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Is there actually any way to spell the word "Ahasuerus," or is it simply not possible? What about when Moshiach comes??


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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 14 '17 at 22:07

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    What difference will mashiah's coming make? – mevaqesh Mar 8 '17 at 5:22
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    Vos? Ich farshtei nisht. – ezra Mar 8 '17 at 5:24
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    You spelled "Ahasuerus" seemingly pretty successfully. I don't get why this is funny, or why it fulfills the PTIJ policy to "misinterpret a real Torah concept or Jewish text" or "apply a distinctly Torah style (e.g. Talmudic analysis) to an irrelevant topic". – Double AA Mar 8 '17 at 6:08
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It is not possible for any two translation or transliteration schemes to spell it the same way.

Megillas Esther spells it אחשורוש in the Hebrew alef-bet, which the Masoretes modified to אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ with nikkudot, and later linguists changed to ˀaxaʃveroʃ in IPA, but Jews generally pronounce it "Aẖashverosh".

ChristIan bibles tend to spell it Ahasuerus or Ahasverus, but they are copying it from the Septuagint which spells it Ασουηρος but pronounces it Asouēros and the Latin Vulgate which spells it Assuerus. As Rabbeinu Mark Twain taught, foreigners usually spell better than they pronounce.

Greeks would spell it Ξέρξης in their native alphabet, Xerxes in the Roman alphabet, and ksérksɛːs in IPA, but pronounce it "Zerkzeez".

Persians (who perhaps had the best shot at knowing what to call him) would spell his name اخشورش‎‎, but pronounce it Xšayārša or Axšoreš.

One can read in Megillas Esther itself (3:12) that when Haman's decree against the Jews went out with the king's name on it, it was מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְעַם וָעָם כִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ "to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language", no doubt all spelled and pronounced differently.

I see no reason why this great confusion would be reduced when Moshiach comes. We, of course, know of miracles like the lion laying down with the lamb and the dead arising. I do not think you will find in our mesorah any reference to standardization of spelling in Olam Haba. You could, of course, just ask the king after he arises, but while he could tell you how he prefers it to be pronounced, we have no evidence that the king was able to spell. You could then ask one of his scribes the same question, but their response would probably be in cuniform, giving you yet another option to break your head over. It is probable that no consensus on the spelling of this unusual name will ever occur.

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    +1 You could, of course, just ask the king after he arises you're making an assumption... – mevaqesh Mar 9 '17 at 0:46
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    @Mike ...Or maybe I should just ask Mordechai? After all, he is definitely going to arise, and he spoke 70 languages. He knew the king. He seems like the guy to settle this – SAH Mar 9 '17 at 1:31
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    @SAH Great idea, next week G-d willing, you should do just that. If he doesn't know, try to corner Ezra. – Mike Mar 9 '17 at 2:37
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    @Mike - But please don't corner me. I don't like confrontations. – ezra Mar 10 '17 at 4:51
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    Note in the Masoretic text it's sometimes spelled אחשרש – Double AA Mar 12 '17 at 4:27

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