the biblical book of Esther

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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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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?
11
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2answers
239 views

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 ...
10
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4answers
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Why didn't Mordechai keep Mitzvos — serious edition

It says in the Megilla "ויאמרו עבדי המלך אשר בשער המלך למרדכי מדוע אתה עובר את מצות המלך" - "The servants of the King (who were in the King's gates) asked Mordechai 'Why do you go against the command ...
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5answers
532 views

Mordechai - Religious Leader or Political figure?

I'm looking to gather some more background, context, sources and opinions, regarding Mordechai's religiousness, or lack thereof. This was the topic of a recent comment thread on Was Darius Jewish?,...
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
212 views

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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6answers
2k views

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, ...
10
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2answers
702 views

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 ...
14
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1answer
509 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 ...
11
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2answers
274 views

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 ...
11
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3answers
165 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
211 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
230 views

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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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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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 ...
19
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1answer
933 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
175 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
163 views

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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3answers
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Megilas Esther by day - why is it done after Kriyas HaTorah?

We read Koheles on Succos, Shir HaShirim on Pesach, and Rus on Shavuos, and we always read it prior to Kriyas HaTorah. Then why do we read Megilas Esther on Purim day after Kriyas HaTorah?
14
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3answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
144 views

Why not “Where is Achashverosh in the Torah”?

In Chullin 139b, the Gemara asks about hints in the Torah for several of the figures in the Megillah, and provides answers: "Where is {Haman, Esther, Mordechai} hinted at in the Torah?" (המן\אסתר\...
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1answer
170 views

Change of name in Megillat Esther from Hegeh to Hegai?

In Megillat Esther, the Pasuk (2:3) says that Achashverosh gathered the girls and placed them in the women's house, and the one who guarded them was הגא (ending with an א and with a segol under the ג)....
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3answers
276 views

Can one “take over” the Megillah reading?

Suppose the one who is leining (reading) the Megillah needs to stop in the middle of leining, and is unable to continue. Is someone who was there the entire time allowed to take over?
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1answer
173 views

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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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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2answers
753 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 ...
5
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1answer
180 views

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, ...
5
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2answers
246 views

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. ...
5
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3answers
359 views

Charvona? How many Charvona's were there?

In the Megila twice the name Charvona is mentioned. However there is a difference - Once it is spelled with an Aleph at the end and once it is spelled with an Hai at the end? Were there two Charvona's ...
4
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2answers
386 views

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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2answers
219 views

Ish Yehudi - where else?

Where else in Tanach are there the words "Ish Yehudi" besides Megilas Esther?
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1answer
150 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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1answer
55 views

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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0answers
56 views

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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2answers
165 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

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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3answers
315 views

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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2answers
191 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
58 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
92 views

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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2answers
109 views

On which day in Teveis did this happen?

In Megilas Esther 2:16 it mentions that Esther was taken in Teveis to Achasverosh's palace. Does anyone know on which day of the month this happened?
2
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2answers
172 views

Achashverosh — was he or wasn't he?

I'm looking to gather some more background, context, sources and opinions, regarding Achashverosh's Jewishness, or lack thereof. This was inspired by a recent similar question, and, in fact, much of ...
2
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2answers
384 views

Memuchan, Hasach, Daniel

Daniel seems to play a significant role in the Megila. The Medrash says that Memuchan was Daniel. It is also mentioned that Hasach was Daniel. Interesting to note is that the Gematria of Daniel and ...
2
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1answer
201 views

Pronunciation of Esther's cousin's name.

I have seen a couple of places where Mordechai’s name is spelled with a kamatz katan under the daled. Has anyone else seen this and do you know which is more accurate: Mordechai/ Mordachai/ Mordochai (...
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1answer
240 views

Shushan Versus Shushan Habirah

What is the difference between Shushan and Shushan Habirah or is there one, and when does the Meggilah use each one? (Please quote sources)