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




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:25 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.


Thank you for posting this. Beautiful, gives a lot to think about
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:33 pm
I also want to add, we feel bad that Esther didn't have her perfect life with her tzaddik of a husband and amazing kids. But think about it: if the entire klal yisrael had been decimated, consisting of thousands and thousands of such families, how would it help her to have a perfect life?
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goodmorning




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:33 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!


Off-topic, but there actually is no classical source that says that Eliyahu HaNavi comes to the seder.

We pour a Kol shel Eliyahu to demonstrate our bitachon that he will come (some day, bimheira biyameinu!) to redeem us.

We open the door to remember that it's leil shimurim and that in the zchus of our emunah, Eliyahu will come and pour Hashem's wrath on the other nations.

And Eliyahu does come to brissim (hence, the prepared Kisei shel Eliyahu).

But there is no classical source in Gemara/Medrash/TBS"P that says that he comes to the seder.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:39 pm
amother [ Smokey ] wrote:
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.


Um, Mordechai was also making a pretty big sacrifice. Sometimes you put the needs of the clal above your personal needs. As a daughter of Rachel Imeinu, personal sacrifice for others was built into her genes.

Would it have been right for her to say that she was going to focus on having a happy life, and never mind that that means the Second Beit HaMikdash won't get built and the Jewish people might get destroyed, and who knows what would happen with the ultimate Geulah?

Mordechai didn't ask her to do anything. He reminded her that she was put in her position for a purpose, and now it was becoming clear what that purpose was. After that she took control.

Whatever she sacrificed was in the full knowledge of what she might be losing, and what the ultimate gains would be. And that the ultimate gain was worth the price that she might pay.


Last edited by Elfrida on Sun, Feb 21 2021, 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:46 pm
Elfrida wrote:
Um, Mordechai was also making a pretty big sacrifice. Sometimes you put the needs of the clal above your personal needs.

Would it have been right for her to say that she was going to focus on having a happy life, and never mind that that means the Second Beit HaMikdash won't get built and the Jewish people might get destroyed, and who knows what would happen with the ultimate Geulah?

Mordechai didn't ask her to do anything. He reminded her that she was put in her position for a purpose, and now it was becoming clear what that purpose was. After that she took control.

Whatever she sacrificed was in the full knowledge of what she might be losing, and what the ultimate gains would be. And that the ultimate gain was worth the price that she might pay.


Re the bolded: Rabbi Yisroel Reisman points this out. That Esther's actions are in the passive for the first part of the megillah and after this, she acts.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 9:47 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!


Not kefira. Midrashim are often a parable.

https://www.aish.com/atr/Is_th......html
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 10:02 pm
Every celebration, every victory, every triumph and every deliverance has its price: the martyrdom of those who fought for it. In our celebration we should not forget those who sacrificed, which is why we have a Yom HaZikaron before Yom HaAtzmaut and a Taanit. Esther before Purim. But if we failed to celebrate the victory, we would be trivializing the sacrifice. It would be like a mother going without food to feed her children and then the children don’t eat the food she bought. Mordechai and Esther themselves established the holiday. Are you going to reject that gift?
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agreer




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 11:48 pm
zaq wrote:
Every celebration, every victory, every triumph and every deliverance has its price: the martyrdom of those who fought for it. In our celebration we should not forget those who sacrificed, which is why we have a Yom HaZikaron before Yom HaAtzmaut and a Taanit. Esther before Purim. But if we failed to celebrate the victory, we would be trivializing the sacrifice. It would be like a mother going without food to feed her children and then the children don’t eat the food she bought. Mordechai and Esther themselves established the holiday. Are you going to reject that gift?


Beautiful thought!
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Sun, Feb 21 2021, 11:51 pm
One of the reasons we don't say Hallel on Purim is that nothing really changed. When the story is over, the Jews are still living in chutz la'aretz, still subject to the whims of an unpredictable king. Purim is just a glimpse of salvation in a long, dark exile.

As to midrashim, I am amazed at how many adults take them literally. Chazal, being sensitive readers of Tanach, found psychological (but not factual) truths that they wanted to highlight. There are medrashim that outright contradict each other. Two contradictory medrashim can't both be literally true, but they can both offer insights.

So many people are stuck with the understanding of the megillah that was presented to them as children. Take fifteen minutes or half an hour and read the megillah again before Purim, with adult eyes.

And yes, think of Esther when you fast. It's the only fast that has no connection to the churban, and thus no repercussions for today. We remember what Esther sacrificed to help ensure the survival of the Jewish people.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:17 am
zaq wrote:
Every celebration, every victory, every triumph and every deliverance has its price: the martyrdom of those who fought for it. In our celebration we should not forget those who sacrificed, which is why we have a Yom HaZikaron before Yom HaAtzmaut and a Taanit. Esther before Purim. But if we failed to celebrate the victory, we would be trivializing the sacrifice. It would be like a mother going without food to feed her children and then the children don’t eat the food she bought. Mordechai and Esther themselves established the holiday. Are you going to reject that gift?


What? I never said I’m going to not celebrate Purim! Guilt trip much? Do you guilt children and students who ask questions instead of answering their questions with Derech eretz? I don’t guilt my children or anyone else over a question. In fact, with teens it’s a great way to have them call the bluff and blow something off.
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amother




Blue
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:32 am
Thank you Op for your question as you see it has opened up a beautiful conversation which helps me tune in to the true essence of Purim and the energy available to all of us on this auspicious day.
You reminded me how we can grow when we allow ourselves to be genuine and authentic.
May Hashem Bless us all to always spiral upward asking and revisiting our questions and increasing our knowledge and connection as we move higher individually and collectively.
Esther reminds me that we each have our personal missions and our personal golus as well as our collective mission. Hashem Has a Plan. May we all be blessed to do our part(s) in the best way possible for revealed good for the Geulah Shleimah.
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sushilover




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 7:46 am
I think your question brings up a powerful lesson about the nature of Jewish happiness.
Some might think that we need to be perfectly happy in order to celebrate. That happiness and pain can't go together.

