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




Blush
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:25 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.


Yup..that was it. Sorry I was rushing earlier so I couldn't check back, but I'm glad you found it. I found his answer to be so validating and satisfying. I encourage everyone who followed this thread to take 17 minutes to listen to this shiur. He answers OP's question so beautifully.
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amother




Blush
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:35 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?


What Shanie said. But also, once she approached Achashveirish willingly, she became off-limits to her husband from then on. Before that point, she was considered an ONES, forced. A woman who is forced is still mutar to her husband. But once a woman has relations with another man of her own volition, she becomes assur to her husband.
So the medrash says that before that point, whenever Achashveirosh called for her, she went but was like "karka"- like a piece of earth. Completely passive. Afterwards she would immerse and sneak out of the palace to be with Mordechai. When Mordechai told her to go to Achashveirish, she knew she was not risking her life, she POSSIBLY would not survive. BUT she knew with certainty, that once she goes, even of she were to stay alive, she would be assur to her husband. That's why she says "k'Asher avadti, avod'ti".
According to those who say a malach went in her place, once she was not permitted to her husband anymore, she did cohabit with Achashveirish, and became pregnant with Darius II.
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 1:09 am
gamanit wrote:
No it says he was her cousin


Right.
וַיְהִ֨י אֹמֵ֜ן אֶת־הֲדַסָּ֗ה הִ֤יא אֶסְתֵּר֙ בַּת־דֹּד֔וֹ כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ אָ֣ב וָאֵ֑ם וְהַנַּעֲרָ֤ה יְפַת־תֹּ֙אַר֙ וְטוֹבַ֣ת מַרְאֶ֔ה וּבְמ֤וֹת אָבִ֙יהָ֙ וְאִמָּ֔הּ לְקָחָ֧הּ מָרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ לְבַֽת׃

Chazal understand לְקָחָ֧הּ מָרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ לְבַֽת׃ to mean לבית, as a wife, but that of course only raises many more problems than it solves. Peshat is that he adopted his orphaned cousin.
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amother




Blush
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 1:34 am
amother [ Salmon ] wrote:
Right.
וַיְהִ֨י אֹמֵ֜ן אֶת־הֲדַסָּ֗ה הִ֤יא אֶסְתֵּר֙ בַּת־דֹּד֔וֹ כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ אָ֣ב וָאֵ֑ם וְהַנַּעֲרָ֤ה יְפַת־תֹּ֙אַר֙ וְטוֹבַ֣ת מַרְאֶ֔ה וּבְמ֤וֹת אָבִ֙יהָ֙ וְאִמָּ֔הּ לְקָחָ֧הּ מָרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ לְבַֽת׃

Chazal understand לְקָחָ֧הּ מָרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ לְבַֽת׃ to mean לבית, as a wife, but that of course only raises many more problems than it solves. Peshat is that he adopted his orphaned cousin.


What problems does it raise? He took in his orphaned cousin as a baby and when she came of age, he married her. What is wrong with that?
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:08 am
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
What problems does it raise? He took in his orphaned cousin as a baby and when she came of age, he married her. What is wrong with that?


The megillah specifically says that Achashverosh was looking for virgins to bring to the palace. Why take one married woman? Why contradict the peshat?

And then, of course, if Esther and Mordechai were married, we have to twist ourselves into pretzels to explain how Esther slept with, and later approached Achashverosh. If she was single, those problems don't exist.

It's a difficult medrash to reconcile with the megillah as it was written. Bear in mind that the text was written by Esther and Mordechai. They could have written it differently if they so chose.
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amother




Lime
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:12 am
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
What problems does it raise? He took in his orphaned cousin as a baby and when she came of age, he married her. What is wrong with that?

You don't see anything wrong with that?
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:48 am
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
What problems does it raise? He took in his orphaned cousin as a baby and when she came of age, he married her. What is wrong with that?

It's a little disturbing. Like in a Woody Allen kind of way.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 3:05 am
I think this thread is fascinating and thought-provoking.

FWIW:

1. I always thought Vashti got a raw deal. All these midrashim about making Jewish servant girls work naked, tail-growing, green skin, etc. struck me as an add-on to mitigate the fact that Vashti comes off as a sympathetic character, or at least someone who gets a punishment disproportional to her offense. Women were treated like chattel in many countries, and Achashverosh comes off as a chauvinist sociopathic boor to most people born in the last few centuries, and most women reading the Megillah would sympathize with Vashti not wanting to be the entertainment at her husband's feast for his friends and political dignitaries.

2. Esther sacrificed so much for the Jewish people. I am always struck by Mordechai's statement (I hope the formatting works for the Hebrew):
Quote:
אַל-תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ, לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית-הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים.
יד כִּי אִם-הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת--רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית-אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ--אִם-לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת.

