Questions tagged [megillat-esther]

Concerning Esther's rise to power as queen of Achashveirosh ( Xerxes I) of Persia and her thwarting Hamans attempt to destroy the Jewish people during the era of exile after the Destruction of the First Beis Hamikdash

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27
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2answers
2k views

What happened to Zeresh (Haman's wife)?

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 ...
18
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3answers
391 views

Why don't islands read the m'gila two days?

Bavli, M'gila 5 amud 2, cites a doubt as to when the m'gila is read in T'verya: on the fourteenth of Adar, as in most places, or on the fifteenth, as in a city walled since the time of Y'hoshua. The ...
18
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1answer
897 views

Why is Purim on Adar II during a leap year?

On a leap year, when a second Adar is added, we celebrate Purim on the second Adar. I would think it should be celebrated on the first Adar, since the Megillah goes out of its way in several places to ...
17
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6answers
2k views

Why do we honor Charvona, specifically?

The song we sing after reading the Megilla on Purim, "Shoshanat Yaakov," concludes with "and may Charvona also be remembered favorably." According to the Megilla (Esther 7:9), all Charvona did was, ...
16
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3answers
512 views

Why did Achashveirosh take Esther if she was already married?

According to the opinion that Queen Esther was married to Mordechai. Achashveirosh was looking for unmarried girls (Esther 2:2–4). Why did he take a married woman? Especially considering that Queen ...
16
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3answers
208 views

So should be done unto the man

The verse in Esther 6:11 describing Haman's pulling Mordochai on the streets says: כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ בִּיקָרוֹ So shall it be done unto the man whom the king ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Mordecai: Esther's uncle?

The m'gila says clearly that Ester was "bas dodo", which seems to mean she was the daughter of Mord'chay's uncle, i.e., his first cousin. The targum renders this as "b'ras achvoy". Does that mean "his ...
14
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6answers
841 views

What does Avot 6:6 mean when it invokes redemption?

The last element of the list of forty-eight habits of Torah-acquisitive people in Avot 6:6 is, unlike the previous forty-seven, presented with a statement about its particular positive consequences: ...
14
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3answers
631 views

How did Mordechai get *all* the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days?

My question is a bit long-winded so I'll summarize first: TL;DR How did Mordechai rouse the will of all the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days? And further, why did Esther limit her ...
14
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1answer
7k views

What meaning do the names of the ten sons of Haman have?

Is there a meaning behind the names of the ten sons of Haman who were killed and hung (Esther 9:7-9)? They are: פַּרְשַׁנְדָּתָא Parshandasa דַּלְפוֹן Dalphon אַסְפָּתָא Aspasa ...
13
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2answers
740 views

Why do we say Layehudim Hayta Orah aloud?

In Havdalah, I noticed a virtually universal custom: when the one who is saying Havdalah reaches the Passuk of Layehudim Haytah Orah (ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה...), those who are being Yotzei Havdalah ...
13
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2answers
404 views

Are you Yotzei Mikrah Megillah if you're spacing out?

The Mishnah in Megillah (2:2) says that one who reads the megillah while semi-asleep ('מתנמנם') is yotzei. The gemara comments (18b): מתנמנם יצא וכו': היכי דמי מתנמנם אמר רב אשי נים ולא נים תיר ...
13
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3answers
382 views

Why did Haman change his mind and decide to immediately hang Mordechai?

In Esther 3:6, it states that Haman was embarrassed to harm Mordechai alone, so he casts lots to decide which date to kill the entire Jewish people. In 5:14, Haman builds a special gallows for ...
12
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4answers
315 views

Why didn't Mordechai keep Mitzvos — serious edition

It says in the Megilla "ויאמרו עבדי המלך אשר בשער המלך למרדכי מדוע אתה עובר את מצות המלך" - "The servants of the King (who were in the King's gates) asked Mordechai 'Why do you go against the command ...
12
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7answers
742 views

Why did Esther make two parties; why not just one?

What was the purpose of the two parties that Esther made for Haman and Achashverosh (Esther 5:4–8 and chapter 7), if one could have done the job? In other words, what happened that she needed a ...
12
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4answers
226 views

Would Esther really have kept silent?

In Esther 7:4 we read וְאִלּוּ לַעֲבָדִים וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת נִמְכַּרְנוּ, הֶחֱרַשְׁתִּי--כִּי אֵין הַצָּר שֹׁוֶה, בְּנֵזֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ ... ... But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I ...
12
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3answers
392 views

How did Achashveirosh not know that Esther was Jewish?

