בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל מִקְרָא מְגִלָּה:‏
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav, vetzivvanu al Mikra Megillah.‏

Blessed are Thou, Adonai Eloheinu, cosmic majesty, who sanctifies us through mitzvot, and commands us concerning the reading of the Megillah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:‏

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, she'asah nissim la'Avoteinu bayamim hahem bazeman hazeh.‏

Blessedare Thou, Adonai Eloheinu, cosmic majesty, who made miracles for our ancestors in their days in this season.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה:‏

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, shehecheyanu vekiyemanu vehigi'anu lazeman hazeh.

Blessed are Thou, Adonai Eloheinu, cosmic majesty, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

Ketuvim Megillot Scrolls

Megillat Ester /  אֶסְתֵּר֙

Esther Chapter 1

The Story of Purim

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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The Feast of melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) in the citadel of Shushan

1:1 וַיְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ ה֣וּא אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ הַמֹּלֵךְ֙ מֵהֹ֣דּוּ וְעַד־כּ֔וּשׁ שֶׁ֛בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָ֖ה מְדִינָֽה׃

Vayhi bimei Achashverosh; hu Achashverosh, hamolech meHoddu ve'ad-Kush, sheva ve'esrim ume'ah medinah.

Now it came to pass in the days of Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) , (this [is] Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) which reigned, from Hoddu (India,הדּוּ) even to Kush, [over] an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

1:2 [That] in those days, when ha melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the palace,

1:3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast to all his princes and his avadim; the power of Paras (Persia) and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him:

1:4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, [even] an hundred and fourscore days.

1:5 And when these days were expired, ha melekh made a feast to all the people that were present in Shushan (Susa; Seleukeia) the palace, both to great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

1:6 [Where were] white, green, and blue, [hangings], fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds [were of] gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

1:7 And they gave [them] drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

1:8 And the drinking [was] according to the law; none did compel: for so ha melekh had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.

1:9 Also Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) ha malkah (מלכּה) made a feast for the women [in] the royal house which [belonged] to Melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) .

1:10  On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) the king,

1:11 To bring Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) ha malkah (מלכּה) before ha melekh with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she [was] fair to look on.

1:12 But ha malkah (מלכּה) Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) refused to come at ha melekh's commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was ha melekh very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

1:13 Then ha melekh said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so [was] ha melekh's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:

1:14 And the next to him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memuchan, the seven princes of Paras (Persia) and Media, which saw ha melekh's face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom;)

1:15 [He said] According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) because she has not done the bidding of King Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) conveyed by the eunuchs?

1:16 Memuchan presented the king and vice-regents this answer: "Vashti the queen has wronged not only the king, but also all the officials and all the peoples in all the provinces of King Achashverosh;

1:17 For [this] deed of ha malkah (מלכּה) shall come abroad to all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, ha melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) commanded Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) ha malkah (מלכּה) to be brought in before him, but she came not.

1:18 [Likewise] shall the ladies of Paras (Persia) and Media say this day to all ha melekh's princes, which have heard of the deed of ha malkah (מלכּה). Thus [shall there arise] too much contempt and wrath.

1:19 If it please ha melekh, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ) come no more before Melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) ; and let ha melekh give her royal estate to another that is better than she.

1:20 And when ha melekh's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

1:21 And the saying pleased ha melekh and the princes; and ha melekh did according to the word of Memuchan:

1:22 For he sent letters into all ha melekh's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that [it] should be published according to the language of every people.

 

The Story of Purim

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Go to Index Page

Ester is unique among the Scriptures for two reasons: HaShem (Adonai) is not mentioned by name once, and the heroine is a woman who is part of the harem of a foreign king. The events of the sefer take place about 30 years before Nehemiah, after the temple in Yerushalayim was rebuilt but before the walls were refinished. Esther probably helped to pave the way for Nehemiah’s work. The Sefer fits well within the tapestry of the Tanakh. Just as in so many other Tanakh narratives, HaShem (Adonai) provides the means to preserve His people in the face of a severe crisis. It is still read aloud as part of the Purim celebration by Jewish people.

Characters: Ahasuerus, Vashti, Memucan, Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena.

TIMES: c. 483 – 473 BC

The Megillah Scroll may be divided as follows:

1. Ester Chosen malkah (מלכּה)

a. The Feast of melekh Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) in the Palace of Susa

b. Deposing of malkah (מלכּה) Vashti (Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی )

c. In search for Vashti ((Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی ))'s successor

d. Ester 's Accession as malkah (מלכּה)

2. Ester's deliverance of her people, the Yehudim

a. Mordechai's sving of ha melekh's life

b. Haman (המן)'s conpiracy against the Yehudim (Haman, a descendant of Amalekite king Agag,)

c.Mourning among the Yehudim and Ester's discovery of the conspiracy

d. Mordechai (מרדּכי) request to Ester to risk her life for her people

e. Ester's courageous request

f. ha melekh's insomnia

g. Haman (המן) forced to honor Mordechai (מרדּכי)

h. Ester's plea for herself and her people

i. Haman (המן)'s Death

3. The Yehudim's Revenge upon their enemies

a. Defeat of Haman (המן)'s conspiracy through ha melekh's decree

b. Exaltation of Mordechai (מרדּכי)

c. Yehudim's destruction of enemies

d. Institution of the Feast of Purim

e. Mordechai (מרדּכי)'s further Advancement

The Ten Feast in the book of Ester

  1. Achashverosh's banquet for nobility (chap 1:2-4)
  2. Achashverosh's banquet for all men in Shushan (Chap 1:5-8)
  3. Queen Vashti's banquet for women (Chap 1:9)
  4. Ester's entronement banquet (Chap 2:18)
  5. Haman and Achashverosh's banquet(Chap 3:1)
  6. Ester's Second banquet with Achashverosh and Haman (Chap 5:1-8)
  7. Ester's second banquet with Achashverosh and Haman(7:1-9)
  8. The Yehudim's feasting in celebration of Mordekchai's elevation and counter-decree (8:17)
  9. The first feast of Purim: Adar 14 (Chaper 9:17, 19)
  10. The Second feast of Purim: Adar 15 (9:18)