Do not think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews by being in the king's palace. For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.

How difficult and brave it must have been for Esther to take the path that she did.
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 3:32 am
DrMom wrote:
I think this thread is fascinating and thought-provoking.

FWIW:

1. I always thought Vashti got a raw deal. All these midrashim about making Jewish servant girls work naked, tail-growing, green skin, etc. struck me as an add-on to mitigate the fact that Vashti comes off as a sympathetic character, or at least someone who gets a punishment disproportional to her offense. Women were treated like chattel in many countries, and Achashverosh comes off as a chauvinist sociopathic boor to most people born in the last few centuries, and most women reading the Megillah would sympathize with Vashti not wanting to be the entertainment at her husband's feast for his friends and political dignitaries.

2. Esther sacrificed so much for the Jewish people. I am always struck by Mordechai's statement (I hope the formatting works for the Hebrew):
Quote:
אַל-תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ, לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית-הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים.
יד כִּי אִם-הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת--רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית-אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ--אִם-לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת.

Do not think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews by being in the king's palace. For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.

How difficult and brave it must have been for Esther to take the path that she did.


I suppose that the aim of vilifying Vashti was to build up her persona as a foil and counterpoint to Esther, to highlight Esther's innate modesty on the backdrop of Vashti's vanity and immodest behavior and perhaps also to use her persona to illustrate the mistreatment of Jews at Achashveroshes' court. Also, this last point would justify her fate which otherwise we might think was undeserved. The fate of the third female figure in the Megillah - Zeresh - who suffers personal calamity, is explained and justified by the text itself and is part of the story.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 4:04 am
DrMom wrote:
I think this thread is fascinating and thought-provoking.

FWIW:

1. I always thought Vashti got a raw deal. All these midrashim about making Jewish servant girls work naked, tail-growing, green skin, etc. struck me as an add-on to mitigate the fact that Vashti comes off as a sympathetic character, or at least someone who gets a punishment disproportional to her offense. Women were treated like chattel in many countries, and Achashverosh comes off as a chauvinist sociopathic boor to most people born in the last few centuries, and most women reading the Megillah would sympathize with Vashti not wanting to be the entertainment at her husband's feast for his friends and political dignitaries.

2. Esther sacrificed so much for the Jewish people. I am always struck by Mordechai's statement (I hope the formatting works for the Hebrew):
Quote:
אַל-תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ, לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית-הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים.
יד כִּי אִם-הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת--רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית-אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ--אִם-לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת.

Do not think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews by being in the king's palace. For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.

How difficult and brave it must have been for Esther to take the path that she did.


If Vashti knew how horrible being a woman was in those times if she was a caring human she wouldn't have treated other women so terribly. She wouldn't have gotten punished or hurt from treating other women with respect and care. Instead she stripped them literally of all dignity.

I have no sympathy for her.
Vashti was incredibly vain, self entered, and treated other disgusting. She stripped her slaves naked. She deserved to be stripped naked. Midah kineged Midah.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:18 am
LovesHashem wrote:
If Vashti knew how horrible being a woman was in those times if she was a caring human she wouldn't have treated other women so terribly. She wouldn't have gotten punished or hurt from treating other women with respect and care. Instead she stripped them literally of all dignity.

I have no sympathy for her.
Vashti was incredibly vain, self entered, and treated other disgusting. She stripped her slaves naked. She deserved to be stripped naked. Midah kineged Midah.

My point is that all this stuff about naked slaves is midrash.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 7:23 am
DrMom wrote:
It's a little disturbing. Like in a Woody Allen kind of way.
I feel I must express discomfort with this. As an aside, the megilla says that vashti Also made a party which is explained to be that Both her and her husband were equally wicked and of one mind and that she would have Happily gone to the men's party if not for growing a tail
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amother




Jetblack
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 8:49 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
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.


I am listening to the shiur by Rabbi Jacobson that somebody recommended on the other thread, he is talking exactly about this question! The whole shiur is very inspiring, but specifically this question is addressed from the 44th minute.

https://www.theyeshiva.net/jew.....sther

or youtube

https://youtu.be/9TrmTEWnJaw
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 8:59 am
DrMom wrote:
It's a little disturbing. Like in a Woody Allen kind of way.


It was a tremendous chesed to marry a vulnerable young woman and give her a loving, respectable home.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 10:47 am
Let us not forget that it was none other than Esther herself who commanded the Jews for all generations to joyously celebrate purim.

As with all other events in Tanach (Yosef and the brothers, David and Bas Sheva etc.) Viewing the story without the illuminating light of Chazal results in a grotesque distortion.

