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Purim is a simcha? Isn't that selfish?
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:01 pm
So, bear with me...

The more and more years go by, the more and more I've learned of what Esther had to sacrifice, the more and more I feel like Purim was a huge tragedy.

An orphan, who had to permanently sever ties with the only family (uncle/cousin/husband according to various commentaries) she had, bear a child who would not be among the Jewish people, all to save the rest of the Jews who (according to some commentaries) deserved kareis due to participation in a feast desecrating the items of the beis hamikdash and mocking Hashem, etc...

I guess "all's well that ends well", but it didn't end well for Esther. I mean, yes, she's lauded now as a savior of the Jewish people, etc., but she gave up everything and more. It's heart breaking. It's tragic. It's really really horrible.

I guess we all benefited a lot, BH, but, at her expense. That's so so so sad for me.

Every year when we reach the part in megillah where she says "If I perish, I perish", tears come to my eyes. It's so so so sad.
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amother




Amber
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:04 pm
I feel the same...
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amother




Gray
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:04 pm
Yes, Esther always seems such a tragic figure to me. Pretty much raped by the king, forced to live her life in solitude, among a culture not her own. A hostage all her life.

And I know people like to view her as evil, but I always thought Vashti is tragic too. Poor woman, denied even the most basic rights, punished for daring to have a say.

It was not a good time or place to be a woman.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:05 pm
Nice thought provoking thread.

I often think that the story of purim is viewed like a play, "alls end that ends well," but I think about what esther had to endure after the story ended and the curtains closed. she stayed married to him and had a kid with him etc. sad
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:06 pm
amother [ Gray ] wrote:
Yes, Esther always seems such a tragic figure to me. Pretty much raped by the king, forced to live her life in solitude, among a culture not her own. A hostage all her life.

And I know people like to view her as evil, but I always thought Vashti is tragic too. Poor woman, denied even the most basic rights, punished for daring to have a say.

It was not a good time or place to be a woman.


people view esther as evil? how come?
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:06 pm
Esther's purpose in life was to save the jews from being killed. Had she not become the queen, all jews would've been killed and then it would've surely be a tragic day. The jews got to kill all their enemies, I think it's reson to rejoice. Esther and Mordechai created this yom tov. They said that from now on this day should be a day to celebrate and be happy.
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amother




Ginger
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:07 pm
Esther is wonderful and her life was tragic. Don't forget though that lot's of horrible things have happened to Jews without any clear sort of positive outcome. This would have been her life whether or not salvation would come through her and this celebration is what she wanted. So honor that and let's celebrate!
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:07 pm
amother [ Slateblue ] wrote:
people view esther as evil? how come?


I think she meant Vashti, not Esther.
Yes, Vashti was evil and her punishment was rightfully earned. She tortured her jewish maids, forced them to work all naked, didn't let them keep shabbos. A true rushanta.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:08 pm
amother [ Aquamarine ] wrote:
Esther's purpose in life was to save the jews from being killed. Had she not become the queen, all jews would've been killed and then it would've surely be a tragic day. The jews got to kill all their enemies, I think it's reson to rejoice.


I think it's selfish to rejoice with such abandon. What she had to give up because everyone else deserved kareis....a daughter of Israel was sentenced to live in exile, without any chance of release or reunion with her family. It seems callous to be so b'simchah, etc.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:09 pm
Keep in mind that Esther was instrumental in creating the day as a day of joy for all yidden (not just keeping it a local "purim") - she and Mordechai had to present and defend their case.

I don't know if she'd agree with your assessment of it as selfish...

(not taking away from the tragedy of Esther's personal life.)
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:10 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I think it's selfish to rejoice with such abandon. What she had to give up because everyone else deserved kareis....a daughter of Israel was sentenced to live in exile, without any chance of release or reunion with her family. It seems callous to be so b'simchah, etc.


It's not selfish as she's the one that appointed this day as a day of celebration and happiness. We're celebrating the fact that the jews lives were spared and they got to kill their enemies.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:11 pm
cbsp wrote:
Keep in mind that Esther was instrumental in creating the day as a day of joy for all yidden (not just keeping it a local "purim") - she and Mordechai had to present and defend their case.

I don't know if she'd agree with your assessment of it as selfish...

(not taking away from the tragedy of Esther's personal life.)


You make a point if it's what she wanted, that one doesn't need to feel "guilty" or "selfish" for being so b'simchah on Purim.

