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Published by arikayser, 2021-02-22 06:37:39

Aish UK Megillah Companion 2021

Happy Purim and welcome to ‘Behind the Mask’ – Aish UK’s guide to the festival!

BEHIND THE MASK

A PURIM COMPANION

1

Welcome

Happy Purim and welcome to ‘Behind the Mask’ – Aish UK’s guide to the festival!
Set to the backdrop of a grand feast thrown to celebrate the conclusive defeat of Persia’s
enemies, one of which was Judea and its citizens’ dream to return to Zion, the Purim story
represents a macrocosm of a nation trying to find its place in a strange, hostile environment.
We can only imagine what the Jewish guests of that feast must have felt, compelled to sit as
their hosts toasted the destruction of Jerusalem and God’s permanent abandonment of His
people, using goblets pillaged from the Temple itself.
Painfully, their feelings were mixed. Ironically, Haman’s genocidal plans were by all accounts
an anomalous blip in the longer annals of Jewish history under Babylonian and then Persian
stewardship. Both empires were relatively tolerant, as far as ancient empires go. Settled
across the Persian gulf and up the Euphrates delta, the Jewish people grew affluent, influential
and above all – comfortable.
As Achashveirosh and his retinue of sycophants toasted the Temple’s destruction, there is
every possibility – however hard to consider – that some Jews raised their flagons with him.
Perhaps, they wondered, Judaism has had its day. Perhaps it is time to move on from what
was and embrace what now is.
Others reacted more sorrowfully. “By the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, and where
we wept, as we remembered Zion”. It isn’t just a Boney-M song. It was the song whose
lyrics haunted the sleep of a great many Jews who dreamed of a better future, restored to
independence and a life fully free to celebrate their heritage. This dichotomy split the Jewish
people.
Purim is the story of two battles. The battle to save our bodies from Haman’s evil scheme, and
the battle to save our national soul from the easy despair of indifference. Never more clearly
is the second battle hinted to than the very last verse of the Megillah: “For Mordechai the Jew
was second to King Achashveirosh, a leader to the Jews – loved by many of his brethren.”
It is a subtlety expertly picked up on by our Sages. Mordechai was not universally loved.
Only ‘many’ of his fellow Jews appreciated his efforts. Others did not. It has been said that
leadership is a thankless task, and to be a leader is to be alone. But lead, we must. Mordechai
and Esther led. They led the way not just to physical safety, but to a bold new vision of the
Second Temple era. No matter how hard, no matter how many naysayers, they led the people
to believe again.
A huge token of thanks is due to our phenomenal educational team for their contributions to
this publication, to Dan Matalon for his incredible design work, and to the Office of Rabbi Lord
Sacks zt’l for their kind permission to reprint a piece of his. May its study be in the merit of his
beloved memory.
Wishing you and yours a Purim filled with ‘light, happiness, joy and honour’.

Rabbi Eli Birnbaum

Director of Education, Aish UK

2

Contents

Purim Timeline p4

423 BCE - 355 BCE

Let's Party: p6

A closer look at Purim customs

Megillat Esther p8

The Book of Esther

Purim Insights p42

Festive wisdom from Aish Educators

Recipes! p53

Rebbetzin Ilana Epstein's Persian Banquet

3

Purim Timeline

400 BCE 390 BCE 380 BCE

423 BCE 390 BCE 372 BCE

King Zedekiah of Descendant of The Prophet Daniel
Judea launches a the long-defeated is summoned to
final, disastrous Assyrian royal family
rebellion against Nabonidus launches Belshazzaar’s feast to
King Nevuchadnezzar a successful coup interpret the terrifying
of Babylon. Jerusalem vision of the ‘writing on
and the Temple and overthrows the wall’. He predicts
Labashi-Marduk of
destroyed. Babylon. Nabonidus the downfall of the
Babylonian Empire.
397 BCE appoints his son
Belshazzar as his 370 BCE

co-regent. Cyrus II permits
Zerubavel, descendant
‘Insanity of Nevuchadnezzar’.
His son and co-regent Amel- of King David, to
lead a procession of
Marduk (Evil-Merodach) Jews back to Israel
ascends the Babylonian and commence the
construction of the
throne. Second Temple. But
construction is halted

soon after.

4

370 BCE 360 BCE 350 BCE

367 BCE 357 BCE 355 BCE

After his Haman casts lots to The Purim
successes determine the date Megillah is
in Africa, transcribed
Cambyses II of his genocide and a festival
(possibly against the Jews. established in the
Achashveirosh) Esther decrees a Jewish calendar.
returns victorious three-day period of Construction
and is appointed fasting and prayer, of the Temple
co-regent by and prepares to resumes.

Cyrus. intercede with
the king.

366 BCE 363 BCE

Achashveirosh Achashveirosh 356 BCE
chooses Esther as a
wife and brings her to Pitched street battles
establishes his own his royal harem. throughout the empire
capital in Susa
(Shushan), and holds a between Haman's
great feast celebrating loyalists and the Jews
his ascension to the and their supporters.
throne. This feast is Thousands die. Many
the introduction to
the Purim story. Vashti convert to Judaism.
executed. Haman and his ten sons

executed by hanging.

5

Let's Party! APucrliomserculosotkomast...

Megillah

The custom is to read the Megillah twice over
Purim: once at night (anytime from nightfall
until dawn) and once during the day (any time
from sunrise to sunset).
Both men and women (over the age of Bar/
Bat-Mitzvah) are obligated to hear both
readings. Children old enough to appreciate
the occasion and follow along should also be
encouraged to listen to the Megillah.

Treats

The practice of giving edible treats to other
people was instituted to increase communal
friendship, and also to ensure that everyone
has food to enjoy at the festive meal.
This custom is fulfilled by sending a minimum
of one parcel containing a minimum of two
edible (i.e. as they are) foods which require
different blessings. For example, an orange
and a bar of chocolate.
This custom is performed during the day of
Purim, and applies to both men and women.

Charity

Haman’s genocidal plans - much like Hitler’s
millennia later - targeted all Jews, irrespective
of their standing on the social ladder. By the
same token, God’s salvation graced every Jew
regardless of their means or economic status.
The custom is therefore to give generously to
at least two different needy people, thereby
helping them to feel a part of the festivities.
As above, this cutom applies during the day
of Purim, and is expected of both men and
women.

6

Feast

Unlike the Chanukah story, whose prelude
was the spiritual threat posed by Antiochus
IV to the Jewish community and the Temple
in Jerusalem, the threat posed by Haman’s
abhorrent plan was entirely physical - the total
physical destruction of the Jews.
As such, the custom on Purim is to emphasise
material celebration with a festive meal taking
place any time after the second Megillah
reading. Unlike the debauched festivities of
Achashveirosh’s feast, the purpose of this
celebration is to rejoice in God’s redemption
by elevating material pleasures into spiritual
happiness.

Costumes

It might come as a surprise to learn that the
one word missing from the Megillah is God’s
name! In fact, the Book of Esther is the only
book in all of Scripture that omits it from start
to finish!
The deeper message behind this intriguing
omission lies in the narrative of Megillat Esther
itself. The events described in the Megillah
took place over a number of years. At first
glance, it is easy - and totally understandable
- to interpret them as a series of (eventually)
fortunate coincidences, all aligning quite
conveniently to conclude with the Jews
escaping death once again.
On Purim, we too ‘conceal’ ourselves behind
masks and costumes, celebrating the fact that
even though we don’t always see it clearly,
God is directing the 'coincidences' from
behind the scenes.

7

8

THE MEGILLA

BLESSINGS before the megillah

,‫ָּברּוְך ַא ָּתה ְי ָי ֱאֹל ֵ ֽהינּו ֶ ֽמ ֶלְך ָהעֹו ָלם‬
‫‏‬:‫ ְו ִצָּֽונּו ַעל ִמ ְקָרא ְמ ִגָּלה‬,‫ֲאֶׁשר ִק ְּד ָֽׁשנּו ְּב ִמ ְצֺו ָתיו‬

Blessed are You, our God; King of the universe; who has sanctified us
with His commandments, and has instructed us about the reading of
the Megillah.

,‫ָּברּוְך ַא ָּתה ְי ָי ֱאֹל ֵ ֽהינּו ֶ ֽמ ֶלְך ָהעֹו ָלם‬
:‫ֶׁש ֶה ֱחָ ֽינּו ְו ִק ְּי ָ ֽמנּו ְו ִה ִּגי ָ ֽענּו ַל ְּז ַמן ַה ֶּזה‏‬

Blessed are You, our God; King of the universe; who has given us life, and
sustained us, and brought us to this special occasion.

,‫ָּברּוְך ַא ָּתה ְי ָי ֱאֹל ֵ ֽהינּו ֶ ֽמ ֶלְך ָהעֹו ָלם‬
:‫ֶׁש ָעָׂשה ִנ ִּסים ַל ֲאבֹו ֵ ֽתינּו ַּב ָּי ִמים ָה ֵהם ַּב ְּז ַמן ַה ֶּזה‏‬

Blessed are You, our God; King of the universe; who performed miracles
for our ancestors, in those days and at this time.

Blessing after the megillah

Blessed are You, our God; King of the ‫ָּברּוְך ַא ָּתה ְיָי ֱאֹל ֵ ֽהינּו ֶ ֽמ ֶלְך‬
universe; who champions our cause, ‫ ָהָרב ֶאת ִרי ֵ ֽבנּו ְו ַה ָּדן‬,‫ָהעֹו ָלם‬
judges our grievances, avenges our ‫ֶאת ִּדי ֵ ֽננּו ְו ַהּנֹו ֵקם ֶאת ִנ ְק ָמ ֵ ֽתנּו‬
suffering and delivers recompense to ‫ְו ַה ְמַׁשֵּלם ְּגמּול ְל ָכל אֹוְי ֵבי ַנ ְפ־‬
all of our enemies and exacts justice ‫ ָּברּוְך‬.‫ֵֽׁשנּו ְו ַהִּנ ְפָרע ָ ֽלנּו ִמָּצֵ ֽרינּו‬
from our oppressors. ‫ַא ָּתה ְיָי ַהִּנ ְפָרע ְל ַעּמֹו ִיְׂשָר ֵאל‬
Blessed are You, our God, who exacts :‫ִמָּכל ָצֵרי ֶהם ָה ֵאל ַהּמֹו ִֽׁשי ַע‏‬
justice for His people Israel from all
their oppressors, God of salvation.

9

Chapter 1 - The Feast

1. It happened in the days of Achashveirosh—the same Achashveirosh
who reigned over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to
Ethiopia.

2. In those days, when King Achashveirosh occupied the royal throne in the
capital Shushan,

3. in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all the officials and
courtiers—the administration of Persia and Media, the nobles and the
governors of the provinces in his service.

4. For no fewer than a hundred and eighty days he displayed the vast
riches of his kingdom and the splendid glory of his majesty.

5. At the end of this period, the king gave a banquet for seven days in the
court of the king’s palace garden for all the people who lived in the
capital Shushan, high and low alike.

6. [There were hangings of] white cotton and blue wool, caught up by
cords of fine linen and purple wool to silver rods and alabaster columns;
and there were couches of gold and silver on a pavement of marble,
alabaster, mother-of-pearl, and mosaics.

7. Royal wine was served in abundance, as befits a king, in golden beakers,
beakers of varied design.

8. And the rule for the drinking was, “No restrictions!” For the king had
given orders to every palace steward to comply with each man’s wishes.

9. In addition, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for women, in the royal palace
of King Achashveirosh.

