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




Blush
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 6:39 pm
amother [ Red ] wrote:
I hate to say this but it is a certain amount of kefira not to take midrashim at face value. It is Torah shebaal peh!
Midrashim are part of Torah. This is my mesorah and what I grew up learning. I can respect that you think differently but I’m just putting it out there for people that don’t think like you do.

I’ll never forget when my teacher in high school (a male Halacha teacher) laughed at people who believe Eliyahu hanavi actually comes to peoples doors at the Seder. My father blew a fit! Mesorah is mesorah!


I'm only on page 3, so I dont know if anyone responded to this.
I 100% agree that midrashim should be taken with all the seriousness that we take our tanaim and amoraim.
At the same time, as I grew into an adult able to think for myslef, I started examining certain things we grew up with and I discovered that
1. Vashti did not necessarily grow a tail
2. Vashti did not have pimples
3. Mordechai was not Esther's Uncle
4. We are not required to give 2 different brachos in the shalach manos
5. The Torah does not say that the arm of Bas pharaoh stretched, rather the p'shat is that she sent her maidservant. (Rashi brings the midresh that it was her arm that stretched but it's not pshat.)
6. The story with the two brothers who each wanted to share their wheat with the other brother and they met at the top of the mountain which later was the place chosen for beis hamikdash has no jewish source and it might be an Arab legend.
7. I searched high and low but could not find a source for the idea that Eliyau Hanavi comes to everyone's door at the seder.
I may be wrong and if someone knows a source, please let me know.
All I was able to deduce was that a) we have a custom to open the door in accordance with the verse, "Leil sh'murim" and b) we pour the kos shel Eliyahu.
It happens to coincide, and that is why somehow it was decided that we open the door for Eliyahu Hanavi. The kos of Eliyahu Hanavi represents a fifth cup for the fifth expression, "ve'heiveisi",- further alluding to the coming of Moshiach which will be heralded by Eliyahu Hanavi.
Far be it for me to disregard mesorah. But I am aware that many mistakes creep into our mesora.
As I said, I may be wrong, and if your father has a source, please share. But every single year at the Pesach seder I look at all the haggados to see if any of them say that Eliyahu Hanavi visits every home and I never found one that does.
And there are many other such examples that I found to not be rooted in any valid source.

ETA: I finally caught up on the discussion and I see someone else wrote that there is no source for the idea of Eliyahu Hanavi coming to every door. And yes, since we have the idea of Eliyahu Hanavi coming to every bris, it could have come from there.
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amother




Ivory
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:24 pm
I just want to say thank you Op for your thought provoking question and beginning the whole thread, this is definitely one of the best, most inspiring threads ever on Imamother.

I want to add that the four mitzvos of Purim, megillah, mishteh, mishloach manos, and matanos l'evyonim are the four forms through which we should express joy over our salvation. If they are performed properly, with the emphasis on ahavas yisrael and truly loving and SEEING one another, than we are perpetuating Esther's legacy of "vatehi Esther noseis chein b'einei kol roeha" ("and Esther carried favor (SAW the depth and goodness) in the eyes of all who SAW her")...we preserve Esther's contribution by connecting and loving each other on a spiritual level on this holy day. We can definitely make Esther a figure that transcends pain, suffering, and every flaw of this transient world by inviting a lonely person to our Purim seudah, sending shaloch manos to someone with whom we need to make ammends, etc. What does a mother want other than to produce children that care for and SEE one another? What does a leader want other than to leave an enduring legacy? THAT will definitely give Esther eternal joy!
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amother




Blush
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:30 pm
OP, you opened a very Interesting discussion, though some people seemed to take issue with your question. I think the question was perfectly valid.
I agree that the word selfish seems out of place here, since it is a great mitzva to rejoice on Yom Tov, and all of chodesh Adar. But the idea of feeling a pang for Esther- that does resonate with me, and many other people here.
A few years ago on Purim night, I heard a beautiful and profound shiur on Torah Anytime which discusses this exact point. Rabbi Daniel Glatstien asks the question how we are supposed to understand this- that after all was said and done, all the Jews went home happy, and Esther had to stay in the palace, married to a drunken boor, and no hope for any personal nachas from her future children.
(I actually typed this up last year here on Imamother. I will try to dig it up. )
If you are interested, you can listen to the shiur. I believe it's around 15 minutes. It's well worth the time.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:31 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
OP, you opened a very Interesting discussion, though some people seemed to take issue with your question. I think the question was perfectly valid.
I agree that the word selfish seems out of place here, since it is a great mitzva to rejoice on Yom Tov, and all of chodesh Adar. But the idea of feeling a pang for Esther- that does resonate with me, and many other people here.
A few years ago on Purim night, I heard a beautiful and profound shiur on Torah Anytime which discusses this exact point. Rabbi Daniel Glatstien asks the question how we are supposed to understand this- that after all was said and done, all the Jews went home happy, and Esther had to stay in the palace, married to a drunken boor, and no hope for any personal nachas from her future children.
(I actually typed this up last year here on Imamother. I will try to dig it up. )
If you are interested, you can listen to the shiur. I believe it's around 15 minutes. It's well worth the time.