In the Megila, Esther is taken from the house of Mordechai - who was clearly known as a Jew, and then Mordechai is constantly expressing interest in Esther: (2:11) ובכל יום ויום מרדכי מתהלך לפני ...
12
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4answers
341 views

Why דָּת in Esther but דַּת in kidushin?

There are two places "דָּת" appears in Tanach in a form that means "the law of": Esther 2:12 and 9:13. In both places it appears as "דָּת" with a kamatz.[1] Yet, when we marry, according to the ...
12
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1answer
398 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
11
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3answers
138 views

How did Achashveirosh have the utensils of the Beit Hamikdash?

In the first chapter of sefer Ezra we read that Koresh sent all the utensils that had been stolen by Nevuchadnetzar back to Yerushalayim as part of the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. However the ...
11
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1answer
209 views

Why not “Where is Achashverosh in the Torah”?

In Chullin 139b, the Gemara asks about hints in the Torah for several of the figures in the Megillah, and provides answers: "Where is {Haman, Esther, Mordechai} hinted at in the Torah?" (המן\אסתר\...
11
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2answers
190 views

May I change Megillot in the middle of reading Purim Megillah?

I read the majority of Megillat Esther in my shul. At night, a few teenagers like to read a few verses from the Megillah, as well. Last year, I used my personal Megillah. When one of the boys came up ...
10
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3answers
226 views

Why is future tense used in Esther 3:2?

In Megillas Esther 3:2 we are told: וּמָרְדֳּכַי--לֹא יִכְרַע, וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה. Why is this sentence in future tense? Why does it not it say לא כרע ולא השתחוה, in the past tense?
10
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2answers
373 views

Can a woman write a megillah?

I know that a woman can't write a sefer torah. What about Megillat Esther? If a female soferet wrote a Megillah Esther, would it be kosher?
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2answers
142 views

Why didn't Achashveirosh reward Mordechai immediately?

Esther tells Achashveirosh in the name of Mordechai of a plot to assassinate him (Achashveirosh). They investigate, and stop the would-be assassins. And then... nothing? Why didn't Achashveirosh ...
10
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3answers
240 views

Walled from the times of Joshua: Why Joshua?

The Halacha is that those who live in a city that was walled in the times of Yehoshuah reads on a different day (Rambam Hilchos Megillah 1:4-5). The question is why from Yehoshuah (Joshua) when the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Were Persian-Median kings illiterate?

In the Megillah, we read (6:1): בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא נָדְדָה שְׁנַת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר לְהָבִיא אֶת־סֵפֶר הַזִּכְרֹנוֹת דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים וַיִּהְיוּ נִקְרָאִים לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ On that night, ...
9
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2answers
478 views

Why is Haman called an Agagite and not an Amalekite?

In Megillas Esther 3:1 Haman is called the Agagite which I always assumed meant he was a descendant of Agag the king of the Amalekite in 1 Shmuel 15:8. His lineage is confirmed in Megillah 13a as ...
9
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4answers
226 views

Why is raising taxes in the the last, 3 verse chapter of Megilat Esther?

Why does the 3 verse conclusion/summary in Ch 10 of Megilat Esther tell of the King raising taxes?
9
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2answers
3k views

Why did Bigtan and Teresh want to kill the king?

I am very puzzled by the whole episode with Bigtan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23). What exactly made them so mad that they wanted to kill the king? The gemarah (megillah 13b) says they were complaining ...
9
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1answer
215 views

Change of name in Megillat Esther from Hegeh to Hegai?

In Megillat Esther, the Pasuk (2:3) says that Achashverosh gathered the girls and placed them in the women's house, and the one who guarded them was הגא (ending with an א and with a segol under the ג)....
9
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2answers
231 views

Were the converts mentioned in the Megillah actually Jews?

Esther 8:17 says that many people of the various lands מתיהדים which means, literally "Made themselves Jewish". Does this mean that they were "valid" Jews, i.e. obligated in all the mitzvoth as ...
9
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2answers
232 views

Was Haman so discourteous as to bother the king's sleep?

There are 2 related parts to this question: 1) Haman is annoyed with Mordechai and discusses with Zeresh, his wife and his wise advisers what to do. In Esther 5:14, they tell him to make a tall tree, ...
9
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1answer
150 views

What is a megillah?