Esther teaches us that it's OK to be happy even when things are far from perfect. Jews don't only celebrate when there is no pain.

I can think of so many ways this impacts my life.
Thank you OP, for bringing up this question!
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 8:10 am
ויהי ביום השלישי ותלבש אסתר מלכות
This is the real turning point of the Megillah.
The moment when Esther realizes that she is no longer a private individual but rather the medium through which the fate of the Jewish people in the kingdom of Achashverosh would be determined.
This is the moment when she achieves agency and the rest of the Megillah is the story of her empowerment combined with Hashem acting behind the scenes, engineering the timing of events especially.
Overall, I don't view Esther as a tragic figure although she certainly did sacrifice aspects of her life.
Esther was called to a higher purpose. Had she missed this calling, as she almost did, and as Shaul her ancestor did, she would have been a tragic figure.
People who are public figures or play major roles in history often sacrifice their personal lives.
Sometimes it is a choice that they make and sometimes their roles are thrust upon them.
I also think that Esther's life really embodies the fact that Purim is a qualified simcha.
Nothing really changed for the Jews after the Purim story. They escaped with thelr lives, as did Esther, but there wasn't much beyond that. They remained in galut for the most part, at the mercy of foreign kings and nations as Esther remained in the palace, in her gilded cage.
The Purim story is important in that it demonstrated that Hashem had not abandoned His people despite the fact that they had been exiled to the Diaspora. He still had a relationship with them even though His temple was destroyed. But there is a muted aspect to this relationship that is demonstrated by the fact that Hashem's name is not even mentioned in the Megillah.
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amother




Blue
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 8:14 am
and on a pashut level
Haman was going to murder Mordechai....

like the glass the chosson smashes under the chupah we remember our sadness and tragic happenings amidst our holiest joy

And gratitude and joy always raises our vibrations...
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amother




Firebrick
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 10:33 am
I get you OP. I always saw Esther and Vashti both as tragic figures at the mercy of powerful men, based on the pshat.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 10:49 am
amother [ Firebrick ] wrote:
I get you OP. I always saw Esther and Vashti both as tragic figures at the mercy of powerful men, based on the pshat.


In a way, Achasveirosh was at Vashti's mercy. I'm sure she never let him forget who had the yichus.
Not that I'm willing to see either as sympathetic characters.

But I heard something fascinating and a beautiful takeaway for us a few years ago, I'm pretty sure b'shem Rebbetzin Gottlieb: It says that Esther was noseis chen in the eyes of Achashveirosh. That's generally understood as Esther found favor in his eyes. But it doesn't say matza but a different construct. She carried favor. She saw the positive nekudah in everyone and everything and anyone who saw her sensed that. Even Achashveirosh was attracted to her because he sensed some positivity.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:06 am
etky wrote:
ויהי ביום השלישי ותלבש אסתר מלכות
This is the real turning point of the Megillah.
The moment when Esther realizes that she is no longer a private individual but rather the medium through which the fate of the Jewish people in the kingdom of Achashverosh would be determined.
This is the moment when she achieves agency and the rest of the Megillah is the story of her empowerment combined with Hashem acting behind the scenes, engineering the timing of events especially.
Overall, I don't view Esther as a tragic figure although she certainly did sacrifice aspects of her life.
Esther was called to a higher purpose. Had she missed this calling, as she almost did, and as Shaul her ancestor did, she would have been a tragic figure.
People who are public figures or play major roles in history often sacrifice their personal lives.
Sometimes it is a choice that they make and sometimes their roles are thrust upon them.
I also think that Esther's life really embodies the fact that Purim is a qualified simcha.
Nothing really changed for the Jews after the Purim story. They escaped with thelr lives, as did Esther, but there wasn't much beyond that. They remained in galut for the most part, at the mercy of foreign kings and nations as Esther remained in the palace, in her gilded cage.
The Purim story is important in that it demonstrated that Hashem had not abandoned His people despite the fact that they had been exiled to the Diaspora. He still had a relationship with them even though His temple was destroyed. But there is a muted aspect to this relationship that is demonstrated by the fact that Hashem's name is not even mentioned in the Megillah.

That's really nice. Thanks for typing it all up.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:06 am
As I grew up I did realise that that there was no "happy ending" for Esther.

BUT Esther's happiness and reward came in Olam HoBah where I believe she is re-united with
Mordechai for eternity.

I also hope that one of Esther's descendants became a ger tzedek
so that Esther has Jewish descendants.

I read that many Spanish Gerim were descended from Marranos (secret Jews)
so maybe Esther was also rewarded for her sacrifice with Jewish einiklich.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:08 am
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.

Wow. I wish I could like this more than once!
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 22 2021, 11:19 am
#BestBubby wrote:
As I grew up I did realise that that there was no "happy ending" for Esther.

BUT Esther's happiness and reward came in Olam HoBah where I believe she is re-united with
Mordechai for eternity.

I also hope that one of Esther's descendants became a ger tzedek
so that Esther has Jewish descendants.

I read that many Spanish Gerim were descended from Marranos (secret Jews)
so maybe Esther was also rewarded for her sacrifice with Jewish einiklich.


We're all her spiritual children because she gave us life. When we do the mitzvos of Purim, we're sending her packages in Shamayim.
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