To our pampered selves with our predictable lives it would seem to be the ultimate unending tragedy. However, Esther was a neviah presumably until the end of her life. The experience of nevuah was one of unimaginable ecstasy to the point that thousands of aspiring neviim were motivated (there were millions of neviim; only a few were written down) to live lives of asceticism and isolation to try to achieve the experience. There was no pleasure that anyone experiences in this world that can remotely compare to the experience Esther had at the time she experienced nevuah. It was precisely the events in the Megillah that gave her the merit of being a neviah.

(On a deeper level, the Arizal and others tell us that Esther was a giglul of chavah and possibly others such as rachel imeinu and every step of the way from Haman to Achashveirosh was tailor planned to rectify points that were missing in her previous existence and bring her to shleimus. As a neviah she may have been aware of this and that puts her whole experience in a very different perspective.)


Last edited by amother on Tue, Mar 09 2021, 8:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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amother




Blush
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 10:57 am
amother [ Jetblack ] wrote:
I am listening to the shiur by Rabbi Jacobson that somebody recommended on the other thread, he is talking exactly about this question! The whole shiur is very inspiring, but specifically this question is addressed from the 44th minute.

https://www.theyeshiva.net/jew.....sther

or youtube

https://youtu.be/9TrmTEWnJaw


I was the one who recommended this shiur. Thanks for the feedback.
To the posters who are "shocked" at how literally we take midrashim, and to the ones who dismiss the "naked" thing by saying its only a medresh...learning torah or kesuvim is literally impossible without the lens of Chazal. The midrashim are there to fill in context and details that we need to understand the story.
This is part of the fundamentals of faith, that we believe that both the Written and Oral torah were handed down together and one cannot exist without the other.

As far as being creeped out that Mordechai married his cousin who he raised, ...that's because you are looking at it from the eyes of a 21st century person. Not too long ago, this would have been considered a chessed of the highest order. Please let's keep this in mind.
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amother




Jetblack
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 1:33 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
I was the one who recommended this shiur. Thanks for the feedback.
To the posters who are "shocked" at how literally we take midrashim, and to the ones who dismiss the "naked" thing by saying its only a medresh...learning torah or kesuvim is literally impossible without the lens if chazal. The midrashim are there to fill in context and details that we need to understand the story.
This is part of the fundamentals of faith, that we believe that both the Written and Oral torah were handed down together and one cannot exist without the other.

As far as being creeped out that Mordechai married his cousin who he raised, ...that's because you are looking at it from the eyes of a 21st century person. Not too long ago, this would have been considered a chessed of the highest order. Please let's keep this in mind.

thanks for recommendation, great shiur
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shanie5




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 1:50 pm
A theology professor friend of mine (non Jewish) would ask her students why Esther was chosen as queen? With just the text of the megillah-beauty pageant, a new girl every night for the king-the answer she was looking for was "because Esther was good in bed!". I was horrified when she told me that. But without medrash, why else would she be chosen?
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:01 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
I was the one who recommended this shiur. Thanks for the feedback.
To the posters who are "shocked" at how literally we take midrashim, and to the ones who dismiss the "naked" thing by saying its only a medresh...learning torah or kesuvim is literally impossible without the lens if chazal. The midrashim are there to fill in context and details that we need to understand the story.
This is part of the fundamentals of faith, that we believe that both the Written and Oral torah were handed down together and one cannot exist without the other.

As far as being creeped out that Mordechai married his cousin who he raised, ...that's because you are looking at it from the eyes of a 21st century person. Not too long ago, this would have been considered a chessed of the highest order. Please let's keep this in mind.

I davka learned that midrash was not Torah she b'alPeh, in the sense that it was *not* handed down me-Sinai. And certainly not for commentary about a book of the Tanach that took place centuries after the Torah was handed down.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:01 pm
shanie5 wrote:
A theology professor friend of mine (non Jewish) would ask her students why Esther was chosen as queen? With just the text of the megillah-beauty pageant, a new girl every night for the king-the answer she was looking for was "because Esther was good in bed!". I was horrified when she told me that. But without medrash, why else would she be chosen?


Actually that is why she was chosen according to the Medrash! The Medrash says when achashveirosh wanted to feel the pleasure of cohabitating with a virgin with Esther that’s what he experienced. When he wanted to experience the feeling of cohabitating with an experienced woman that is what he felt. Of course, it actually had nothing to do with Esther. It was Hashem ensuring that Esther would be picked as queen. In fact there are opinions in chazal that Esther was actually physical homely and unattractive, and according to some, quite old. Yet it made no difference once Hashem decided that achashveirosh should be interested in her.


Last edited by amother on Tue, Mar 09 2021, 8:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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