Esther 8:15:

ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות תכלת וחור

And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king with a royal blue and holey royal garment

I understand that while he was mourning Haman's decree, he wore torn, holey garments. But, now that Haman was killed and he was viceroy to the king, when he wore royal garments, why did he have a hole in them? Shouldhn't he have presented himself more respectfully in public?

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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 27 '16 at 4:50

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The holes were for the Karpas, a vegetable that was very popular among royalty in the kingdom of Persia at the time. It is even included in the list of royal finery that was on display at the feast in the first chapter (v. 6):

חוּר כַּרְפַּס וּתְכֵלֶת, אָחוּז בְּחַבְלֵי-בוּץ וְאַרְגָּמָן, עַל-גְּלִילֵי כֶסֶף, וְעַמּוּדֵי שֵׁש

Karpas holes and indigo, bordered with cords of fine linen and purple, upon silver rods and pillars of marble.

It seems from the context that these were not merely vestments, but also used as part of royal décor.

  • 1
    This is pure speculation, of course, but part of me wonders if the significance of כַּרְפַּס in royal circles led to its inclusion in the Seder rituals. I mean, if we're dipping our royal veggies into salt-water "tears", that's pretty profound. (This comment is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.) – Seth J Mar 25 '16 at 16:28
  • The comment is a first as far as I have seen. In some seriousness, I should run a word search on occurrence of the word "karpas" in Tanac"h. Speculation - but this may be the only place its used? – DanF Mar 25 '16 at 16:31

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