10. On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he ordered
Mehuman, Bizzetha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the
seven eunuchs in attendance on King Achashveirosh,

11. to bring Queen Vashti before the king wearing a royal diadem, to display
her beauty to the peoples and the officials; for she was a beautiful
woman.

12. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by
the eunuchs. The king was greatly incensed, and his fury burned within
him.

13. Then the king consulted the sages learned in procedure. (For it was the
royal practice [to turn] to all who were versed in law and precedent.

10

‫ ‪.‬אַוְי ִהי ִּבי ֵמי ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש הּוא ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ַהּ ֹמ ֵלְך ֵמ ֹהּדּו ְו ַעד־ּכּוׁש ֶׁש ַבע ְו ֶעְׂשִרים‬
‫ּו ֵמ ָאה ְמ ִדי ָנה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַּב ָּי ִמים ָה ֵהם ְּכֶׁש ֶבת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ַעל ִּכ ֵּסא ַמ ְלכּותֹו ֲאֶׁשר ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גִּבְׁש ַנת ָׁשלֹוׁש ְל ָמ ְלכֹו ָעָׂשה ִמְׁש ֶּתה ְל ָכל־ָׂשָריו ַו ֲע ָב ָדיו ֵחיל ָּפַרס ּו ָמ ַדי ַהַּפְר ְּת ִמים‬

‫ְוָׂשֵרי ַהְּמ ִדינֹות ְל ָפ ָניו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דְּב ַהְר ֹאתֹו ֶאת־ ֹעֶׁשר ְּכבֹוד ַמ ְלכּותֹו ְו ֶאת־ ְי ָקר ִּת ְפ ֶאֶרת ְּגדּוָּלתֹו ָי ִמים ַרִּבים ְׁשמֹו ִנים‬

‫ּו ְמ ַאת יֹום׃‬
‫ ‪.‬הּו ִב ְמלֹואת ַה ָּי ִמים ָה ֵאֶּלה ָעָׂשה ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ָכל־ ָה ָעם ַהִּנ ְמ ְצ ִאים ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה‬

‫ְל ִמ ָּגדֹול ְו ַעד־ ָק ָטן ִמְׁש ֶּתה ִׁש ְב ַעת ָי ִמים ַּב ֲח ַצר ִּגַּנת ִּבי ַתן ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וחּור ַּכְרַּפס ּו ְת ֵכ ֶלת ָאחּוז ְּב ַח ְב ֵלי־בּוץ ְו ַאְר ָּג ָמן ַעל־ ְּג ִלי ֵלי ֶכ ֶסף ְו ַעּמּו ֵדי ֵׁשׁש ִמּטֹות‬

‫ָז ָהב ָו ֶכ ֶסף ַעל ִר ְצ ַפת ַּב ַהט־ָוֵׁשׁש ְו ַדר ְו ֹס ָחֶרת׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זְו ַהְׁשקֹות ִּב ְכ ֵלי ָז ָהב ְו ֵכ ִלים ִמֵּכ ִלים ׁשֹו ִנים ְוֵיין ַמ ְלכּות ָרב ְּכַיד ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חְו ַהּ ְׁש ִתָּיה ַכ ָּדת ֵאין ֹא ֵנס ִּכי־ ֵכן ִי ַּסד ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַעל ָּכל־ַרב ֵּביתֹו ַל ֲעׂשֹות ִּכְרצֹון ִאיׁש־‬

‫ָו ִאיׁש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ט ַּגם ַוְׁש ִּתי ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ָעְׂש ָתה ִמְׁש ֵּתה ָנִׁשים ֵּבית ַהַּמ ְלכּות ֲאֶׁשר ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש׃‬

‫ ‪.‬יַּבּיֹום ַהּ ְׁש ִבי ִעי ְּכטֹוב ֵלב־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַּב ָּיִין ָא ַמר ִל ְמהּו ָמן ִּב ְּז ָתא ַחְרבֹו ָנא ִּב ְג ָתא‬
‫ַו ֲא ַב ְג ָתא ֵז ַתר ְו ַכְרַּכס ִׁש ְב ַעת ַה ָּסִרי ִסים ַה ְמָׁשְר ִתים ֶאת־ְּפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬אי ְל ָה ִביא ֶאת־ַוְׁש ִּתי ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְּב ֶכ ֶתר ַמ ְלכּות ְל ַהְראֹות ָה ַעִּמים ְו ַהּ ָׂשִרים‬

‫ֶאת־ ָי ְפָיּה ִּכי־טֹו ַבת ַמְר ֶאה ִהיא׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ביַו ְּת ָמ ֵאן ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ַוְׁש ִּתי ָלבֹוא ִּבְד ַבר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר ְּבַיד ַה ָּסִרי ִסים ַו ִּי ְקצֹף ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ְמ ֹאד ַו ֲח ָמתֹו ָּב ֲעָרה בֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַל ֲח ָכ ִמים יֹ ְד ֵעי ָה ִע ִּתים ִּכי־ ֵכן ְּד ַבר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִל ְפ ֵני ָּכל־ ֹי ְד ֵעי ָּדת ָו ִדין׃‬

‫‪11‬‬

14. His closest advisers were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres,
Marsena, and Memuchan, the seven ministers of Persia and Media who
had access to the royal presence and occupied the first place in the
kingdom.)

15. “What,” [he asked,] “shall be done, according to law, to Queen Vashti
for failing to obey the command of King Achashveirosh conveyed by the
eunuchs?”

16. Thereupon Memuchan declared in the presence of the king and the
ministers: “Queen Vashti has committed an offense not only against Your
Majesty but also against all the officials and against all the peoples in all
the provinces of King Achashveirosh.

17. For the queen’s behavior will make all wives despise their husbands, as
they reflect that King Achashveirosh himself ordered Queen Vashti to be
brought before him, but she would not come.

18. This very day the ladies of Persia and Media, who have heard of the
queen’s behavior, will cite it to all Your Majesty’s officials, and there will
be no end of scorn and provocation!

19. “If it please Your Majesty, let a royal edict be issued by you, and let it be
written into the laws of Persia and Media, so that it cannot be abrogated,
that Vashti shall never enter the presence of King Achashveirosh. And let
Your Majesty bestow her royal state upon another who is more worthy
than she.

20. Then will the judgment executed by Your Majesty resound throughout
your realm, vast though it is; and all wives will treat their husbands with
respect, high and low alike.”

21. The proposal was approved by the king and the ministers, and the king
did as Memuchan proposed.

22. Dispatches were sent to all the provinces of the king, to every province
in its own script and to every nation in its own language, that every man
should wield authority in his home and speak the language of his own
people.

12

‫ ‪.‬דיְו ַה ָּקרֹב ֵא ָליו ַּכְרְׁש ָנא ֵׁש ָתר ַאְד ָמ ָתא ַתְרִׁשיׁש ֶמֶרס ַמְר ְס ָנא ְממּו ָכן ִׁש ְב ַעת ָׂשֵרי‬
‫ָּפַרס ּו ָמ ַדי רֹ ֵאי ְּפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַהּיְֹׁש ִבים ִראׁ ֹש ָנה ַּבַּמ ְלכּות׃‬

‫ ‪.‬וטְּכ ָדת ַמה־ַּל ֲעׂשֹות ַּבַּמ ְלָּכה ַוְׁש ִּתי ַעל ֲאֶׁשר לֹא־ ָעְׂש ָתה ֶאת־ ַמ ֲא ַמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ְּבַיד ַה ָּסִרי ִסים׃‬

‫ ‪.‬זטַוּ ֹיא ֶמר מומכן [ ְממּו ָכן] ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַהּ ָׂשִרים לֹא ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ַבּדֹו ָעְו ָתה‬
‫ַוְׁש ִּתי ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִּכי ַעל־ָּכל־ ַהּ ָׂשִרים ְו ַעל־ָּכל־ ָה ַעִּמים ֲאֶׁשר ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זיִּכי־ ֵי ֵצא ְד ַבר־ ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ַעל־ָּכל־ ַהָּנִׁשים ְל ַה ְבזֹות ַּב ְע ֵלי ֶהן ְּב ֵעי ֵני ֶהן ְּב ָא ְמָרם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ָא ַמר ְל ָה ִביא ֶאת־ַוְׁש ִּתי ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ְל ָפ ָניו ְולֹא־ ָב ָאה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חיְו ַהּיֹום ַה ֶּזה ּ ֹתא ַמְר ָנה ָׂשרֹות ָּפַרס־ּו ָמ ַדי ֲאֶׁשר ָׁש ְמעּו ֶאת־ ְּד ַבר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ְל ֹכל ָׂשֵרי‬

‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ּו ְכ ַדי ִּב ָּזיֹון ָו ָק ֶצף׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טי ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ֵי ֵצא ְד ַבר־ ַמ ְלכּות ִמְּל ָפ ָניו ְו ִיָּכ ֵתב ְּב ָד ֵתי ָפַרס־ּו ָמ ַדי ְולֹא ַי ֲעבֹור‬

‫ֲאֶׁשר לֹא־ ָתבֹוא ַוְׁש ִּתי ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ּו ַמ ְלכּו ָתּה ִי ֵּתן ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִלְרעּו ָתּה‬
‫ַהּטֹו ָבה ִמֶּמָּנה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬כְו ִנְׁש ַמע ִּפ ְת ָגם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר־ ַי ֲעֶׂשה ְּב ָכל־ ַמ ְלכּותֹו ִּכי ַרָּבה ִהיא ְו ָכל־ ַהָּנִׁשים ִי ְּתנּו‬
‫ְי ָקר ְל ַב ְע ֵלי ֶהן ְל ִמ ָּגדֹול ְו ַעד־ ָק ָטן׃‬

‫ ‪.‬אכַו ִּיי ַטב ַה ָּד ָבר ְּב ֵעי ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַהּ ָׂשִרים ַו ַּי ַעׂש ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּכ ְד ַבר ְממּו ָכן׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בכַו ִּיְׁש ַלח ְס ָפִרים ֶאל־ָּכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ִּכ ְכ ָת ָבּה ְו ֶאל־ ַעם ָו ָעם‬

‫ִּכ ְלׁשֹונֹו ִל ְהיֹות ָּכל־ ִאיׁש ׂ ֹשֵרר ְּב ֵביתֹו ּו ְמ ַדֵּבר ִּכ ְלׁשֹון ַעּמֹו׃‬

‫‪SmceaetnAthchisaQshRveciordoseht!o‬‬

‫‪13‬‬

Chapter 2 - Esther becomes queen

1. Some time afterward, when the anger of King Achashveirosh subsided,
he thought of Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed
against her.

2. The king’s servants who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins
be sought out for Your Majesty.

3. Let Your Majesty appoint officers in every province of your realm to
assemble all the beautiful young virgins at the capital Shushan, in the
harem under the supervision of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, guardian of
the women. Let them be provided with their cosmetics.

4. And let the maiden who pleases Your Majesty be queen instead of
Vashti.” The proposal pleased the king, and he acted upon it.

5. In the capital Shushan lived a Jew by the name of Mordecai, son of Jair
son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite.

6. he had been exiled from Jerusalem in the group that was carried into
exile along with King Jeconiah of Judah, which had been driven into exile
by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.—

7. He was foster father to Hadassah—that is, Esther—his uncle’s daughter,
for she had neither father nor mother. The maiden was beautiful; and
when her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own
daughter. When the king’s order and edict was proclaimed, and
when many girls were assembled in the capital Shushan under the
supervision of Hegai, Esther too was taken into the king’s palace under
the supervision of Hegai, guardian of the women.