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The Achaemenid Empire (Persian: هخامنشیان) (559 BCE–330 BCE)

The Achaemenids were finally overthrown by the conquest of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.

A Soviet Jew was recently asked by a Westerner what he thought would be the outcome if the USSR stepped up its anti-Semitic policies. "Oh, probably a feast!" Asked for an explanation, the Jewish man said, "Pharaoh tried to wipe out the Hebrews and the result was Pesach; Haman tried to exterminate our people and the result was Purim; Antiochus Epiphanes tried to do us in, and the result was Hannukah!"

Ester explains the origin of the Feast of Purim, a colorful Jewish holiday that today features noisemakers sounding off every time Haman's name occurs in the annual public reading of the book.

Ester is unique in several ways. It tells the story of non-observant Jews who preferred prosperity in Persia to the rigors of the small remnant that returned to Yerushalayim under Zerubbabel (Ezra 2). All reference to religion other than fasting is lacking in Ester.

Tempting to exterminate the Jews means to exterminate yourselves, your family, your descendants and your nation. Just think does it pay to go against the Elohei Yisrael.

The story of Purim is based on the book of Esther. - By Rick Aharon

Persian Kings in the Scriptures

The Tomb of Esther and Mordecai

Hamadan, Iran

Esther's Tomb Iran's Jewish queen defies decay and dissolution.

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Esther's and Mordachai Tomb Iran's Jewish queen defies decay and dissolution.

Esther's and Mordachai Tomb Iran's Jewish queen defies decay and dissolution.

Xerxes I (Persian: خشایارشاه, Old Persian: Khashâyârshâ), was a Persian Emperor (Shahanshah) (reigned 485–465 BC) of the Achaemenid dynasty. "Xérxēs" (Ξέρξης) is the Greek transliteration of the Persian throne name Khashayarsha or Khashayar-shah, meaning "King of heroes". In the Book of Ezra and in Book of Esther, the Persian king Axašweroš (אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ) (Ahasuerus) probably corresponds to Xerxes I.

The story opens in the midst of the 180-day lavish banquet thrown by King Achashveirosh of Persia, detailing his extraordinary wealth and power. When Queen Vashti ((Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی )) refuses to attend, Achashveirosh has her executed.

Key Themes

Hashem's providential care for His people

The origins of feast of Purim

Threats against the Yehudim Hashem will judge

A women as protoaganist

Outline (Ahasveurus, Xerxes - NIV)

Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) was married to Vashti ((Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی )) - was the daughter of King Belshazzar of Babylon and the great-granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar, the man who destroyed the first Temple in Yerushalayim. The night her father was murdered (as predicted by the famous "writing on the wall"), there was much bloodshed and looting in the palace.. It was now for Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) to decide the fate of the Holy Temple. Achashverosh (אחשׁורושׁ) was a powerful king in Persia, who ruled over 127 countries from Hodu to Kush (usually thought of as India to Ethiopia). One day he decided to make a huge feast in Shushan, the capital, for all the important people under his rule, so that he could show off the riches of his kingdom. It lasted for six months. During the feast he called for his wife, Queen Vashti ((Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی )), because he wanted to show all the guests how beautiful she was.Vashti ((Hebrew: ושתי, Persian: وَشتی )) refused to come, and the king got very angry. He was also worried that all the women in his kingdom would stop obeying their husbands if they found out that the queen didn't come when the king called her. He decided to teach her a lesson and find a new queen.  Susa (Biblical Shushan; also Greek: Σέλεύχεια, transliterated as Seleukeia or Seleukheia; Latin Seleucia ad Eulaeum; modern Shush, coordinates: 32.18922° N 48.25778° E) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Khuzestan province of Iran.

http://formerthings.com/shushanpalace.htm

According to the Midrash, Vashti was the great-granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, the granddaughter of King Amel-Marduk and the daughter of King Belshazzar. During Vashti's father's rule, mobs of Medes and Persians attacked. They murdered Belshazzar that night. Vashti, unknowing of her father's death, ran to her father's quarters. There she was kidnapped by King Darius of Persia. But Darius took pity on her and gave her to his son, Ahasuerus, to marry.

The Rabbis state that Vashti was one of the four women who were enthroned, two of whom ruled over Yisrael (Jezebel and Athaliah) and two over other peoples (the heathen Semiramis and Vashti) (Esther Rabbah 3:2).The midrash conveys that Vashti was the orphaned daughter of Belshazzar; HaShem (Adonai) was her help and kept her alive and she was wed to the emperor of Persia and Media, even though she was a Chaldean ( = Babylonian) (Esth. Rabbah 3:5). In the midrashic account of these events, on the night that Belshazzar was killed, Cyrus the Persian and Darius the Mede were guests at his table.