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




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:02 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.


Of course people realized what she sacrificed. There’s a reason that Purim is the holiest day of the year and Yom Kippur is Yom HaKipurim. A holy day - like Purim.

That said , when learning the story of Purim as a child and even a high schooler, much of the story was glossed over . Only as an adult , did I realize the magnitude of what Esther actually did.
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Genius




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:14 pm
Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman has beautiful shiurim on Purim you can listen to on chazak. It’s worth it. The simcha of Purim is a lot deeper than the joy of the “happy ending”. We are celebrating the victory of the good over the evil, of olem haba over olem haze.
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tigerwife




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:14 pm
Don’t forget we actually do collectively fast on Taanis Esther to commemorate her sacrifice. It’s not all joy and fun.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:16 pm
amother [ Gray ] wrote:
Not going to debate midrashim here, or even how evil Vashti was or was not - but sorry, you will not tell me to stop being a feminist.

I will get 'all feminist' here and elsewhere, thank you.


But you seem to be sure about this. What are your sources? (other than the fact that she's a woman. What, are women not good enough to be just as evil as men? How patronizing... How disempowering to view a woman as a perpetual victim)
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amother




Smokey
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:17 pm
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.
same exact sentiment here. She gave up so much. And her life was so sad. I dont understand why Mordechai asked her to do what she did.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:21 pm
cnc wrote:
Of course people realized what she sacrificed. There’s a reason that Purim is the holiest day of the year and Yom Kippur is Yom HaKipurim. A holy day - like Purim.

That said , when learning the story of Purim as a child and even a high schooler, much of the story was glossed over . Only as an adult , did I realize the magnitude of what Esther actually did.


I think most people settle for the elementary understanding of Purim and don't, willfully or due to circumstances beyond their control, grow into a more full understanding of what happened. I don't think many appreciate the gravity of what occurred with Purim to even truly appreciate the simcha involved.

This discussion overall has been good for me (for those willing to discuss it and not poo poo it). Thanks for your perspective.
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:40 pm
I think that Ahashverous died, probably from alcoholism, 7 years after the Purim story. Esther never got to return home and her son apparently didn't really practice Judaism. I guess that she is eternally grateful that her people who she saved, remember her each year with intense celebration.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 7:47 pm
GreenEyes26 wrote:
I’m really shocked at how many posters take misrashim so literally.


Torah is truth.
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amother




Red
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:02 pm
GreenEyes26 wrote:
I’m really shocked at how many posters take misrashim so literally.


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!
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causemommysaid




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:17 pm
Thisisnotmyreal wrote:
Torah is truth.


I really don't think we are supposed to take all medrashim literally.
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causemommysaid




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:20 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 dont think that's the same thing. A malach can be at everyone's seder because he's not aphysical being constrained by our perception of reality. It's very different than believing Vashti grew an actual physical tail. That medrash can be read in so many ways without saying it's not true.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:20 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.


Um, we DO stop and think about it. That’s the reason we sing her sacrifice in the tune of איכה. We do it every year, twice. “כאשר אבדתי אבדתי״.״

Purim is also somewhat of a tragic day. Thousands of Jews were killed that day by Hamans orders. Same with Chanukah. And most of Purim’s genocide was moved to a later date, some say.

On a somewhat lighter note, we women aren’t totally b’simcha on Purim. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’M the one making the seudah, and MM, and driving all the kids where they need to go, and cleaning up after a drunk husband. Most holidays are fun for men, not so much for women.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:21 pm
Frumme wrote:
I don't think she wanted it to be the focus. She didn't want people to mull over the idea of her getting continuously raped, being alone in the palace, never eating more than nuts and fruit. It was a sad life. But she did not want us to dwell on that. She didn't want another 9th of Av. She wanted us to be happy, rejoice in that we were saved, because being b'simcha brings down blessings in a way that being sad cannot.

To me, it's similar to how today people have "celebrations of life." People don't want others to be sad at their passing, so they ask for their family to get together and think about "all of the good times," not the bad times. Because in the end, that's how most people want to be remembered. You don't want your loved ones to think of you and be sad, you want them to be happy to have had you in their lives.

So Esther had a "positivity bias." Instead of dwelling on the worst, she made lemonade out of her lemons. King Darius, her son, was good to Jews and led to the lifting of the ban to rebuild the beis hamikdash.