8. The girl pleased him and won his Favour, and he hastened to furnish her
with her cosmetics and her rations, as well as with the seven maids who
were her due from the king’s palace; and he treated her and her maids
with special kindness in the harem.

9. Esther did not reveal her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had told
her not to reveal it.

10. Every single day Mordecai would walk about in front of the court of the
harem, to learn how Esther was faring and what was happening to her.

11. When each girl’s turn came to go to King Achashveirosh at the end of
the twelve months’ treatment prescribed for women (for that was the
period spent on beautifying them: six months with oil of myrrh and six
months with perfumes and women’s cosmetics.

14

‫ ‪.‬א ַא ַחר ַה ְּד ָבִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה ְּכׁ ֹשְך ֲח ַמת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ָז ַכר ֶאת־ַוְׁש ִּתי ְו ֵאת ֲאֶׁשר־‬
‫ָעָׂש ָתה ְו ֵאת ֲאֶׁשר־ ִנ ְגַזר ָע ֶלי ָה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַוּ ֹיא ְמרּו ַנ ֲעֵרי־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְמָׁשְר ָתיו ְי ַב ְקׁשּו ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ְנ ָערֹות ְּבתּולֹות טֹובֹות ַמְר ֶאה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גְוַי ְפ ֵקד ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְּפ ִקי ִדים ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַמ ְלכּותֹו ְוִי ְקְּבצּו ֶאת־ָּכל־ ַנ ֲעָרה־ ְבתּו ָלה טֹו ַבת‬
‫ַמְר ֶאה ֶאל־ׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ֶאל־ֵּבית ַהָּנִׁשים ֶאל־ ַיד ֵה ֶגא ְסִריס ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ׁ ֹש ֵמר ַהָּנִׁשים‬

‫ְו ָנתֹון ַּת ְמרּו ֵקי ֶהן׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דְו ַהַּנ ֲעָרה ֲאֶׁשר ִּתי ַטב ְּב ֵעי ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּת ְמֹלְך ַּת ַחת ַוְׁש ִּתי ַו ִּיי ַטב ַה ָּד ָבר ְּב ֵעי ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ַו ַּי ַעׂש ֵּכן׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ה ִאיׁש ְיהּו ִדי ָה ָיה ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ּוְׁשמֹו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶּבן ָי ִאיר ֶּבן־ִׁש ְמ ִעי ֶּבן־ ִקיׁש ִאיׁש‬

‫ְי ִמי ִני׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ו ֲאֶׁשר ָה ְג ָלה ִמירּוָׁש ַל ִים ִעם־ ַהּ ֹג ָלה ֲאֶׁשר ָה ְג ְל ָתה ִעם ְי ָכ ְנָיה ֶמ ֶלְך־ ְיהּו ָדה ֲאֶׁשר‬

‫ֶה ְג ָלה ְנבּו ַכ ְד ֶנאַּצר ֶמ ֶלְך ָּב ֶבל׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זַוְי ִהי ֹא ֵמן ֶאת־ ֲה ַד ָּסה ִהיא ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַּבת־ּדֹדֹו ִּכי ֵאין ָלּה ָאב ָו ֵאם ְו ַהַּנ ֲעָרה ְי ַפת־ּ ֹת ַאר‬

‫ְוטֹו ַבת ַמְר ֶאה ּו ְבמֹות ָא ִבי ָה ְו ִאָּמּה ְל ָק ָחּה ָמְר ֳּד ַכי לֹו ְל ַבת׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חַוְי ִהי ְּב ִהּ ָׁש ַמע ְּד ַבר־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָדתֹו ּו ְב ִה ָּק ֵבץ ְנ ָערֹות ַרּבֹות ֶאל־ׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ֶאל־ ַיד‬

‫ֵה ָגי ַו ִּתָּל ַקח ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֶאל־ֵּבית ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאל־ ַיד ֵה ַגי ׁ ֹש ֵמר ַהָּנִׁשים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טַו ִּתי ַטב ַהַּנ ֲעָרה ְב ֵעי ָניו ַו ִּתּ ָׂשא ֶח ֶסד ְל ָפ ָניו ַוְי ַב ֵהל ֶאת־ ַּת ְמרּו ֶקי ָה ְו ֶאת־ ָמנֹו ֶת ָה ָל ֵתת‬

‫ָלּה ְו ֵאת ֶׁש ַבע ַהְּנ ָערֹות ָהְר ֻאיֹות ָל ֶתת־ ָלּה ִמֵּבית ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַוְיַׁשֶּנ ָה ְו ֶאת־ ַנ ֲערֹו ֶתי ָה‬
‫ְלטֹוב ֵּבית ַהָּנִׁשים׃‬

‫ ‪.‬ילֹא־ ִה ִּגי ָדה ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֶאת־ ַעָּמּה ְו ֶאת־מֹו ַל ְד ָּתּה ִּכי ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ִצָּוה ָע ֶלי ָה ֲאֶׁשר לֹא־ ַת ִּגיד׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איּו ְב ָכל־יֹום ָויֹום ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ִמ ְת ַהֵּלְך ִל ְפ ֵני ֲח ַצר ֵּבית־ ַהָּנִׁשים ָל ַד ַעת ֶאת־ְׁשלֹום ֶא ְס ֵּתר‬

‫ּו ַמה־ ֵּי ָעֶׂשה ָּבּה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ביּו ְב ַה ִּגי ַע ּ ֹתר ַנ ֲעָרה ְו ַנ ֲעָרה ָלבֹוא ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ִמ ֵּקץ ֱהיֹות ָלּה ְּכ ָדת‬
‫ַהָּנִׁשים ְׁש ֵנים ָעָׂשר ֹח ֶדׁש ִּכי ֵּכן ִי ְמ ְלאּו ְי ֵמי ְמרּו ֵקי ֶהן ִׁשּ ָׁשה ֳח ָדִׁשים ְּבֶׁש ֶמן ַהּ ֹמר‬

‫ְוִׁשּ ָׁשה ֳח ָדִׁשים ַּבְּבָׂש ִמים ּו ְב ַת ְמרּו ֵקי ַהָּנִׁשים׃‬

‫‪15‬‬

12. and it was after that that the girl would go to the king), whatever she
asked for would be given her to take with her from the harem to the
king’s palace.

13. She would go in the evening and leave in the morning for a second harem
in charge of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, guardian of the concubines.
She would not go again to the king unless the king wanted her, when
she would be summoned by name.

14. When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail—the uncle of
Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter—to go to the king,
she did not ask for anything but what Hegai, the king’s eunuch, guardian
of the women, advised. Yet Esther won the admiration of all who saw
her.

15. Esther was taken to King Achashveirosh, in his royal palace, in the tenth
month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

16. The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she won his
grace and Favour more than all the virgins. So he set a royal diadem on
her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

17. The king gave a great banquet for all his officials and courtiers, “the
banquet of Esther.” He proclaimed a remission of taxes for the provinces
and distributed gifts as befits a king.

18. When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai sat in the
palace gate.

19. But Esther still did not reveal her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had
instructed her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai’s bidding, as she had done
when she was under his tutelage.

20. At that time, when Mordecai was sitting in the palace gate, Bigthan and
Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the threshold, became
angry, and plotted to do away with King Achashveirosh.

21. Mordecai learned of it and told it to Queen Esther, and Esther reported
it to the king in Mordecai’s name.

22. The matter was investigated and found to be so, and the two were
impaled on stakes. This was recorded in the book of annals at the
insistence of the king.

16

‫ ‪.‬גיּו ָב ֶזה ַהַּנ ֲעָרה ָּב ָאה ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֵאת ָּכל־ ֲאֶׁשר ּ ֹתא ַמר ִיָּנ ֵתן ָלּה ָלבֹוא ִעָּמּה ִמֵּבית‬
‫ַהָּנִׁשים ַעד־ֵּבית ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דיָּב ֶעֶרב ִהיא ָב ָאה ּו ַבּ ֹב ֶקר ִהיא ָׁש ָבה ֶאל־ֵּבית ַהָּנִׁשים ֵׁש ִני ֶאל־ ַיד ַׁש ֲעְׁש ַגז ְסִריס‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ׁ ֹש ֵמר ַהִּפי ַל ְגִׁשים לֹא־ ָתבֹוא עֹוד ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּכי ִאם־ ָח ֵפץ ָּבּה ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ְו ִנ ְקְר ָאה ְבֵׁשם׃‬

‫ ‪.‬וטּו ְב ַה ִּגי ַע ּ ֹתר־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַּבת־ ֲא ִבי ַחִיל ּדֹד ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲאֶׁשר ָל ַקח־לֹו ְל ַבת ָלבֹוא ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫לֹא ִב ְקָׁשה ָּד ָבר ִּכי ִאם ֶאת־ ֲאֶׁשר ֹיא ַמר ֵה ַגי ְסִריס־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ׁ ֹש ֵמר ַהָּנִׁשים ַו ְּת ִהי‬
‫ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֹנֵׂשאת ֵחן ְּב ֵעי ֵני ָּכל־רֹ ֶאי ָה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זטַו ִּתָּל ַקח ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ֶאל־ֵּבית ַמ ְלכּותֹו ַּב ֹח ֶדׁש ָה ֲעִׂשיִרי הּוא־‬
‫ֹח ֶדׁש ֵט ֵבת ִּבְׁש ַנת־ֶׁש ַבע ְל ַמ ְלכּותֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זיַו ֶּי ֱא ַהב ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאת־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ִמָּכל־ ַהָּנִׁשים ַו ִּתּ ָׂשא־ ֵחן ָו ֶח ֶסד ְל ָפ ָניו ִמָּכל־ ַהְּבתּוֹלת‬
‫ַו ָּיֶׂשם ֶּכ ֶתר־ ַמ ְלכּות ְּברֹאָׁשּה ַו ַּי ְמ ִלי ֶכ ָה ַּת ַחת ַוְׁש ִּתי׃‬

‫ ‪.‬חיַו ַּי ַעׂש ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִמְׁש ֶּתה ָגדֹול ְל ָכל־ָׂשָריו ַו ֲע ָב ָדיו ֵאת ִמְׁש ֵּתה ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַו ֲה ָנ ָחה ַלְּמ ִדינֹות‬
‫ָעָׂשה ַוִּי ֵּתן ַמְׂש ֵאת ְּכַיד ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬טיּו ְב ִה ָּק ֵבץ ְּבתּולֹות ֵׁש ִנית ּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי יֵֹׁשב ְּבַׁש ַער־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬כ ֵאין ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַמ ֶּגֶדת מֹו ַל ְד ָּתּה ְו ֶאת־ ַעָּמּה ַּכ ֲאֶׁשר ִצָּוה ָע ֶלי ָה ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ְו ֶאת־ ַמ ֲא ַמר‬

‫ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֹעָׂשה ַּכ ֲאֶׁשר ָהְי ָתה ְב ָא ְמ ָנה ִאּתֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬אכַּב ָּי ִמים ָה ֵהם ּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי יֵֹׁשב ְּבַׁש ַער־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָק ַצף ִּב ְג ָתן ָו ֶתֶרׁש ְׁש ֵני־ ָסִרי ֵסי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ִמּׁ ֹש ְמֵרי ַה ַּסף ַוְי ַב ְקׁשּו ִלְׁשֹל ַח ָיד ַּבֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹׁש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בכַו ִּיָּו ַדע ַה ָּד ָבר ְל ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַו ַּי ֵּגד ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ְּבֵׁשם ָמְר ֳּד ָכי׃‬

‫ ‪.‬גכַוְי ֻב ַּקׁש ַה ָּד ָבר ַו ִּיָּמ ֵצא ַו ִּי ָּתלּו ְׁש ֵני ֶהם ַעל־ ֵעץ ַו ִּיָּכ ֵתב ְּב ֵס ֶפר ִּד ְבֵרי ַה ָּי ִמים ִל ְפ ֵני‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫‪SmceaetnMthiosrdQeRchcaodi!e to‬‬

‫‪17‬‬

Chapter 3 - Haman's climb

1. Some time afterward, King Achashveirosh promoted Haman son of
Hammedatha the Agagite; he advanced him and seated him higher than
any of his fellow officials.