I will look for that shiur. Thanks for the suggestion!

ETA Wow! He has a lot on Purim. lol If you can post a link, etc. so I can pick the right one, that would be helpful.
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EPL




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:35 pm
I once attended a shiur where the Rabbi speaking said that Esther was punished for marrying the king. It wasn't a forum for asking questions, so I couldn't ask the speaker where his source was for saying this. I just thought to myself, "her punishment was that she had to live with this king". Is there anyone out there who knows the answer to this question?
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amother




Firebrick
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:41 pm
cbsp wrote:
You can't decide to cherry pick pshat unless you actually have a source.

Based on the historical context and the pshat, Vashti was the power behind Achashveirosh since she was of royal lineage via Nevuchadnetzar. I have not seen any pshat to indicate she was any less evil than her grandfather. I also don't see pshat indicate she was at the mercy of a powerful man.

(make the argument for those in the king's harem if you wish.)

Further, it was her actions that led to the codification of the law that men would rule in their homes - so that clearly couldn't have been the case prior...


Clearly he had the power to have her killed for disobeying an order from her husband.
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amother




Firebrick
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:44 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
I'm only on page 3, so I dont knowing anyone responded to this.
I 100% agree that midrashim should be taken with all the seriousness that we take our tanaim and amoraim.
At the same time, as I grew into an adult able to think for myslef, I started examining certain things we grew up with and I discovered that
1. Vashti did not necessarily grow a tail
2. Vashti did not have pimples
3. Mordechai was not Esther's Uncle
4. We are not required to give 2 different brachos in the shalach manos
5. The Torah does not say that the arm of Bas pharaoh stretched, rather the p'shat is that she sent her maidservant. (Rashi brings the midresh that it was her arm that stretched but it's not pshat.)
6. The story with the two brothers who each wanted to share their wheat with the other brother and they met at the top of the mountain which later was the place chosen for beis hamikdash has no jewish source and it might be an Arab legend.
7. I searched high and low but could not find a source for the idea the Eliyau Hanavi comes to the door at the seder.
I may be wrong and if someone knows a source, please let me know.
All I was able to deduce was that a) we have a custom to open the door in accordance with the verse, "Leil sh'murim" and b) we pour the kos shel Eliyahu.
It happens to coincide, and that is why somehow it was decided that we open the door for Eliyahu Hanavi. The kos of Eliyahu Hanavi represents a fifth cup for the fifth expression, "ve'heiveisi",- further alluding to the coming of Moshiach which will be heralded by Eliyahu Hanavi.
Far be it for me to disregard mesorah. But I am aware that many mistakes creep into our mesora.
As I said, I may be wrong, and if your father has a source, please share. But every single year at the Pesach seder I look at all the haggados to see if any of them say that Eliyahu Hanavi visits every home and I never found one that does.
And there are many other such examples that I found to not be rooted in any valid source.

ETA: I finally caught up on the discussion and I see someone else wrote that there is no source for the idea of Eliyahu Hanavi coming to every door. And yes, since we have the idea of Eliyahu Hanavi coming to every bris, it could have come from there.


I thought it says in the megillah he was her uncle.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:49 pm
"Dod" can mean uncle and it can mean "beloved" as in ani ledodi vedodi li.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:50 pm
EPL wrote:
I once attended a shiur where the Rabbi speaking said that Esther was punished for marrying the king. It wasn't a forum for asking questions, so I couldn't ask the speaker where his source was for saying this. I just thought to myself, "her punishment was that she had to live with this king". Is there anyone out there who knows the answer to this question?


Sounds strange as Esther was taken by force.

The only time Esther went to the king by choice was when Mordechai asked her to go, to plead
for the Jewish People.
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amother




Lemon
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:56 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
Sounds strange as Esther was taken by force.

The only time Esther went to the king by choice was when Mordechai asked her to go, to plead
for the Jewish People.


