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




Blush
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:03 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?


Ugh! I wish I hadn't read this. Hard to "unread" something like that. Confused
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:03 pm
estherj wrote:
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 comely and unattractive, and according to some, quite old. Yet it made no difference once Hashem decided that achashveirosh should be interested in her.

Comely, or homely? Two opposites
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amother




Blush
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:06 pm
estherj wrote:
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 comely and unattractive, and according to some, quite old. Yet it made no difference once Hashem decided that achashveirosh should be interested in her.


Yes I learned this as well. Now where did Iearn this from? Scratching Head
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:21 pm
amother [ Blush ] wrote:
Yes I learned this as well. Now where did Iearn this from? Scratching Head


DH says it’s in Gemara Megillah 13a


Last edited by amother on Tue, Mar 09 2021, 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Blush
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:23 pm
estherj wrote:
DH says it’s in Gemara Megillah 13a


Thank you!
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:36 pm
DrMom wrote:
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.


There is no obligation to take midrash aggada literally at face value. In fact that the Rambam condemns those who do so as being disrespectful of chazal by bringing them down to the level of foolish storytellers. Many midrashim are allegorical and/or contain sophisticated messages that not everyone can access.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:52 pm
estherj wrote:
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.


Old and her skin was green - that's what I learned.
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amother




White
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 2:53 pm
This thread is fascinating and has really given me more insight into the story of Purim.
Thank you OP for starting this.

Blush, I appreciate all your commentary, you seem to know and research a lot!
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octopus




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 3:05 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
Old and her skin was green - that's what I learned.


Olive is a real skin tone. I doubt she had green skin like the wicked witch of the west
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 5:29 pm
octopus wrote:
Olive is a real skin tone. I doubt she had green skin like the wicked witch of the west


I learned it was green. Not olive.
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amother




Jetblack
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 5:41 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
I learned it was green. Not olive.

I did too. Green skin but she always had a nice smell around her (like hadas, her other name, Hadassa)
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 5:44 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
I learned it was green. Not olive.


Green undertones. Not literally pea green. As in she had dark skin. As opposed to fair skin which was considered the most beautiful at that time.
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octopus




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:20 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
I learned it was green. Not olive.


Olive IS green. I. Just. Can't.
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amother




Lime
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:21 pm
octopus wrote:
Olive IS green. I. Just. Can't.

No it is not. Olive skin has a greenish undertone. It is not green. Nobody has green skin.
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amother




Lime
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:24 pm

Olive skin
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amother




Lime
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:25 pm

Green skin
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goodmorning




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Feb 23 2021, 6:50 pm
FWIW, the word "yarok" appears to be used in Lashon Hakodesh (as in many ancient languages) to cover a spectrum of yellow/green shades that appear in vegetation.

See e.g. Chullin 47b, which distinguishes between a "yarok" that is the color of saffron or egg yolk vs. the "yarok" that is the color of a leek. Or, even more recently, Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 188:1 that discusses the "yarok" of wax and gold vs. that of leeks and grasses.

You are trying to fit the color shades of our English language today on the color spectrum used by the Torah and Chazal and assuming that it matches up. It doesn't necessarily. Esther's face could have been much more on the yellow end of the yellow-green spectrum than the green end.

See, e.g. http://imbs.uci.edu/~kjameson/.....s.pdf
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Silence




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Feb 24 2021, 2:04 pm
Love the perspective here!
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Mama Bear




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Feb 24 2021, 4:11 pm
I only read the first page, but I'm a litlte confused about the original question.
If Esther hadnt saved the jewish nation, they wouldve all been killed.
You wouldn't be here.
End of story.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Feb 24 2021, 5:05 pm
Mama Bear wrote:
I only read the first page, but I'm a litlte confused about the original question.
If Esther hadnt saved the jewish nation, they wouldve all been killed.
You wouldn't be here.
End of story.


Yes, as described to begin with, there are a lot of reasons why things in this story (Purim) went great for 99.99% of the jews, including me!

But, Esther sacrificed everything except her life (and she did risk that--she was willing to give that up too!).

And that's what bothered me. That I should rejoice and party when all of this came at Esther's great expense. There's part of that which feels insensitive.

She had no one, etc.

This is epitomized when "avadati, avadati" is read in the megillah, in the trope of eicha. And, according to the commentaries, it was said twice because she was lost to family as she was an orphan who never knew her parents and then she was lost to Mordechai - not only her only family, but her husband. Her choice to save us meant she had to give up the only family she ever knew and would never again have any direct connection with the Jewish people. Even her son with Achashverosh was not raised as a Jew (which was out of her control). She had to watch her child raised as a non jew without anything she could practically do, and they would never be able to connect due to Jewish identity or feeling.

But, we have a big discussion here to understand how to celebrate not only despite this sad aspect, but also because of appreciating even more what Esther did willingly and for the rest of her life given these sad aspects.
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