I agree with much about your post. But that middle paragraph: We do mourn people. There is aveilus. But people make the mistake thinking that shiva should be about rehashing the end. It should be discussing the life. There can be laughter and smiles. Maybe that's what you mean. But not to feel sadness is wrong.

But in the case of Purim, we can't dwell on the sadness. We can have our breath taken away when we ponder what Esther did, think about how we can tap into her strength when we have our own challenges, and then we are to celebrate our renewed connection to Hashem. That is the greatest simcha.

There are two times a year we connect so powerfully. There's Yom Kippur, when we approach with humility and remorse. Then there's Purim, when we say, I love you, Hashem, with great love and simcha. We can do that on Purim because of Esther.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:23 pm
tigerwife wrote:
Don’t forget we actually do collectively fast on Taanis Esther to commemorate her sacrifice. It’s not all joy and fun.


We fast to commemorate the fast and tefillos she requested of the people to help her succeed in her mission.
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amother




Blue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:25 pm
Life and Jews are more nuanced and complex. We can hold duality simultaneously. Sadness for esther’s personal circumstances and joy at her triumph at her bravery to succeed in her life’s mission. It’s been a long and bitter golus. Like a tapestry we see so little of Hashem’s Plan May He Send Moshiach now! Joy breaks all barriers!
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:30 pm
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
Life and Jews are more nuanced and complex. We can hold duality simultaneously. Sadness for esther’s personal circumstances and joy at her triumph at her bravery to succeed in her life’s mission. It’s been a long and bitter golus. Like a tapestry we see so little of Hashem’s Plan May He Send Moshiach now! Joy breaks all barriers!
thank you for posting this. This really resonated with me!
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 8:33 pm
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
Life and Jews are more nuanced and complex. We can hold duality simultaneously. Sadness for esther’s personal circumstances and joy at her triumph at her bravery to succeed in her life’s mission. It’s been a long and bitter golus. Like a tapestry we see so little of Hashem’s Plan May He Send Moshiach now! Joy breaks all barriers!


This reminds me of the famous medrash in Vayeishev. Yaakov was mourning, Yosef was davening, Reuven was doing teshuva, Yehuda was getting married, and what was Hashem doing? Planting the seeds of the Geulah- both by sending Yosef to Mitzrayim, and by Yehuda having children who will birth Mashiach.
In other words, things look and seem very bad and very random. But Hashem has a Master Plan.
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:06 pm
Esther was in a state of ruach hakodesh, while she was in the palace, at the very moment when she was going to Achashveirosh willingly for the first time, thus severing her marriage with Mordechai.

You can only have ruach hakodesh in a state of simcha. Esther was going to the king, to ruin her physical life forever, and she was besimcha.

How is this possible?

Esther lived on a different plane than the rest of us. Her existence was completely spiritual; she was constantly connected to Hashem. She understood that she was fulfilling His will, saving her people. That was what mattered to her. Not the here and now, but the eternal. And she didn't feel like a martyr. She rejoiced in her deep connection to Hashem, and in fulfilling her mission.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:10 pm
amother [ Dodgerblue ] wrote:
Esther was in a state of ruach hakodesh, while she was in the palace, at the very moment when she was going to Achashveirosh willingly for the first time, thus severing her marriage with Mordechai.

You can only have ruach hakodesh in a state of simcha. Esther was going to the king, to ruin her physical life forever, and she was besimcha.

How is this possible?

Esther lived on a different plane than the rest of us. Her existence was completely spiritual; she was constantly connected to Hashem. She understood that she was fulfilling His will, saving her people. That was what mattered to her. Not the here and now, but the eternal. And she didn't feel like a martyr. She rejoiced in her deep connection to Hashem, and in fulfilling her mission.


Yes! Beautiful. Thank you.
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:14 pm
When we are what we should be
Hashem appears openly
If you keep the Torah true
I’ll be close to you

Now we’ve followed their strange ways
The banquet so many days
We only meant it outwardly
Please forsake us not

Esther my child
Heed my words to you
Even in the lion’s den
Keep the Torah true
But reveal to no one
That you are a Jew

Va’anochi hastir astir
Panai bayom hahu
If you hide yourselves from me
I’ll surely hide from you

Now we’ve followed their strange ways
The banquet so many days
We only meant it outwardly
Please forsake us not

Esther my child
Heed my words to you
Even in the darkest hour
Keep the Torah true
Through you will come salvation
To each and every Jew

https://youtu.be/itSfd13FTLI
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