5 of the books of Kesuvim are called Megillas (Maseches Sofrim 14:3 identifies 4 of them, Rus, Shir Hashirim, Eicha, and Ester. Rishonim cite versions that add in Koheles - e.g. Mordechai Megilla 783)...
8
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4answers
426 views

Why did Mordechai not let Bigson & Seresh assasinate the king?

Why did Mordechai report the assassins before they could kill King Achashverosh? What did he have to gain? Had the king been killed, Esther might have been free to go home. She definitely wouldn't ...
8
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2answers
219 views

Did Esther eat at the first feast she made for the king and Haman?

Esther 5:1,5:4 says that Esther made the first feast on the third day of the fast. Earlier (4:16), Esther tells Mordechai that she will also fast for three days. Did she eat at the feast, or was ...
8
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2answers
288 views

When did Achashverosh stop rounding up fair maidens?

So first Achashverosh was married to Vashti. Then no more Vashti. Then he's rounding up all the fair maidens in the land to um, "meet" them, one per night, but they're still stuck in one of his royal ...
8
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2answers
436 views

How to fold Esther's scroll

The custom is to unroll the m'gila and fold it over, 'page' over 'page', before reading it in public on Purim, then to roll it up again before reciting the b'racha after the reading. Suppose there's ...
8
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3answers
255 views

Does anyone draw a parallel between Haman selling himself to Mordechai and Esav selling the birthright to Yaakov?

There’s a famous Yalkut Shimoni (Nach 1056:18, referenced by Rashi in explaining Megillah 15a), which reads as follows: א"ר חסדא זה בא בפרוזבולי וזה בא בפרוזבוטי, פעם אחת נתן המלך ממון ושגרם בראשי ...
8
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2answers
106 views

Did Esther have the halachic status of a captive?

Esther was taken (Esther 2:8), ostensibly against her will, by king Achashveirosh. I would like to know if she had the halachic status of a captive such that, for example, the mitzvah of redeeming a ...
8
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2answers
160 views

Why did it take 2 days in the city of Shushan?

The reason Purim is celebrated for two days in a "walled city" is that the Megilat Esther says the Jews of the city of Shushan (the capital) needed/took an extra day to fight for their survival. My ...
8
votes
1answer
165 views

Was Achashverosh drunk throughout the Megillah?

Achashverosh has almost no agency in Megillah. He basically walks around signing whatever anyone tells him to sign and making edicts out of anger. Was he totally schnockered from the half year of ...
8
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2answers
333 views

Why didn't Mordechai kill Haman?

Some background: It is a mitzvah to destroy Amalek (Rambam mitzvah #188, Chinuch mitzvah 604). The Chinuch seems to understand that this is both a mitzvah upon the Jewish people and upon every ...
8
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2answers
286 views

“לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר” in the Megillah and Al Hanisim

As I was reading Al Hanisim this year, something odd struck me "לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר" - the 12th month. What struck me was that this year is a leap year so we actually celebrated Purim in the ...
7
votes
3answers
170 views

Who were the “girls” that fasted with Esther?

Esther 4:16 says: גם אני ונערותי אצום כן Me and my "girls" will also fast Who were these "girls", and Why did she make these girls fast? Were they Jewish (converted, perhaps)? I assume that ...
7
votes
3answers
415 views

Can one “take over” the Megillah reading?

Suppose the one who is leining (reading) the Megillah needs to stop in the middle of leining, and is unable to continue. Is someone who was there the entire time allowed to take over?
7
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3answers
256 views

What happened to Haman's money?

One of the more interesting encounters in the megilla takes place between Achashveirosh and Haman right after Haman decides to kill the Jewish people. Having decided on a date, Haman approaches ...
7
votes
5answers
428 views

When and how did Haman amass so much wealth?

In Megillah 15a at the bottom, Rav Chisda brings a teaching on the passuk in Esther 5:13 that Mordechai came with his wealth and Haman came with his poorness as Rashi explains the situation: וזה ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Why didn't Esther reveal her origin earlier?

Mordechai tells Esther not to reveal her origin (Esther 2:10) ostensibly in the hopes that they would assume she was of ignoble birth and dismiss her (Rashi ad loc.). Once she is chosen by the king, ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What is meant by the term “midina”/“provinces” as in the 127 ruled by Ahasuerus?

Esther 1:1 says: Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. For historical context, the period of the ...