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Based on every online audio I could find, including Chabad.org's Megillah Trainer as well as the comments pointing to Mechon Mamre, it seems that it is uncontroversially with a Patach. The Leningrad Codex, being the common source for the prints, has it without a Patach, and this is the source of the alternative vocalization, but that seems to be simple ...


I discovered that the מגילת אסתר of the תורה שלֵמה has some answers: For פרמשתא, citing מדרש רבי עקיבא בן יוסף על אותיות קטנות:‎ פרמשתא, ש׳ ת׳ של פרמשתא קטנה, הסר פ׳ ור׳ וישאר שמתא.‏ This one is hard to translate and explain. So I'll leave it as is. For ויזתא: The Gemara in Megila (16b) says in the name of Rav Yochanan - the Vav of ...


The Maharal in his commentary to Megillas Esther says that Esther only fasted for 70 hours (as opposed to 3 full days, 72 hours), and she actually broke her fast before going to Achashverosh to prepare herself for meeting the king. This is hinted in the verse "גַּם-אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי, אָצוּם כֵּן; וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ" (Esther 4:17) "we will fast כן ...


The source is: אגדת אסתר ה׃ט See page 30 in http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/vl/agadatester/agadatester03.pdf

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