2. All the king’s courtiers in the palace gate knelt and bowed low to Haman,
for such was the king’s order concerning him; but Mordecai would not
kneel or bow low.

3. Then the king’s courtiers who were in the palace gate said to Mordecai,
“Why do you disobey the king’s order?”

4. When they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them,
they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s resolve would
prevail; for he had explained to them that he was a Jew.

5. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel or bow low to him,
Haman was filled with rage.

6. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone; having been told who
Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to do away with all the Jews,
Mordecai’s people, throughout the kingdom of Achashveirosh.

7. In the first month, that is, the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King
Achashveirosh, pur—which means “the lot”—was cast before Haman
concerning every day and every month, [until it fell on] the twelfth
month, that is, the month of Adar.

8. Haman then said to King Achashveirosh, “There is a certain people,
scattered and dispersed among the other peoples in all the provinces of
your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people and
who do not obey the king’s laws; and it is not in Your Majesty’s interest
to tolerate them.

9. If it please Your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction, and
I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the stewards for deposit in the
royal treasury.”

10. Thereupon the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to
Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of the Jews.

11. And the king said, “The money and the people are yours to do with as
you see fit.”

18

‫!‪Scan this QR code to meet Haman‬‬

‫ ‪.‬א ַא ַחר ַה ְּד ָבִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה ִּגַּדל ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ֶאת־ ָה ָמן ֶּבן־ ַהְּמ ָד ָתא ָה ֲא ָג ִגי‬
‫ַוְי ַנּ ְׂש ֵאהּו ַו ָּיֶׂשם ֶאת־ִּכ ְסאֹו ֵמ ַעל ָּכל־ ַהּ ָׂשִרים ֲאֶׁשר ִאּתֹו׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בְו ָכל־ ַע ְב ֵדי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר־ְּבַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ּ ֹכְר ִעים ּו ִמְׁש ַּת ֲחִוים ְל ָה ָמן ִּכי־ ֵכן ִצָּוה־לֹו‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי לֹא ִי ְכַרע ְולֹא ִיְׁש ַּת ֲחֶוה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬גַוּ ֹיא ְמרּו ַע ְב ֵדי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר־ְּבַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַמּדּו ַע ַא ָּתה עֹו ֵבר ֵאת ִמ ְצַות‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דַוְי ִהי באמרם [ְּכ ָא ְמָרם] ֵא ָליו יֹום ָויֹום ְולֹא ָׁש ַמע ֲא ֵלי ֶהם ַו ַּי ִּגידּו ְל ָה ָמן ִלְראֹות‬
‫ֲה ַי ַע ְמדּו ִּד ְבֵרי ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ִּכי־ ִה ִּגיד ָל ֶהם ֲאֶׁשר־הּוא ְיהּו ִדי׃‬

‫ ‪.‬הַו ַּיְרא ָה ָמן ִּכי־ ֵאין ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ּ ֹכֵר ַע ּו ִמְׁש ַּת ֲחֶוה לֹו ַו ִּיָּמ ֵלא ָה ָמן ֵח ָמה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וַו ִּי ֶבז ְּב ֵעי ָניו ִלְׁשֹלח ָיד ְּב ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ְל ַבּדֹו ִּכי־ ִה ִּגידּו לֹו ֶאת־ ַעם ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַוְי ַב ֵּקׁש ָה ָמן‬

‫ְל ַהְׁש ִמיד ֶאת־ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ְּב ָכל־ ַמ ְלכּות ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ַעם ָמְר ֳּד ָכי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זַּב ֹח ֶדׁש ָהִראׁשֹון הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש ִני ָסן ִּבְׁש ַנת ְׁש ֵּתים ֶעְׂשֵרה ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ִהִּפיל‬
‫ּפּור הּוא ַהּגֹוָרל ִל ְפ ֵני ָה ָמן ִמּיֹום ְליֹום ּו ֵמ ֹח ֶדׁש ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ְׁש ֵנים־ ָעָׂשר הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש‬

‫ֲא ָדר׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ָה ָמן ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ֶיְׁשנֹו ַעם־ ֶא ָחד ְמ ֻפ ָּזר ּו ְמ ֹפָרד ֵּבין ָה ַעִּמים ְּב ֹכל‬
‫ְמ ִדינֹות ַמ ְלכּו ֶתָך ְו ָד ֵתי ֶהם ׁ ֹשנֹות ִמָּכל־ ָעם ְו ֶאת־ ָּד ֵתי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֵאי ָנם ֹעִׂשים ְו ַלֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ֵאין־ׁ ֹשֶוה ְל ַהִּני ָחם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ט ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ִיָּכ ֵתב ְל ַאְּב ָדם ַו ֲעֶׂשֶרת ֲא ָל ִפים ִּכַּכר־ֶּכ ֶסף ֶאְׁשקֹול ַעל־ ְי ֵדי‬

‫ֹעֵׂשי ַהְּמ ָלא ָכה ְל ָה ִביא ֶאל־ ִּג ְנ ֵזי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יַו ָּי ַסר הֶַּמ ֶלְך ֶאת־ ַטַּב ְעּתֹו ֵמ ַעל ָידֹו ַוִּי ְּת ָנּה ְל ָה ָמן ֶּבן־ ַהְּמ ָד ָתא ָה ֲא ָג ִגי צֵֹרר‬

‫ַה ְּיהּו ִדים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ָה ָמן ַהֶּכ ֶסף ָנתּון ָלְך ְו ָה ָעם ַל ֲעׂשֹות ּבֹו ַּכּטֹוב ְּב ֵעי ֶניָך׃‬

‫‪19‬‬

12. On the thirteenth day of the first month, the king’s scribes were
summoned and a decree was issued, as Haman directed, to the king’s
satraps, to the governors of every province, and to the officials of every
people, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own
language. The orders were issued in the name of King Achashveirosh
and sealed with the king’s signet.

13. Accordingly, written instructions were dispatched by couriers to all the
king’s provinces to destroy, massacre, and exterminate all the Jews,
young and old, children and women, on a single day, on the thirteenth
day of the twelfth month—that is, the month of Adar—and to plunder
their possessions.

14. The text of the document was to the effect that a law should be
proclaimed in every single province; it was to be publicly displayed to
all the peoples, so that they might be ready for that day.

15. The couriers went out posthaste on the royal mission, and the decree
was proclaimed in the capital Shushan. The king and Haman sat down to
feast, but the city of Shushan was dumfounded.

Chapter 4 - sackcloth & ashes

1. When Mordecai learned all that had happened, Mordecai tore his clothes
and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went through the city, crying out
loudly and bitterly,

2. until he came in front of the palace gate; for one could not enter the
palace gate wearing sackcloth.—

3. Also, in every province that the king’s command and decree reached,
there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and
wailing, and everybody lay in sackcloth and ashes.

20

‫ ‪.‬ביַו ִּי ָּקְראּו ֹס ְפֵרי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַּב ֹח ֶדׁש ָהִראׁשֹון ִּבְׁשלֹוָׁשה ָעָׂשר יֹום ּבֹו ַו ִּיָּכ ֵתב ְּכ ָכל־ ֲאֶׁשר־‬
‫ִצָּוה ָה ָמן ֶאל ֲא ַחְׁש ַּדְרְּפ ֵני־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ֶאל־ ַהַּפחֹות ֲאֶׁשר ַעל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ְו ֶאל־ָׂשֵרי‬
‫ַעם ָו ָעם ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ִּכ ְכ ָת ָבּה ְו ַעם ָו ָעם ִּכ ְלׁשֹונֹו ְּבֵׁשם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹׁש ִנ ְכ ָּתב‬

‫ְו ֶנ ְח ָּתם ְּב ַטַּב ַעת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיְו ִנְׁשלֹו ַח ְס ָפִרים ְּבַיד ָהָר ִצים ֶאל־ָּכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ַהְׁש ִמיד ַל ֲהרֹג ּו ְל ַאֵּבד ֶאת־‬
‫ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ִמַּנ ַער ְו ַעד־ ָז ֵקן ַטף ְו ָנִׁשים ְּביֹום ֶא ָחד ִּבְׁשלֹוָׁשה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ְׁש ֵנים־‬

‫ָעָׂשר הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש ֲאָדר ּוְׁש ָל ָלם ָלבֹוז׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דיַּפ ְתֶׁש ֶגן ַהְּכ ָתב ְל ִהָּנ ֵתן ָּדת ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ָּגלּוי ְל ָכל־ ָה ַעִּמים ִל ְהיֹות ֲע ִתִדים‬

‫ַלּיֹום ַה ֶּזה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וט ָהָר ִצים ָי ְצאּו ְדחּו ִפים ִּבְד ַבר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַה ָּדת ִנ ְּת ָנה ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ְו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן‬

‫ָיְׁשבּו ִלְׁשּתֹות ְו ָה ִעיר ׁשּוָׁשן ָנבֹו ָכה׃‬

‫‪mSceaetnHthaims QanR! code to‬‬

‫ ‪.‬אּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ָי ַדע ֶאת־ָּכל־ ֲאֶׁשר ַנ ֲעָׂשה ַו ִּי ְקַרע ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶאת־ְּב ָגָדיו ַו ִּי ְלַּבׁש ַׂשק ָו ֵא ֶפר‬
‫ַו ֵּי ֵצא ְּבתֹוְך ָה ִעיר ַו ִּי ְז ַעק ְז ָע ָקה ְגדֹ ָלה ּו ָמָרה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַו ָּיבֹוא ַעד ִל ְפ ֵני ַׁש ַער־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּכי ֵאין ָלבֹוא ֶאל־ַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּב ְלבּוׁש ָׂשק׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גּו ְב ָכל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ְמקֹום ֲאֶׁשר ְּד ַבר־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָדתֹו ַמ ִּגי ַע ֵא ֶבל ָּגדֹול ַל ְּיהּו ִדים‬

‫ְוצֹום ּו ְב ִכי ּו ִמ ְסֵּפד ַׂשק ָו ֵא ֶפר ֻיַּצע ָלַרִּבים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דַו ָּתבֹואי ָנה ַנ ֲערֹות ֶא ְס ֵּתר ְו ָסִרי ֶסי ָה ַו ַּי ִּגידּו ָלּה ַו ִּת ְת ַח ְל ַחל ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ְמ ֹאד ַו ִּתְׁש ַלח‬

‫‪21‬‬

4. When Esther’s maidens and eunuchs came and informed her, the queen
was greatly agitated. She sent clothing for Mordecai to wear, so that he
might take off his sackcloth; but he refused.

5. Thereupon Esther summoned Hathach, one of the eunuchs whom the
king had appointed to serve her, and sent him to Mordecai to learn the
why and wherefore of it all.

6. Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square in front of the palace
gate;

7. and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and all about the
money that Haman had offered to pay into the royal treasury for the
destruction of the Jews.

