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Virtually all of the major characters (and some of the minor ones) in Megillas Esther have a clear ending for them. Mordechai and Esther live happily ever after (sort of). Haman and his ten songs are hanged. Even Haman's daughter was declared dead by a midrash which proclaimed that she threw herself off a building after dumping trash on her father's head while Haman was parading Mordechai around.

But to the best of my knowledge, Zeresh just disappears. I would think there was some account of how she died, seeing as how she was the one who suggested to Haman about the gallows in the first place. Is there any account of what happened to her?

2 Answers 2

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Targum (to Esther 9:14) says that she fled, with seventy of Haman's surviving sons, and they were all reduced to begging.

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In Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?, it is noted that the Koren-Sacks Siddur suggests that Kinyanav refers to Haman's household, and based off of this understanding, I had always assumed that Zeresh was hanged as well.

In this wonderful article, support for this view is brought from the Additions to Esther (apocrypha) 16:18, as well as the Peirush of the Rema (Mechir Yayin to Esther 9:13).

Another very interesting suggestion is brought by a fairly recent Moroccan Rabbi, Rav David Tzabach, which is that "Hinei Beis Haman Nasati Leester", refers to Haman's wife (based on the Derasha of "Beiso Zu Ishto"), and thus, Zeresh became Esther's maid.

Other opinions brought include suicide by hanging (based off a Piyut dated to the 5th-7th century), and the opinion of the Targum quoted by Alex above (bolstered by another early source).

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  • Hey There. I might be a few years late, but can you please link\provide additional info about a piyut that says Zeresh hanged herself (or was hanged at all)
    – The Targum
    Nov 26, 2023 at 16:39
  • @TheTargum sorry, don't have the sources on hand. I would recommend Googling (maybe in Hebrew)? Nov 27, 2023 at 1:42
  • Thanks for responding, i had been searching for most of the day yesterday. Any leads you can provide would be very appreciated.
    – The Targum
    Nov 27, 2023 at 15:05
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    @TheTargum It's directly stated, with references/further sources, in the article linked in my answer. Nov 27, 2023 at 16:20
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    @TheTargum it's page 3 of the pdf, page 76 overall, especially fn11 Nov 28, 2023 at 17:13

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