So when did Esther become pregnant? If the claim that a malach went to be with him when he called for her, and the only time she was actually with him was when she willingly went during the Purim story, how did she have a baby with him?
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gamanit




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 8:04 pm
amother [ Firebrick ] wrote:
I thought it says in the megillah he was her uncle.


No it says he was her cousin
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 8:32 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I will look for that shiur. Thanks for the suggestion!

ETA Wow! He has a lot on Purim. lol If you can post a link, etc. so I can pick the right one, that would be helpful.


BH I think I found it. Really interesting: https://www.torahanytime.com/#.....79456

The tachlis: It was only via Esther having nothing but her love of Hashem that the Jewish people accepted, willingly the Torah Sh'baal peh.
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amother




Ivory
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 8:59 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
BH I think I found it. Really interesting: https://www.torahanytime.com/#.....79456

The tachlis: It was only via Esther having nothing but her love of Hashem that the Jewish people accepted, willingly the Torah Sh'baal peh.


This makes so much sense, as Torah Shebichsav is the masculine aspect of the Torah, and Torah shebaal peh is the feminine. Esther was the female conduit for the shechinah aspect, or feminine energy of Torah.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:04 pm
octopus wrote:
Thank you for bringing up this important discussion. Yes, esther sacrificed herself physically and even spiritually for the Jewish people. That is why the megillah is named after her. It is not called megillas mordechai nor is it called megillas mordechai v'esther. Megillas esther is Esther's spiritual legacy to the Jewish people, as her own children probably intermarried. While her son was sympathetic to the Jewish people and allowed them to construct the second beis hamikdash, he did not consider himself Jewish. It is a sad story for esther on a personal level, but the simcha of the day is on a communal level. And we engage in communal behavior highlighted by the 4 mitzvahs of the day. I am always reminded of Esther's sacrifice. The whole time period was tragic. You think esther was the only Jewish girl taken to the palace when pig achashveirosh grabbed whatever girls were available for his beauty pageant?? Once they were taken they were never sent back and lived as a concubine in the royal harems. People were probably hiding their daughters! It was a very bad time.


There's a novel called The Decree by Rebbetzin Feldbrand about a girl who runs away to escape this decree.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:04 pm
behappy2 wrote:
I think you are missing the essence of why we care celebrating. Also how about how many yidden died during the story of Purim, and Pesach and Chanukah.


How many Yidden died during the Purim story?
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amother




Linen
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:05 pm
gamanit wrote:
Is there a source that Esther had no children prior to being taken? She was no youngster. We don't know her exact age but she was somewhere between 40-80 years old at the time.


Achashveirosh only took virgins to the harem. The gemara talks about Esther and Mordechai having never consummated their marriage, not sure why...
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:06 pm
EPL wrote:
I once attended a shiur where the Rabbi speaking said that Esther was punished for marrying the king. It wasn't a forum for asking questions, so I couldn't ask the speaker where his source was for saying this. I just thought to myself, "her punishment was that she had to live with this king". Is there anyone out there who knows the answer to this question?


I am curious about the source for this rabbi's assertion.
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shanie5




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:45 pm
amother [ Lemon ] wrote:
So when did Esther become pregnant? If the claim that a malach went to be with him when he called for her, and the only time she was actually with him was when she willingly went during the Purim story, how did she have a baby with him?


AIUI, Once she went to him on her own, the malach no longer went in her place.
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shanie5




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 9:54 pm
amother [ Linen ] wrote:
Achashveirosh only took virgins to the harem. The gemara talks about Esther and Mordechai having never consummated their marriage, not sure why...


Is it possible Mordechai married Esther ecause in was not appropriate for her to live with him otherwise? Yichud?

Also, someone mentioned that people wouldn't want to send their daughters to the king. And she was right. If they were chosen for queen, great! But if not, their child was stuck in a harem with no chance of a husband or children in the future. The likelyhood of the king requesting her again was really low. So fathers hid their daughters. Thats why it says in the megillah that the kings men went out to get the girls-they weren't coming on their own.
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amother




Blush
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:23 pm
zaq wrote:
"Dod" can mean uncle and it can mean "beloved" as in ani ledodi vedodi li.


It says "bas Avichail, dod Mordechai" meaning that Avichayil was the uncle of Mordechai, and Esther was the daughter of Avichayil. That makes Esther and Mordechai first cousins.

The notion that Mordechai was her uncle is so widespread but completely false. (I researched this extensively). Apparently the source goes as far back as Josephus. But so many kids' records and morahs perpetuate this mistake.
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