Purim

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Queen Esther

How old was she? What was done with Haman’s money? How did Mordechai and Esther merit the miracle of Purim coming through them?

| 02.03.17 | 01:33
13 Things You Didn’t Know About Queen Esther
1. The Talmud discusses Esther’s beauty. One opinion says she was one of the 4 most beautiful women in the world along with Sarah, Avigail and Rachav. Another opinion says Esther was neither tall nor short just average, and a third opinion says quite the opposite that Esther was green and G-d drew a thread of favor over her so that she found favor in people’s eyes.

2. Why was she called Esther? The Talmud says: “Rabbi Yehudah says because she hid her words as the verse says Esther did not reveal her (nation of origin), Rabbi Nechemia says Eshter is called after “estahar” meaning moon (because she was beautiful like the shiny moon)”.

3. Esther was also called Hadassah and the Talmud relates: “Rabbi Meir asks, why was Esther called Hadassah? She was called Hadassah after the righteous which are called myrtles ‘hadas’.

4. The book Midrash Shmuel explains why Mordechai and Esther merited that the miracle of Purim came through them: “Rabbi Shmuel ben Nachman asks why did Esther and Mordechai merit that the miracle happen through them? Because of their ancestor Shimi’s wife that protected 2 righteous men from getting killed. Achimaatz and Yonatan (who were loyal to King David) were being chased by Absalom’s servants. They ran into Shimi’s house and Shimi’s wife hid them in a well and sat immodestly over the well. Absalom’s servants came in and said those righteous men can be in that well with Shimi’s wife sitting immodestly over it and they turned around and walked out… G-d told her, “You embarrassed yourself to save two righteous Jews, from your descendants I will bring to righteous people who will stand in the face of all Israel and in their merit I will save all of Israel from murder.” From this Midrash we can learn how G-d repays people greatly for every good deed they do.

5. When Esther came into King Achashverosh she merited the Divine Spirit come over her as it says : “and it was on the third day Esther adorned royalty. It doesn’t say she adorned royal garments rather it says she adorned royalty alluding to the divine spirit she adorned”.

6.  The Talmud discusses Esther’s prayer before entering Achashverosh’s chamber against the law: “Rabbi Levi said, when she passed the idols the divine spirit left her and she pleaded My G-d my G-d, why did you leave me?! Perhaps you judge me who am forced (to go to Achashverosh) as someone who is willful? Or perhaps because I called Achashverosh a dog as the verse says she prayed ‘save my soul from the sword, from the hand of the dog.’ So she immediately called him a lion and prayed “Save me from the mouth of the lion”

7. When Achashverosh saw Esther coming into his chamber without permission a great miracle happened to Esther. “Rabbi Yochanan says: 3 angel came at that moment, one lifted her neck, one drew a ‘string of favor’ over her and the third stretched out the scepter to Esther to touch” The Talmud has different opinions about the length the scepter was stretched. One opinion is it stretched 62 cubits (about 31 meters) and as Esther approached the king, the scepter shortened accordingly.

8.The Talmud explains why Esther invited Haman to the party she arranged: “Rabbi Nechemia says, in order that the people of Israel shouldn’t say we have a sister in the palace and distract themselves from asking for G-d’s mercy.”

9. Esther is hinted in the Torah in the verse “I will hide my face” haster astir panai’.

10. There are three opinions as to Esther’s age upon becoming queen brought down in the Midrash: “Rav says she was 40, Shmuel says she was 80! And the rabbis say she was 75!

11. Esther main attribute was silence. The verse ‘Esther did not reveal her nation’ teaches us that she took silence as her ancestors did. Rachel saw her bridal gifts in Leah’s hands and she was silent, Binyamin her son saw the sale of Yosef and he was silent. Binyamin’s stone in the Choshen the breastplate of the high priest was the “Yashphe” meaing ‘yesh peh’ he has a mouth but he kept silent. And because of the humbleness of King Saul, Esther was his descendant.

12. The Midrash Shochar Tov describes Esther’s prayer during the three days of fasting she decreed: the first day she cried, “My G-d”. The second day she cried ‘My G-d”. The third day she cried in a loud voice, “Why did you leave me. I call out to You in the day and You don’t answer.” She asked before G-d: “Master of the World did you not answer the prayers of the Jews in Egypt? As the verse says “I heard their cries”. Our troubles are much greater. Pharaoh said to drown the baby boys and then he only punished those who didn’t finish their work. But we are decreed to be totally destroyed! You heard them in Egypt but we fast and shouted and you didn’t answer. We don’t have merits, save us for the sake of your name you are the Holy one who dwells in the praises of Israel.”

13. The Midrash Shochar Tov says what Mordechai and Esther did with Haman’s money. “They divided it into 3. One third for Mordechai and Esther, one third for Torah Scholars and one third to build the second temple.
 
 
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