8. He also gave him the written text of the law that had been proclaimed
in Shushan for their destruction. [He bade him] show it to Esther and
inform her, and charge her to go to the king and to appeal to him and to
plead with him for her people.

9. When Hathach came and delivered Mordecai’s message to Esther,
10. Esther told Hathach to take back to Mordecai the following reply:
11. “All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that

if any person, man or woman, enters the king’s presence in the inner
court without having been summoned, there is but one law for him—
that he be put to death. Only if the king extends the golden scepter to
him may he live. Now I have not been summoned to visit the king for the
last thirty days.”
12. When Mordecai was told what Esther had said,
13. Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther: “Do not imagine that
you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s
palace.
14. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will
come to the Jews by another means, while you and your father’s house
will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position
for just such a crisis!”
15. Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordecai:
16. “Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast on my behalf;
do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will
observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary
to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”
17. So Mordecai went about [the city] and did just as Esther had commanded
him.

22

‫ְּב ָגִדים ְל ַה ְלִּביׁש ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ּו ְל ָה ִסיר ַׂשּקֹו ֵמ ָע ָליו ְולֹא ִקֵּבל׃‬
‫ ‪.‬הַו ִּת ְקָרא ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַל ֲה ָתְך ִמ ָּסִרי ֵסי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר ֶה ֱע ִמיד ְל ָפ ֶני ָה ַו ְּת ַצֵּוהּו ַעל־ ָמְר ֳּד ָכי‬

‫ָל ַד ַעת ַמה־ ֶּזה ְו ַעל־ ַמה־ ֶּזה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וַו ֵּי ֵצא ֲה ָתְך ֶאל־ ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ֶאל־ְרחֹוב ָה ִעיר ֲאֶׁשר ִל ְפ ֵני ַׁש ַער־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זַו ַּי ֶּגד־לֹו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֵאת ָּכל־ ֲאֶׁשר ָקָרהּו ְו ֵאת ָּפָרַׁשת ַהֶּכ ֶסף ֲאֶׁשר ָא ַמר ָה ָמן ִלְׁשקֹול‬

‫ַעל־ ִּג ְנ ֵזי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ביהודיים [ַּב ְּיהּו ִדים] ְל ַאְּב ָדם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חְו ֶאת־ַּפ ְתֶׁש ֶגן ְּכ ָתב־ ַה ָּדת ֲאֶׁשר־ ִנ ַּתן ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ְל ַהְׁש ִמי ָדם ָנ ַתן לֹו ְל ַהְראֹות ֶאת־‬
‫ֶא ְס ֵּתר ּו ְל ַה ִּגיד ָלּה ּו ְל ַצּוֹות ָע ֶלי ָה ָלבֹוא ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ִה ְת ַחֶּנן־לֹו ּו ְל ַב ֵּקׁש ִמְּל ָפ ָניו‬

‫ַעל־ ַעָּמּה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טַו ָּיבֹוא ֲה ָתְך ַו ַּי ֵּגד ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֵאת ִּד ְבֵרי ָמְר ֳּד ָכי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַל ֲה ָתְך ַו ְּת ַצֵּוהּו ֶאל־ ָמְר ֳּד ָכי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איָּכל־ ַע ְב ֵדי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַעם־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך יֹו ְד ִעים ֲאֶׁשר ָּכל־ ִאיׁש ְו ִאּ ָׁשה ֲאֶׁשר ָיבֹוא־‬
‫ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאל־ ֶה ָח ֵצר ַהְּפ ִני ִמית ֲאֶׁשר לֹא־ ִי ָּקֵרא ַא ַחת ָּדתֹו ְל ָה ִמית ְל ַבד ֵמ ֲאֶׁשר‬
‫יֹוִׁשיט־לֹו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאת־ַׁשְר ִביט ַה ָּז ָהב ְו ָחָיה ַו ֲא ִני לֹא ִנ ְקֵראתי ָלבֹוא ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶזה‬

‫ְׁשלֹוִׁשים יֹום׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ביַו ַּי ִּגידּו ְל ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ֵאת ִּד ְבֵרי ֶא ְס ֵּתר׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ְל ָהִׁשיב ֶאל־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַאל־ ְּתַדִּמי ְב ַנ ְפֵׁשְך ְל ִהָּמ ֵלט ֵּבית־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִמָּכל־‬

‫ַה ְּיהּו ִדים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דיִּכי ִאם־ ַה ֲחֵרׁש ַּת ֲחִריִׁשי ָּב ֵעת ַהּ ֹזאת ֶרַוח ְו ַהָּצ ָלה ַי ֲעמֹוד ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ִמָּמקֹום ַא ֵחר‬

‫ְו ַא ְּת ּו ֵבית־ ָא ִביְך ּ ֹתא ֵבדּו ּו ִמי יֹו ֵד ַע ִאם־ ְל ֵעת ָּכזֹאת ִה ַּג ַע ְּת ַלַּמ ְלכּות׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וטַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ְל ָהִׁשיב ֶאל־ ָמְר ֳּד ָכי׃‬

‫ ‪.‬זט ֵלְך ְּכנֹוס ֶאת־ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ַהִּנ ְמ ְצ ִאים ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ְוצּומּו ָע ַלי ְו ַאל־ּ ֹתא ְכלּו ְו ַאל־ ִּתְׁשּתּו‬
‫ְׁשֹלֶׁשת ָי ִמים ַל ְי ָלה ָויֹום ַּגם־ ֲא ִני ְו ַנ ֲערֹ ַתי ָאצּום ֵּכן ּו ְב ֵכן ָאבֹוא ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲאֶׁשר‬
‫לֹא־ ַכ ָּדת ְו ַכ ֲאֶׁשר ָא ַבְד ִּתי ָא ָבְד ִּתי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זיַו ַּי ֲע ֹבר ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַוַּי ַעׂש ְּכ ֹכל ֲאֶׁשר־ ִצְּו ָתה ָע ָליו ֶא ְס ֵּתר׃‬

‫‪23‬‬

Chapter 5 - esther's sacrifice

1. On the third day, Esther put on royal apparel and stood in the inner court
of the king’s palace, facing the king’s palace, while the king was sitting
on his royal throne in the throne room facing the entrance of the palace.

2. As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his
Favour. The king extended to Esther the golden scepter which he had
in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

3. “What troubles you, Queen Esther?” the king asked her. “And what is
your request? Even half the kingdom, it shall be granted you.”

4. “If it please Your Majesty,” Esther replied, “let Your Majesty and Haman
come today to the feast that I have prepared for him.”

5. The king commanded, “Tell Haman to hurry and do Esther’s bidding.” So
the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared.

6. At the wine feast, the king asked Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be
granted you. And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall
be fulfilled.”

7. “My wish,” replied Esther, “my request—
8. if Your Majesty will do me the Favour, if it please Your Majesty to grant

my wish and accede to my request—let Your Majesty and Haman come
to the feast which I will prepare for them; and tomorrow I will do Your
Majesty’s bidding.”
9. That day Haman went out happy and lighthearted. But when Haman
saw Mordecai in the palace gate, and Mordecai did not rise or even stir
on his account, Haman was filled with rage at him.
10. Nevertheless, Haman controlled himself and went home. He sent for his
friends and his wife Zeresh,
11. and Haman told them about his great wealth and his many sons, and
all about how the king had promoted him and advanced him above the
officials and the king’s courtiers.
12. “What is more,” said Haman, “Queen Esther gave a feast, and besides
the king she did not have anyone but me. And tomorrow too I am invited
by her along with the king.
13. Yet all this means nothing to me every time I see that Jew Mordecai
sitting in the palace gate.”

24

‫ ‪.‬אַוְי ִהי ַּבּיֹום ַהּ ְׁש ִליִׁשי ַו ִּת ְלַּבׁש ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַמ ְלכּות ַו ַּת ֲעמֹד ַּב ֲח ַצר ֵּבית־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַהְּפ ִני ִמית‬
‫ֹנ ַכח ֵּבית ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך יֹוֵׁשב ַעל־ִּכ ֵּסא ַמ ְלכּותֹו ְּב ֵבית ַהַּמ ְלכּות ֹנ ַכח ֶּפ ַתח‬
‫ַהָּב ִית׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַוְי ִהי ִכְראֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאת־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ֹע ֶמ ֶדת ֶּב ָח ֵצר ָנְׂש ָאה ֵחן ְּב ֵעי ָניו ַוּיֹוֶׁשט‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֶאת־ַׁשְר ִביט ַה ָּז ָהב ֲאֶׁשר ְּבָידֹו ַו ִּת ְקַרב ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַו ִּת ַּגע ְּברֹאׁש‬
‫ַהּ ַׁשְר ִביט׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גַוּיֹא ֶמר ָלּה ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַמה־ָּלְך ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ּו ַמה־ַּב ָּקָׁש ֵתְך ַעד־ ֲח ִצי ַהַּמ ְלכּות‬
‫ְוִיָּנ ֵתן ָלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ָיבֹוא ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן ַהּיֹום ֶאל־ ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה ֲאֶׁשר־‬
‫ָעִׂשי ִתי לֹו׃‬

‫ ‪.‬הַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַמ ֲהרּו ֶאת־ ָה ָמן ַל ֲעׂשֹות ֶאת־ ְּד ַבר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַו ָּי ֹבא ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן ֶאל־‬
‫ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה ֲאֶׁשר־ ָעְׂש ָתה ֶא ְס ֵּתר׃‬

‫ ‪.‬וַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ְּב ִמְׁש ֵּתה ַה ַּיִין ַמה־ּ ְׁש ֵא ָל ֵתְך ְוִיָּנ ֵתן ָלְך ּו ַמה־ַּב ָּקָׁש ֵתְך ַעד־‬
‫ֲח ִצי ַהַּמ ְלכּות ְו ֵת ָעׂש׃‬

‫ ‪.‬זַו ַּת ַען ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַוּ ֹתא ַמר ְׁש ֵא ָל ִתי ּו ַב ָּקָׁש ִתי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ח ִאם־ ָמ ָצא ִתי ֵחן ְּב ֵעי ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ָל ֵתת ֶאת־ְׁש ֵא ָל ִתי ְו ַל ֲעׂשֹות‬
‫ֶאת־ַּב ָּקָׁש ִתי ָיבֹוא ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן ֶאל־ ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה ֲאֶׁשר ֶא ֱעֶׂשה ָל ֶהם ּו ָמ ָחר ֶא ֱעֶׂשה‬

‫ִּכ ְד ַבר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טַו ֵּי ֵצא ָה ָמן ַּבּיֹום ַההּוא ָׂש ֵמ ַח ְוטֹוב ֵלב ְו ִכְראֹות ָה ָמן ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ְּבַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ְולֹא־ ָקם ְולֹא־ ָזע ִמֶּמּנּו ַו ִּיָּמ ֵלא ָה ָמן ַעל־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֵח ָמה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יוִַּי ְת ַאַּפק ָה ָמן ַוָּיבֹוא ֶאל־ֵּביתֹו ַוִּיְׁש ַלח ַוָּי ֵבא ֶאת־ ֹא ֲה ָביו ְו ֶאת־ ֶזֶרׁש ִאְׁשּתֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איַוְי ַסֵּפר ָל ֶהם ָה ָמן ֶאת־ְּכבֹוד ָעְׁשרֹו ְורֹב ָּב ָניו ְו ֵאת ָּכל־ ֲאֶׁשר ִּגְּדלֹו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ֵאת‬

‫ֲאֶׁשר ִנּ ְׂשאֹו ַעל־ ַהּ ָׂשִרים ְו ַע ְב ֵדי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫‪25‬‬

14. Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows be put
up, fifty cubits high, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai
impaled on it. Then you can go gaily with the king to the feast.” The
proposal pleased Haman, and he had the gallows put up.

tSocmaneetthEisstQheRr!code

Chapter 6 - Mordechai's Reward

1. That night, sleep deserted the king, and he ordered the book of records,
the annals, to be brought; and it was read to the king.

