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In the Artscroll Divrei HaYamim bet page 473 (as well as Artscroll Sefer Ezra ad loc) he cites the Ramban on Megillah 11b who indicates that not all of the keilim were returned during the Koresh proclamation (contrary to Rashi's reading of Ezra 1:11).


2

I once heard this question asked at an Arachim function. The answer given was that although Koresh had the utensils returned, not all of them made it back and therefore Achashveirosh used the ones that he still had. I have not seen a written source for this though.


2

Megillas Ester is actually the only exception to the normal rule that you must hear only the voice of the reader (OK, Hallel also, but no one fulfills Hallel by listening nowadays). Megillah 21b: תנו רבנן בתורה אחד קורא ואחד מתרגם ובלבד שלא יהא אחד קורא ושנים מתרגמין ובנביא אחד קורא ושנים מתרגמין ובלבד שלא יהו שנים קורין ושנים מתרגמין ובהלל ובמגילה ...



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