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Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?

  • This question is particularly relevant as she has been widely presented as a feminist heroine (!) e.g. here – mevaqesh Feb 22 '15 at 18:02
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    There's so little information about her in the Megillah that's it's hard to figure out anything about her from the text short of her being queen. Also, being that the Megillah was written while her former husband was still in power, and possibly some of her family supporters still around, they may not have wanted to harp too strongly on her personality. – Shmuel Brin Feb 22 '15 at 18:23
  • @ShmuelBrin Good point about the period the Gemara itself raises the issue of perception of the Megillah by contemporary Persians claiming that he rabbis of the period raised the issue. Nevertheless, the Megillah does present Achashverosh as at best a well meaning incompetent drunk. – mevaqesh Feb 22 '15 at 18:27
  • According to the Gemara she is the daughter of Belshazar, the king of the "writing on the wall" story in Daniel. The kingdom was changing hands several times, Darius the Elder lasted just one year as king. That she came from a dodgy line of descent does not of course make her evil but she was not pure either. – CashCow Feb 22 '15 at 20:58
  • @CashCow Look at Ester's husband, Avraham's father, Rachel and Leah's father, for a couple of exeptions. – mevaqesh Feb 22 '15 at 21:40
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+50

Rava (Bavli 12) sees it in 1:9, which says Vashti made a party for women in the king's home: he says she must have made it there rather than in her own home because she intended sin [presumably lewd intermingling].

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    First of all I understood the OP to mean evil as in wicked to people, not to Hashem. Secondly, where is this clear in the text itself? – Yehuda Feb 22 '15 at 19:18
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    @Yehuda I don't know why you'd read "evil" that way. And if you don't see the implication clearly in the verse, don't worry: Rava did. – msh210 Feb 22 '15 at 19:44
  • For that price the Amoiroim saw everything in the verse, the OP wanted something stated clearly that didnt need Torah She'Baal Peh. IMO. – Yehuda Feb 22 '15 at 19:51
  • @Yehuda Please reread the question. It seeks a "basis" in the text of Esther "to lend credence to" what Chazal say. It doesn't seek "maamare Chazal paraphrased in the text of Esther". – msh210 Feb 22 '15 at 19:55
  • You may be right, I suppose the OP can clarify anyway. – Yehuda Feb 22 '15 at 19:58

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