2. There it was found written that Mordecai had denounced Bigthana and
Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the threshold, who had
plotted to do away with King Achashveirosh.

3. “What Honour or advancement has been conferred on Mordecai for
this?” the king inquired. “Nothing at all has been done for him,” replied
the king’s servants who were in attendance on him.

4. “Who is in the court?” the king asked. For Haman had just entered
the outer court of the royal palace, to speak to the king about having
Mordecai hanged on the gallows he had prepared for him.

5. “It is Haman standing in the court,” the king’s servants answered him.
“Let him enter,” said the king.

26

‫ ‪.‬ביַוּיֹא ֶמר ָה ָמן ַאף לֹא־ ֵה ִבי ָאה ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִעם־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאל־ ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה ֲאֶׁשר־‬
‫ָעָׂש ָתה ִּכי ִאם־אֹו ִתי ְו ַגם־ ְל ָמ ָחר ֲא ִני ָקרּוא־ ָלּה ִעם־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬גיְו ָכל־ ֶזה ֵאי ֶנּנּו ׁ ֹשֶוה ִלי ְּב ָכל־ ֵעת ֲאֶׁשר ֲא ִני רֹ ֶאה ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַה ְּיהּו ִדי יֹוֵׁשב ְּבַׁש ַער‬
‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דיַוּ ֹתא ֶמר לֹו ֶזֶרׁש ִאְׁשּתֹו ְו ָכל־ ֹא ֲה ָביו ַי ֲעׂשּו־ ֵעץ ָּג ֹבַּה ֲח ִמּ ִׁשים ַאָּמה ּו ַבּ ֹב ֶקר ֱאמֹר‬
‫ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ְוִי ְתלּו ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ָע ָליו ּו ֹבא־ ִעם־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאל ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה ָׂש ֵמ ַח ַוִּיי ַטב ַה ָּד ָבר‬

‫ִל ְפ ֵני ָה ָמן ַו ַּי ַעׂש ָה ֵעץ׃‬

‫ ‪.‬אַּבַּל ְי ָלה ַההּוא ָנ ְד ָדה ְׁש ַנת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ְל ָה ִביא ֶאת־ ֵס ֶפר ַה ִּז ְכרֹנֹות ִּד ְבֵרי ַהָּי ִמים‬
‫ַו ִּי ְהיּו ִנ ְקָר ִאים ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַו ִּיָּמ ֵצא ָכתּוב ֲאֶׁשר ִה ִּגיד ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַעל־ִּב ְג ָת ָנא ָו ֶתֶרׁש ְׁש ֵני ָסִרי ֵסי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִמּׁ ֹש ְמֵרי‬
‫ַה ַּסף ֲאֶׁשר ִּב ְקׁשּו ִלְׁשֹל ַח ָיד ַּבֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש׃‬

‫ ‪.‬גַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַמה־ַּנ ֲעָׂשה ְי ָקר ּו ְגדּוָּלה ְל ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַעל־ ֶזה ַוּ ֹיא ְמרּו ַנ ֲעֵרי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ְמָׁשְר ָתיו לֹא־ ַנ ֲעָׂשה ִעּמֹו ָּד ָבר׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִמי ֶב ָח ֵצר ְו ָה ָמן ָּבא ַל ֲח ַצר ֵּבית־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַה ִחיצֹו ָנה ֵלאמֹר ַלֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ִל ְתלֹות ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַעל־ ָה ֵעץ ֲאֶׁשר־ ֵה ִכין לֹו׃‬

‫ ‪.‬הַוּ ֹיא ְמרּו ַנ ֲעֵרי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֵא ָליו ִהֵּנה ָה ָמן ֹע ֵמד ֶּב ָח ֵצר ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָיבֹוא׃‬

‫‪27‬‬

6. Haman entered, and the king asked him, “What should be done for a
man whom the king desires to Honour?” Haman said to himself, “Whom
would the king desire to Honour more than me?”

7. So Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to
Honour,

8. let royal garb which the king has worn be brought, and a horse on which
the king has ridden and on whose head a royal diadem has been set;

9. and let the attire and the horse be put in the charge of one of the king’s
noble courtiers. And let the man whom the king desires to Honour be
attired and paraded on the horse through the city square, while they
proclaim before him: This is what is done for the man whom the king
desires to Honour!”

10. “Quick, then!” said the king to Haman. “Get the garb and the horse, as
you have said, and do this to Mordecai the Jew, who sits in the king’s
gate. Omit nothing of all you have proposed!”

11. So Haman took the garb and the horse and arrayed Mordecai and
paraded him through the city square; and he proclaimed before him:
This is what is done for the man whom the king desires to Honour!

12. Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate, while Haman hurried home,
his head covered in shame.

13. There Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had
befallen him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai,
before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish stock, you will not
overcome him; you will fall before him to your ruin.”

14. While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and
hurriedly brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.

28

‫ ‪.‬וַו ָּיבֹוא ָה ָמן ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר לֹו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַמה־ ַל ֲעׂשֹות ָּב ִאיׁש ֲאֶׁשר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָח ֵפץ ִּבי ָקרֹו ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר‬
‫ָה ָמן ְּב ִלּבֹו ְל ִמי ַי ְחּ ֹפץ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַל ֲעׂשֹות ְי ָקר יֹו ֵתר ִמֶּמִּני׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זַוּיֹא ֶמר ָה ָמן ֶאל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִאיׁש ֲאֶׁשר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָח ֵפץ ִּבי ָקרֹו׃‬

‫ ‪.‬ח ָי ִביאּו ְלבּוׁש ַמ ְלכּות ֲאֶׁשר ָל ַבׁש־ּבֹו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְוסּוס ֲאֶׁשר ָר ַכב ָע ָליו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַו ֲאֶׁשר‬
‫ִנ ַּתן ֶּכ ֶתר ַמ ְלכּות ְּברֹאׁשֹו׃‬

‫ ‪.‬טְו ָנתֹון ַהְּלבּוׁש ְו ַהּסּוס ַעל־ ַיד־ ִאיׁש ִמּ ָׂשֵרי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַהַּפְר ְּת ִמים ְו ִה ְלִּביׁשּו ֶאת־ ָה ִאיׁש‬
‫ֲאֶׁשר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָח ֵפץ ִּבי ָקרֹו ְו ִהְרִּכי ֻבהּו ַעל־ ַהּסּוס ִּבְרחֹוב ָה ִעיר ְו ָקְראּו ְל ָפ ָניו ָּכ ָכה‬

‫ֵי ָעֶׂשה ָל ִאיׁש ֲאֶׁשר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָח ֵפץ ִּבי ָקרֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ָה ָמן ַמ ֵהר ַקח ֶאת־ ַהְּלבּוׁש ְו ֶאת־ ַהּסּוס ַּכ ֲאֶׁשר ִּדַּבְר ָּת ַו ֲעֵׂשה־ ֵכן‬

‫ְל ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַה ְּיהּו ִדי ַהּיֹוֵׁשב ְּבַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַאל־ ַּתֵּפל ָּד ָבר ִמּ ֹכל ֲאֶׁשר ִּדַּבְר ָּת׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איַוִּי ַּקח ָה ָמן ֶאת־ ַהְּלבּוׁש ְו ֶאת־ ַהּסּוס ַו ַּי ְלֵּבׁש ֶאת־ ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַו ַּיְרִּכי ֵבהּו ִּבְרחֹוב ָה ִעיר‬

‫ַו ִּי ְקָרא ְל ָפ ָניו ָּכ ָכה ֵי ָעֶׂשה ָל ִאיׁש ֲאֶׁשר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָח ֵפץ ִּבי ָקרֹו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ביַו ָּיָׁשב ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶאל־ַׁש ַער ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן ִנ ְד ַחף ֶאל־ֵּביתֹו ָא ֵבל ַו ֲחפּוי רֹאׁש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיַוְי ַסֵּפר ָה ָמן ְל ֶזֶרׁש ִאְׁשּתֹו ּו ְל ָכל־ ֹא ֲה ָביו ֵאת ָּכל־ ֲאֶׁשר ָקָרהּו ַוּ ֹיא ְמרּו לֹו ֲח ָכ ָמיו‬
‫ְו ֶזֶרׁש ִאְׁשּתֹו ִאם ִמ ֶּזַרע ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲאֶׁשר ַה ִחּלֹו ָת ִל ְנּ ֹפל ְל ָפ ָניו לֹא־תּו ַכל לֹו‬

‫ִּכי־ ָנפֹול ִּתּפֹול ְל ָפ ָניו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דיעֹו ָדם ְמ ַדְּבִרים ִעּמֹו ְו ָסִרי ֵסי ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִה ִּגיעּו ַו ַּי ְב ִהלּו ְל ָה ִביא ֶאת־ ָה ָמן ֶאל־ ַהִּמְׁש ֶּתה‬

‫ֲאֶׁשר־ ָעְׂש ָתה ֶא ְס ֵּתר׃‬

‫‪29‬‬

Chapter 7 - Hangman

1. So the king and Haman came to feast with Queen Esther.
2. On the second day, the king again asked Esther at the wine feast, “What

is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your
request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”
3. Queen Esther replied: “If Your Majesty will do me the Favour, and if it
pleases Your Majesty, let my life be granted me as my wish, and my
people as my request.
4. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, massacred,
and exterminated. Had we only been sold as slaves, I would have kept
silent; for the adversary is not worthy of the king’s trouble.”
5. Thereupon King Achashveirosh demanded of Queen Esther, “Who is he
and where is he who dared to do this?”
6. “The adversary and enemy,” replied Esther, “is this evil Haman!” And
Haman trembled in terror before the king and the queen.
7. The king, in his fury, left the wine feast for the palace garden, while
Haman remained to plead with Queen Esther for his life; for he saw that
the king had resolved to destroy him.
8. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet room,
Haman was lying prostrate on the couch on which Esther reclined. “Does
he mean,” cried the king, “to assault the queen while I am present?”
No sooner did these words leave the king’s lips than Haman’s face was
covered.
9. Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said,
“What is more, a gallows is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high,
which Haman made for Mordecai—the man whose words saved the
king.” “Hang him on it!” the king ordered.
10. So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had put up for Mordecai,
and the king’s fury abated.

