The Gemara Megillah 12a says that Achashverosh wore the bigdei kohen gadol.

Rashi comment

I dont understand why rashi uses the terminology that he uses

בגדי כהונה - שהיו בידו שם בגדי כהן גדול שהביאן מירושלים: "The priestly vestments: Since he had in his hand there, the vestments of the high priest that they brought from Jerusalem."

What is rashi adding or explaining that isnt known from the pshat? Isnt it obvious if he was wearing the levushim, that they were from yerushalim?

  • 3
    I think he's clarifying that they were the original articles, not an imitation.
    – shmosel
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 21:43
  • Clarifying it’s from Jerusalem shows an extra layer of גאווה on achashverosh’s part. Alternatively the simple answer is Rashi isn’t always something new- his whole point is to explain pshat Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 21:50
  • The maharal explains the Gemara to mean figuratively, in the way he conducted himself, he was similar in honor to the garments of the Kohen gadol. Perhaps rashi is explaining that the Gemara means it literally, not figuratively.
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 21:55
  • sefaria.org/…
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 21:58
  • @Chatzkel can you please write yor comments in answer form.
    – The Targum
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


While the simple pshat of Rashi is to explain how he has the bigdei kehunah, maybe he’s also trying to exclude a different understanding of the Gemara.

The Maharal in Ohr Chadash on this Gemara explains that it doesn’t mean that he actually wore the bigdei kehunah, but rather that his actions and honor were on the level as if he wore them;

ופירוש זה, כי כל כך היה מראה אחשורש תפארת גדולתו, עד שהגיע בזה אל יקר כבוד הכהן גדול, שלבש בגדי כהונה, והוא יקר תפארת כהן גדול, כי כהן שלבש בגדי כהונה הוא תפארת אלקי. וכך היה אחשרוש שלבש יקר תפארת, עד שהיה לו תפארת אלקי

Rashi may be trying to say that the Gemara means the actual clothes and not a figurative way of speech.

  • Nothing in the Maharal implies it was not literal. The Maharal is just explaining the deeper significance of the occurrence.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 6:16
  • If you look at the second paragraph he uses it to explain why he wasn’t punished for this. It seems pretty clear that he’s explaining that he never wore it
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 10:57
  • You should add that to your answer.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 23:39

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