It's still hard for me to accept that tbh we on a whole generally don't consider and really appreciate what she sacrificed.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:11 pm
amother [ Slateblue ] wrote:
people view esther as evil? how come?


Only completely twisted people adapt this view. Just so you know Esther had a malach spend time with the king in her place side for the time she went on her own volition.

And to the poster that mentioned this:
Vashti gets no sympathy. She would normally happily go and not think twice. She literally made her servants work naked for her all the time.
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amother




Gray
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:14 pm
Thisisnotmyreal wrote:
Only completely twisted people adapt this view. Just so you know Esther had a malach spend time with the king in her place side for the time she went on her own volition.

And to the poster that mentioned this:
Vashti gets no sympathy. She would normally happily go and not think twice. She literally made her servants work naked for her all the time.


Obviously I meant people think of Vashti as evil - not Esther!- and I don't see her that way. I have never heard of all the stories posters are telling now, of how she made her maids clean naked etc. I'm guessing these are midrashim and not actual fact.

As for Esther and the malach - again, a midrash. The fact she was raped - or felt like she needed to be raped in order to save the Jews - doesn't make her less of a person, it makes her more. Look how much she sacrificed.
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paperflowers




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:16 pm
In “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, discusses how to find meaning in life. One of the pathways to meaning is through suffering. It’s not just that once you get to the other side, you can look back and realize that the suffering was meaningful, but while you’re in it too. (He’s very clear that suffering isn’t meaningful if it’s self-inflicted.) I think we can say that the Jews, including Esther, found renewed meaning from the suffering they experienced in the Purim story, even though it never really ended. The Jews were still in galus, Esther was still stuck with Achashverosh, but there was a renewed connection to HaShem and recognition of His presence even in suffering.

ETA: I typed this pretty quickly. It might not be a fully developed thought.


Last edited by paperflowers on Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:17 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
You make a point if it's what she wanted, that one doesn't need to feel "guilty" or "selfish" for being so b'simchah on Purim.

It's still hard for me to accept that tbh we on a whole generally don't consider and really appreciate what she sacrificed.


Of course we appreciate her sacrifice! We fast on taanes esther for a reason.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:20 pm
amother [ Aquamarine ] wrote:
Of course we appreciate her sacrifice! We fast on taanes esther for a reason.


I think if most people stopped and thought about what Esther sacrificed, it would be hard to be so overjoyed on Purim. I think most people have no real idea what she sacrificed or have taken time to really think about it, only that the Jews en masse got to live.

I don't think anyone (barring tzadikim) is really thinking about her sacrifices during taanis esther...they are busy getting ready for all the fun parts of Purim.
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:25 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I think if most people stopped and thought about what Esther sacrificed, it would be hard to be so overjoyed on Purim. I think most people have no real idea what she sacrificed or have taken time to really think about it, only that the Jews en masse got to live.

I don't think anyone (barring tzadikim) is really thinking about her sacrifices during taanis esther...they are busy getting ready for all the fun parts of Purim.


Everyone knows what she sacrificed, everyone learns about it. Being happy and celebrating because Esther and Mordechai appointed this day as a day of celebration, doesn't negate the fact that Esther made big sacrifices. We all know that Purim is like yom Kippur and it's a big eis ratzon to daven for anything. I think it's a lack of emunah to question such a holy day.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:29 pm
amother [ Aquamarine ] wrote:
Everyone knows what she sacrificed, everyone learns about it. Being happy and celebrating because Esther and Mordechai appointed this day as a day of celebration, doesn't negate the fact that Esther made big sacrifices. We all know that Purim is like yom Kippur and it's a big eis ratzon to daven for anything. I think it's a lack of emunah to question such a holy day.


I don't think everyone does. I encounter many people who don't know much at all about what happened. I tell them, can you imagine if you had no family in the world, and the one person you trusted and loved, your husband and true soul mate, you had to leave forever and ever, willingly. You would have to watch your child you would bear for another man raised as a non jew. I don't think many really realize what happened here or take the time to empathize.

And I don't think asking questions shows any lack in emunah. Emunah is not blind faith. That's another religion.
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 4:29 pm
How dare we celebrate Pesach?

When I think about how many thousands of Jewish people died, including innocent infants, during 210 years in Mitzrayim... and then how many people died in the Midbar before they reached Eretz Yisrael, so not even that generation ever had a true happy ending...

Oy...

(I’m not trying to be rude and sarcastic, but to put it in perspective - nothing ever is a truly “happy ending” or “final victory”.)
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