30

‫ ‪.‬אַו ָּי ֹבא ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָה ָמן ִלְׁשּתֹות ִעם־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַּגם ַּבּיֹום ַהּ ֵׁש ִני ְּב ִמְׁש ֵּתה ַה ַּיִין ַמה־ּ ְׁש ֵא ָל ֵתְך ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה‬

‫ְו ִתָּנ ֵתן ָלְך ּו ַמה־ַּב ָּקָׁש ֵתְך ַעד־ ֲח ִצי ַהַּמ ְלכּות ְו ֵת ָעׂש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גַו ַּת ַען ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ַוּ ֹתא ַמר ִאם־ ָמ ָצא ִתי ֵחן ְּב ֵעי ֶניָך ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב‬

‫ִּתָּנ ֶתן־ ִלי ַנ ְפִׁשי ִּבְׁש ֵא ָל ִתי ְו ַעִּמי ְּב ַב ָּקָׁש ִתי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דִּכי ִנ ְמַּכְרנּו ֲא ִני ְו ַעִּמי ְל ַהְׁש ִמיד ַל ֲהרֹוג ּו ְל ַאֵּבד ְו ִאּלּו ַל ֲע ָבִדים ְו ִלְׁש ָפחֹות ִנ ְמַּכְרנּו‬

‫ֶה ֱחַרְׁש ִּתי ִּכי ֵאין ַהָּצר ׁ ֹשֶוה ְּב ֵנ ֶזק ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬הַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִמי הּוא ֶזה ְו ֵאי־ ֶזה הּוא ֲאֶׁשר־‬

‫ְמ ָלאֹו ִלּבֹו ַל ֲעׂשֹות ֵּכן׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וַוּ ֹתא ֶמר־ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ִאיׁש ַצר ְואֹוֵיב ָה ָמן ָהָרע ַה ֶּזה ְו ָה ָמן ִנ ְב ַעת ִמִּל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ְו ַהַּמ ְלָּכה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זְו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָקם ַּב ֲח ָמתֹו ִמִּמְׁש ֵּתה ַה ַּיִין ֶאל־ ִּגַּנת ַהִּבי ָתן ְו ָה ָמן ָע ַמד ְל ַב ֵּקׁש ַעל־ ַנ ְפׁשֹו‬

‫ֵמ ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִּכי ָר ָאה ִּכי־ ָכ ְל ָתה ֵא ָליו ָהָר ָעה ֵמ ֵאת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חְו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָׁשב ִמ ִּגַּנת ַהִּבי ָתן ֶאל־ֵּבית ִמְׁש ֵּתה ַה ַּיִין ְו ָה ָמן ֹנ ֵפל ַעל־ ַהִּמ ָּטה ֲאֶׁשר‬
‫ֶא ְס ֵּתר ָע ֶלי ָה ַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲה ַגם ִל ְכּבֹוׁש ֶאת־ ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ִעִּמי ַּבָּבִית ַה ָּד ָבר ָי ָצא ִמִּפי‬

‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ּו ְפ ֵני ָה ָמן ָחפּו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טַוּיֹא ֶמר ַחְרבֹו ָנה ֶא ָחד ִמן־ ַה ָּסִרי ִסים ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַּגם ִהֵּנה־ ָה ֵעץ ֲאֶׁשר־ ָעָׂשה ָה ָמן‬
‫ְל ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲאֶׁשר ִּדֶּבר־טֹוב ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֹע ֵמד ְּב ֵבית ָה ָמן ָּג ֹבַּה ֲח ִמּ ִׁשים ַאָּמה ַוּ ֹיא ֶמר‬

‫ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְּת ֻלהּו ָע ָליו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יַו ִּי ְתלּו ֶאת־ ָה ָמן ַעל־ ָה ֵעץ ֲאֶׁשר־ ֵה ִכין ְל ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַו ֲח ַמת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָׁש ָכ ָכה׃‬

‫‪31‬‬

Chapter 8 - The tables turn

1. That very day King Achashveirosh gave the property of Haman, the
enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Mordecai presented himself to the
king, for Esther had revealed how he was related to her.

2. The king slipped off his ring, which he had taken back from Haman,
and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s
property.

3. Esther spoke to the king again, falling at his feet and weeping, and
beseeching him to avert the evil plotted by Haman the Agagite against
the Jews.

4. The king extended the golden scepter to Esther, and Esther arose and
stood before the king.

5. “If it please Your Majesty,” she said, “and if I have won your Favour and
the proposal seems right to Your Majesty, and if I am pleasing to you—
let dispatches be written countermanding those which were written
by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, embodying his plot to
annihilate the Jews throughout the king’s provinces.

6. For how can I bear to see the disaster which will befall my people! And
how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred!”

7. Then King Achashveirosh said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “I
have given Haman’s property to Esther, and he has been hanged on the
gallows for scheming against the Jews.

8. And you may further write with regard to the Jews as you see fit. [Write
it] in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s signet, for an edict that
has been written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet
may not be revoked.”

9. So the king’s scribes were summoned at that time, on the twenty-
third day of the third month, that is, the month of Sivan; and letters
were written, at Mordecai’s dictation, to the Jews and to the satraps,
the governors and the officials of the one hundred and twenty-seven
provinces from India to Ethiopia: to every province in its own script and
to every people in its own language, and to the Jews in their own script
and language.

10. He had them written in the name of King Achashveirosh and sealed with
the king’s signet. Letters were dispatched by mounted couriers, riding
horses used in the king’s service, bred of the royal steed.

32

‫ ‪.‬א ַּבּיֹום ַההּוא ָנ ַתן ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ֶאת־ֵּבית ָה ָמן צֵֹרר היהודיים‬
‫[ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים] ּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ָּבא ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּכי־ ִה ִּגי ָדה ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַמה הּוא־ ָלּה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬בַו ָּי ַסר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶאת־ ַטַּב ְעּתֹו ֲאֶׁשר ֶה ֱע ִביר ֵמ ָה ָמן ַו ִּי ְּת ָנּה ְל ָמְר ֳּד ָכי ַו ָּתֶׂשם ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֶאת־‬
‫ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַעל־ֵּבית ָה ָמן׃‬

‫ ‪.‬גַוּתֹו ֶסף ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַו ְּתַדֵּבר ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַו ִּתּ ֹפל ִל ְפ ֵני ַר ְג ָליו ַו ֵּת ְבְּך ַו ִּת ְת ַחֶּנן־לֹו ְל ַה ֲע ִביר‬
‫ֶאת־ָר ַעת ָה ָמן ָה ֲא ָג ִגי ְו ֵאת ַמ ֲחַׁש ְבּתֹו ֲאֶׁשר ָחַׁשב ַעל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דַוּיֹוֶׁשט ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ֵאת ַׁשְר ִבט ַה ָּז ָהב ַו ָּת ָקם ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַו ַּת ֲעמֹד ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬הַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ְו ִאם־ ָמ ָצא ִתי ֵחן ְל ָפ ָניו ְו ָכֵׁשר ַה ָּד ָבר ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ְוטֹו ָבה ֲא ִני ְּב ֵעי ָניו ִיָּכ ֵתב ְל ָהִׁשיב ֶאת־ ַה ְּס ָפִרים ַמ ֲחֶׁש ֶבת ָה ָמן ֶּבן־ ַהְּמ ָד ָתא ָה ֲא ָג ִגי‬

‫ֲאֶׁשר ָּכ ַתב ְל ַאֵּבד ֶאת־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וִּכי ֵאי ָכ ָכה אּו ַכל ְוָר ִאי ִתי ָּבָר ָעה ֲאֶׁשר־ ִי ְמ ָצא ֶאת־ ַעִּמי ְו ֵאי ָכ ָכה אּו ַכל ְוָר ִאי ִתי‬

‫ְּב ָא ְב ַדן מֹו ַל ְד ִּתי׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹׁש ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ּו ְל ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַה ְּיהּו ִדי ִהֵּנה ֵבית־ ָה ָמן ָנ ַת ִּתי‬

‫ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ְו ֹאתֹו ָּתלּו ַעל־ ָה ֵעץ ַעל ֲאֶׁשר־ָׁש ַלח ָידֹו ַּב ְּיהּו ִדים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חְו ַא ֶּתם ִּכ ְתבּו ַעל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ַּכּטֹוב ְּב ֵעי ֵני ֶכם ְּבֵׁשם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ִח ְתמּו ְּב ַטַּב ַעת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬

‫ִּכי־ ְכ ָתב ֲאֶׁשר־ ִנ ְכ ָּתב ְּבֵׁשם־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַנ ְחּתֹום ְּב ַטַּב ַעת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֵאין ְל ָהִׁשיב׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טַו ִּי ָּקְראּו ֹס ְפֵרי־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָּב ֵעת־ ַה ִהיא ַּב ֹח ֶדׁש ַהּ ְׁש ִליִׁשי הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש ִסיָון ִּבְׁשלֹוָׁשה‬
‫ְו ֶעְׂשִרים ּבֹו ַוִּיָּכ ֵתב ְּכ ָכל־ ֲאֶׁשר־ ִצָּוה ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶאל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְו ֶאל ָה ֲא ַחְׁש ַּדְרְּפ ִנים־‬
‫ְו ַהַּפחֹות ְוָׂשֵרי ַהְּמ ִדינֹות ֲאֶׁשר ֵמ ֹהּדּו ְו ַעד־ּכּוׁש ֶׁש ַבע ְו ֶעְׂשִרים ּו ֵמ ָאה ְמ ִדי ָנה‬
‫ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ִּכ ְכ ָת ָבּה ְו ַעם ָו ָעם ִּכ ְלׁ ֹשנֹו ְו ֶאל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ִּכ ְכ ָת ָבם ְו ִכ ְלׁשֹו ָנם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬יַו ִּי ְכּ ֹתב ְּבֵׁשם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹׁש ַוַּי ְחּ ֹתם ְּב ַטַּב ַעת ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַוִּיְׁש ַלח ְס ָפִרים ְּבַיד ָהָר ִצים‬

‫ַּבּסּו ִסים רֹ ְכ ֵבי ָהֶר ֶכׁש ָה ֲא ַחְׁש ְּתָר ִנים ְּב ֵני ָהַרָּמ ִכים׃‬

‫‪33‬‬

11. to this effect: The king has permitted the Jews of every city to assemble
and fight for their lives; if any people or province attacks them, they
may destroy, massacre, and exterminate its armed force together with
women and children, and plunder their possessions—

12. on a single day in all the provinces of King Achashveirosh, namely, on the
thirteenth day of the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.

13. The text of the document was to be issued as a law in every single
province: it was to be publicly displayed to all the peoples, so that
the Jews should be ready for that day to avenge themselves on their
enemies.

14. The couriers, mounted on royal steeds, went out in urgent haste at the
king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in the capital Shushan.

15. Mordecai left the king’s presence in royal robes of blue and white, with
a magnificent crown of gold and a mantle of fine linen and purple wool.
And the city of Shushan rang with joyous cries.

16. The Jews enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and Honour.
17. And in every province and in every city, when the king’s command and

decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and
a holiday. And many of the people of the land professed to be Jews, for
the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

Chapter 9 - hatred's LAST STAND

1. And so, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—that is, the month
of Adar—when the king’s command and decree were to be executed,
the very day on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to get
them in their power, the opposite happened, and the Jews got their
enemies in their power.

2. Throughout the provinces of King Achashveirosh, the Jews mustered in
their cities to attack those who sought their hurt; and no one could
withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen upon all the peoples.

