Haman?

Here is the source that you should make noise at the mention of Haman's name. However, as I was listening to the Megillah this year it occurred to me how counterproductive it is as an act of erasing ...
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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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Why is future tense used in Esther 3:2?

In Megillas Esther Perek 3 Pasuk 2 we are told: וּמָרְדֳּכַי--לֹא יִכְרַע, וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה. Why is this sentence in future tense? Why does it not it say לא כרע ולא השתחוה, in the past tense?
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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 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 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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Mordecai: Esther's uncle?

The m'gila says clearly that Ester was "bas dodo", which seems to mean she was the daughter of Mord'chay's uncle, i.e., his first cousin. The targum renders this as "b'ras achvoy". Does that mean "his ...
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Why do we say Layehudim Hayta Orah aloud?

In Havdalah, I noticed a virtually universal custom: when the one who is saying Havdalah reaches the Passuk of Layehudim Haytah Orah (ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה...), those who are being Yotzei Havdalah ...
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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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Pirush On Megilas Esther regarding the word “Melech”

I remember seeing a book which explains how, b'derech Drash, every instance of the word "Melech" in Megilas Esther, as referring to Hashem. Does anyone know the name of this sefer?
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Are you Yotzei Mikrah Megillah if you're spacing out?

The Mishnah in Megillah (2:2) says that one who reads the megillah while semi-asleep ('מתנמנם') is yotzei. The gemara comments (18b): מתנמנם יצא וכו': היכי דמי מתנמנם אמר רב אשי נים ולא נים תיר ...
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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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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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What meaning do the names of the ten sons of Haman have?

Is there a meaning behind the names of the ten sons of Haman who were killed and hung (Esther 9:7-9)? They are: פַּרְשַׁנְדָּתָא Parshandasa דַּלְפוֹן Dalphon אַסְפָּתָא Aspasa ...
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350 views

Why is Purim on Adar II during a leap year?

On a leap year, when a second Adar is added, we celebrate Purim on the second Adar. I would think it should be celebrated on the first Adar, since the Megillah goes out of its way in several places to ...
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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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Why do we honor Charvona, specifically?

The song we sing after reading the Megilla on Purim, "Shoshanat Yaakov," concludes with "and may Charvona also be remembered favorably." According to the Megilla (Esther 7:9), all Charvona did was, ...
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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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Would Esther really have kept silent?

In Esther 7:4 we read וְאִלּוּ לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת נִמְכַּרְנוּ, הֶחֱרַשְׁתִּי--כִּי אֵין הַצָּר שֹׁוֶה, בְּנֵזֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ ... ... But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I ...
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Why is Haman called an Agagite and not an Amalekite?

In Megillas Esther 3:1 Haman is called the Agagite which I always assumed meant he was a descendant of Agag the king of the Amalekite in 1 Shmuel 15:8. His lineage is confirmed in Megillah 13a as ...
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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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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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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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What does the Megillah mean when it says Mordechai was “dover shalom” to all his seed?

Megillas Esther 10:3 tells us that Mordechai was great among the Jews and accepted of the multitude of his brethren; "seeking the good of his people and speaking peace [v'dover shalom] to all his ...
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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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Why did Achashveirosh take Esther if she was already married?

According to the opinion that Queen Esther was married to Mordechai. Achashveirosh was looking for unmarried girls (Esther 2:2–4). Why did he take a married woman? Especially considering that Queen ...
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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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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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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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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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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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What's bothering Rashi about the messengers delivering the king's decree in Esther 4:3?

Megillath Esther (4:3) states that in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and ...
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How did Achashverosh not think that Mordechai would be disturbed by the decree to kill all the Jews?

In the book of Ester (6:1), Achashverosh can't sleep and asks to bring the book of records to him. Rashi says that the reason why is in case he was done a favor by someone and didn't repay it and that ...
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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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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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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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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 ...