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12

This would have to begin with Micah 6:8: והצנע לכת עם א-להיך, "be tzanua in walking with your G-d" (this is one of only two instances of this root in Tanach, the other being in Prov. 11:2, ואת צנועים חכמה). The Gemara (Sukkah 49b and Rashi there) explain this as referring to mitzvos done in public, like funerals and weddings; even these need to be done with ...


8

Bereishit Rabbah 39:13 (39:4 in some edition) brings a machloket Rav and Shemuel if Esther was 40 or 80 years old respectively.


7

There are several places in the Talmud which assume she was taken by force, e.g. Megillah 15a: לך כנוס את כל היהודים וגו' עד אשר לא כדת אמר רבי אבא שלא כדת היה שבכל יום ויום עד עכשיו באונס ועכשיו ברצון וכאשר אבדתי אבדתי כשם שאבדתי מבית אבא כך אובד ממך Rashi there: עד עכשיו. נבעלתי באונס: ועכשיו. מכאן ואילך מדעתי: אבדתי ממך. ואסורה אני לך דאשת ישראל ...


5

Esther 2:8 uses the term "Vatilakach" - she was taken. While it doesn't clearly imply "forcibly", there are several hints that this was mandatory. One is 2:3 that says that the king should gather EVERY virgin girl. The text alone doesn't state that Esther was married, so she might have been a betulah. Even if we follow the explanations that she was ...


5

R' Ari Zivotofsky has a nice article on this subject, explaining the possible reasons for this misconception: http://www.ou.org/torah/article/tzarich_iyun_mordechai_and_esther


5

Haman and the King were the guests. However, as nobility there were servants and "members of the staff" there. The modern concepts of privacy did not exist in those days. Consider that a noble would be able to sit down without considering if a chair was there, because one would "miraculously" appear under him. Thus, Charvonah was standing there waiting to be ...


5

It appears that the Tannaim Reb Meir and Reb Yehudah (and others) dealt with this question in Megilla 13a. Rabbi Meir said: her name was Esther; why was she called Hadassah? Because of the Righteos Tzaddikim who are called Haddasim. Rabbi Yehuda said: her name was Hadassah; why was she called Esther? Because she hid her words (the information ...


3

See the commentary of the Ibn Ezra on Esther 8:1 (page 30 in the linked document) where he says that Mordechai was Esther's uncle.


3

Malbim explains (as I think is pshat in pesukim) that Ester was just found in her house, but he was her adopted father, and might have just picked her off the street; she could have been from anywhere. Achashveirosh did have him hang around and give him gifts though, to influence Ester to say who her real parents/origin was when she would see how well ...


1

To respond only to your second question, there is a relevant passage in the gemara on Sanhedrin 74b. An objection is raised that concerns how Esther could have submitted herself publicly to Ahashverosh when we learn that it is better to die than to commit the sin of 'forbidden relations'. The terse resolution of Abayye is to suggest that "Esther was like the ...



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