In Megillat Esther, 3:15, after the king sends out his edict, the text says וְהָעִ֥יר שׁוּשָׁ֖ן נָבֽוֹכָה, and the city of Shushan was confounded (or perturbed).

Clearly, the Jews were, but the non-Jews who, according to the Medrash, approached Jews and said "tomorrow I will kill you" did not seem perturbed. The only explanation I have seen is that the proclamation's contents were actually unknown in the city (having only been proclaimed in the "fortress" so everyone was confused. But if that is the case, then the non-Jews would have no reason to accost the Jews. Is there any explanation for why the non-Jews would be considered "n'vuchim"?

While I have a theory, I would like to know if any of the commentators can explain the "perturbed-ness" of the non-Jews.

  • 2
    Rashi and the other meforshim in mikraos gedolos seem to say it was the Jews who were upset. Nov 20, 2020 at 15:48
  • @sabbahillel I read that but that just begs why the text would identify the whole city when the meaning is just a subgroup, whereas in other places, the Jews are identified as distinct when things applied to them alone.
    – rosends
    Nov 20, 2020 at 16:06
  • it also could be asked "why refer to the city and not the inhabotants? The city does not have feelings."
    – rosends
    Nov 20, 2020 at 16:41
  • 2
    People refer to entire cities all the time when they only mean the Jewish population.For example when it comes to minhagim people commonly say "everyone in name-a-city did/does" What they mean is everyone in the city who this makes a difference to .
    – Schmerel
    Nov 21, 2020 at 23:31
  • 1
    @larry909 that the non-Jews were confounded by God's apparent abandoning of the Jews to allow them to be killed.
    – rosends
    Nov 24, 2020 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The medrash yalkutt says... as soon as the deal was done, many weird accidents started occurring in SHUSHAN with no precedent or explanation . maybe that is why all r “perturbed”.

I think that people of shushan knew how crazy the king was and also now haman can convince him to do the most outrageous ideas, were therefore “perturbed “

like OMG - what’s next?

See reb shlomo kruger.. who says that the people when they saw his drunken tirades and subsequent dumb laws ,they said .... OMG what is next !!!!

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