34

‫ ‪.‬אי ֲאֶׁשר ָנ ַתן ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ְּב ָכל־ ִעיר־ָו ִעיר ְל ִה ָּק ֵהל ְו ַל ֲעמֹד ַעל־ ַנ ְפָׁשם‬
‫ְל ַהְׁש ִמיד ְו ַל ֲהרֹג ּו ְל ַאֵּבד ֶאת־ָּכל־ ֵחיל ַעם ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ַהָּצִרים ֹא ָתם ַטף ְו ָנִׁשים‬

‫ּוְׁש ָל ָלם ָלבֹוז׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ביְּביֹום ֶא ָחד ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ִּבְׁשלֹוָׁשה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ְׁש ֵנים־ ָעָׂשר‬

‫הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש ֲאָדר׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיַּפ ְתֶׁש ֶגן ַהְּכ ָתב ְל ִהָּנ ֵתן ָּדת ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ָּגלּוי ְל ָכל־ ָה ַעִּמים ְו ִל ְהיֹות‬
‫היהודיים [ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים] עתודים [ ֲע ִתי ִדים] ַלּיֹום ַה ֶּזה ְל ִהָּנ ֵקם ֵמ ֹאְי ֵבי ֶהם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬די ָהָר ִצים רֹ ְכ ֵבי ָהֶר ֶכׁש ָה ֲא ַחְׁש ְּתָר ִנים ָי ְצאּו ְמ ֹב ָה ִלים ּו ְדחּו ִפים ִּבְד ַבר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ַה ָּדת‬

‫ִנ ְּת ָנה ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬טוּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ָי ָצא ִמִּל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִּב ְלבּוׁש ַמ ְלכּות ְּת ֵכ ֶלת ָוחּור ַו ֲע ֶטֶרת ָז ָהב ְּגדֹו ָלה‬

‫ְו ַת ְכִריְך ּבּוץ ְו ַאְר ָּג ָמן ְו ָה ִעיר ׁשּוָׁשן ָצ ֲה ָלה ְוָׂש ֵמ ָחה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זט ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ָה ְי ָתה אֹוָרה ְוִׂש ְמ ָחה ְוָׂשׂ ֹשן ִוי ָקר׃‬

‫ ‪.‬זיּו ְב ָכל־ ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְב ָכל־ ִעיר ָו ִעיר ְמקֹום ֲאֶׁשר ְּד ַבר־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְו ָדתֹו ַמ ִּגי ַע ִׂש ְמ ָחה‬
‫ְוָׂשׂשֹון ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ִמְׁש ֶּתה ְויֹום טֹוב ְוַרִּבים ֵמ ַעֵּמי ָה ָאֶרץ ִמ ְתַי ֲה ִדים ִּכי־ ָנ ַפל ַּפ ַחד־‬
‫ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲע ֵלי ֶהם׃‬

‫ ‪.‬אּובְִׁש ֵנים ָעָׂשר ֹח ֶדׁש הּוא־ ֹח ֶדׁש ֲאָדר ִּבְׁשלֹוָׁשה ָעָׂשר יֹום ּבֹו ֲאֶׁשר ִה ִּגי ַע ְּד ַבר־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך‬
‫ְו ָדתֹו ְל ֵה ָעׂשֹות ַּבּיֹום ֲאֶׁשר ִׂשְּברּו ֹא ְי ֵבי ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ִלְׁשלֹוט ָּב ֶהם ְו ַנ ֲהפֹוְך הּוא ֲאֶׁשר‬

‫ִיְׁש ְלטּו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֵהָּמה ְּבׂ ֹש ְנ ֵאי ֶהם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ב ִנ ְק ֲהלּו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְּב ָעֵרי ֶהם ְּב ָכל־ ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֳא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ִלְׁשֹל ַח ָיד ִּב ְמ ַב ְקֵׁשי‬

‫ָר ָע ָתם ְו ִאיׁש לֹא־ ָע ַמד ִל ְפ ֵני ֶהם ִּכי־ ָנ ַפל ַּפ ְח ָּדם ַעל־ָּכל־ ָה ַעִּמים׃‬

‫‪35‬‬

3. Indeed, all the officials of the provinces—the satraps, the governors,
and the king’s stewards—showed deference to the Jews, because the
fear of Mordecai had fallen upon them.

4. For Mordecai was now powerful in the royal palace, and his fame was
spreading through all the provinces; the man Mordecai was growing
ever more powerful.

5. So the Jews struck at their enemies with the sword, slaying and
destroying; they wreaked their will upon their enemies.

6. In the capital Shushan the Jews killed a total of five hundred men.
7. They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8. Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9. Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha,
10. the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the foe of the Jews.

But they did not lay hands on the spoil.
11. When the number of those slain in the capital Shushan was reported on

that same day to the king,
12. the king said to Queen Esther, “In the capital Shushan alone the Jews

have killed a total of five hundred men, as well as the ten sons of Haman.
What then must they have done in the provinces of the realm! What is
your wish now? It shall be granted you. And what else is your request?
It shall be fulfilled.”
13. “If it please Your Majesty,” Esther replied, “let the Jews in Shushan be
permitted to act tomorrow also as they did today; and let Haman’s ten
sons be displayed on the gallows.”
14. The king ordered that this should be done, and the decree was
proclaimed in Shushan. Haman’s ten sons were hanged:
15. and the Jews in Shushan mustered again on the fourteenth day of Adar
and slew three hundred men in Shushan. But they did not lay hands on
the spoil.
16. The rest of the Jews, those in the king’s provinces, likewise mustered and
fought for their lives. They disposed of their enemies, killing seventy-five
thousand of their foes; but they did not lay hands on the spoil.
17. That was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar; and they rested
on the fourteenth day and made it a day of feasting and merrymaking.

36

‫ ‪.‬גְו ָכל־ָׂשֵרי ַהְּמ ִדינֹות ְו ָה ֲא ַחְׁש ַּדְרְּפ ִנים ְו ַהַּפחֹות ְו ֹעֵׂשי ַהְּמ ָלא ָכה ֲאֶׁשר ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ְמ ַנּ ְׂש ִאים‬
‫ֶאת־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ִּכי־ ָנ ַפל ַּפ ַחד־ ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲע ֵלי ֶהם׃‬

‫ ‪.‬דִּכי־ ָגדֹול ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ְּב ֵבית ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְוָׁש ְמעֹו הֹו ֵלְך ְּב ָכל־ ַהְּמ ִדינֹות ִּכי־ ָה ִאיׁש ָמְר ֳּד ַכי הֹו ֵלְך‬
‫ְו ָגדֹול׃‬

‫ ‪.‬הַו ַּיּכּו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְּב ָכל־ ֹאְי ֵבי ֶהם ַמַּכת־ ֶחֶרב ְו ֶהֶרג ְו ַא ְב ָדן ַו ַּי ֲעׂשּו ְבׂ ֹש ְנ ֵאי ֶהם ִּכְרצֹו ָנם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וּו ְבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ָהְרגּו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְו ַאֵּבד ֲח ֵמׁש ֵמאֹות ִאיׁש׃‬

‫ ‪.‬ז ְו ֵאת ַּפְרַׁש ְנ ָּד ָתא ְו ֵאת ַּד ְלפֹון ְו ֵאת ַא ְסָּפ ָתא׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ח ְו ֵאת ּפֹוָר ָתא ְו ֵאת ֲא ַד ְל ָיא ְו ֵאת ֲאִרי ָד ָתא׃‬
‫ ‪.‬ט ְו ֵאת ַּפְר ַמְׁש ָּתא ְו ֵאת ֲאִרי ַסי ְו ֵאת ֲאִר ַדי ְו ֵאת ַו ְי ָז ָתא׃‬

‫ ‪.‬י ֲעֶׂשֶרת ְּב ֵני ָה ָמן ֶּבן־ ַהְּמ ָד ָתא ֹצֵרר ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ָהָרגּו ּו ַבִּב ָּזה לֹא ָׁש ְלחּו ֶאת־ ָי ָדם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬איַּבּיֹום ַההּוא ָּבא ִמ ְסַּפר ַה ֲהרּו ִגים ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך׃‬

‫ ‪.‬ביַוּיֹא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ְּבׁשּוַׁשן ַהִּביָרה ָהְרגּו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְו ַאֵּבד ֲח ֵמׁש ֵמאֹות‬
‫ִאיׁש ְו ֵאת ֲעֶׂשֶרת ְּב ֵני־ ָה ָמן ִּבְׁש ָאר ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֶמה ָעׂשּו ּו ַמה־ּ ְׁש ֵא ָל ֵתְך ְוִיָּנ ֵתן ָלְך‬

‫ּו ַמה־ַּב ָּקָׁש ֵתְך עֹוד ְו ֵת ָעׂש׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גיַוּ ֹתא ֶמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ִאם־ ַעל־ ַהֶּמ ֶלְך טֹוב ִיָּנ ֵתן ַּגם־ ָמ ָחר ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ַל ֲעׂשֹות‬

‫ְּכ ָדת ַהּיֹום ְו ֵאת ֲעֶׂשֶרת ְּב ֵני־ ָה ָמן ִי ְתלּו ַעל־ ָה ֵעץ׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דיַוּ ֹיא ֶמר ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ְל ֵה ָעׂשֹות ֵּכן ַו ִּתָּנ ֵתן ָּדת ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ְו ֵאת ֲעֶׂשֶרת ְּב ֵני־ ָה ָמן ָּתלּו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וטַו ִּי ָּק ֲהלּו היהודיים [ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים] ֲאֶׁשר־ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ַּגם ְּביֹום ַאְרָּב ָעה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ֲא ָדר‬

‫ַוַּי ַהְרגּו ְבׁשּוָׁשן ְׁשֹלׁש ֵמאֹות ִאיׁש ּו ַבִּב ָּזה לֹא ָׁש ְלחּו ֶאת־ ָי ָדם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זטּוְׁש ָאר ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ִּב ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ִנ ְק ֲהלּו ְו ָעמֹד ַעל־ ַנ ְפָׁשם ְונֹו ַח ֵמ ֹא ְי ֵבי ֶהם‬

‫ְו ָהרֹג ְּבׂ ֹש ְנ ֵאי ֶהם ֲח ִמּ ָׁשה ְוִׁש ְב ִעים ָא ֶלף ּו ַבִּב ָּזה לֹא ָׁש ְלחּו ֶאת־ ָי ָדם׃‬

‫‪37‬‬

18. (But the Jews in Shushan mustered on both the thirteenth and fourteenth
days, and so rested on the fifteenth, and made it a day of feasting and
merrymaking.)

19. That is why village Jews, who live in unwalled towns, observe the
fourteenth day of the month of Adar and make it a day of merrymaking
and feasting, and as a holiday and an occasion for sending gifts to one
another.

20. Mordecai recorded these events. And he sent dispatches to all the Jews
throughout the provinces of King Achashveirosh, near and far,

21. charging them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar,
every year—

22. the same days on which the Jews enjoyed relief from their foes and the
same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and
mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of
feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one
another and presents to the poor.

23. The Jews accordingly assumed as an obligation that which they had
begun to practice and which Mordecai prescribed for them.

24. For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of all the Jews, had
plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast pur—that is, the lot—with
intent to crush and exterminate them.

25. But when [Esther] came before the king, he commanded: “With the
promulgation of this decree, let the evil plot, which he devised against
the Jews, recoil on his own head!” So they hanged him and his sons on
the stake.

26. For that reason these days were named Purim, after 'pur' (casting lots).
In view, then, of all the instructions in the said letter and of what they
had experienced in that matter and what had befallen them,

27. the Jews undertook and irrevocably obligated themselves and their
descendants, and all who might join them, to observe these two days in
the manner prescribed and at the proper time each year.

28. Consequently, these days are recalled and observed in every generation:
by every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim
shall never cease among the Jews, and the memory of them shall never
perish among their descendants.

38

‫ ‪.‬זיְּביֹום־ְׁשֹלָׁשה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ֲא ָדר ְונֹו ַח ְּב ַאְרָּב ָעה ָעָׂשר ּבֹו ְו ָעׂ ֹשה ֹאתֹו יֹום ִמְׁש ֶּתה‬
‫ְוִׂש ְמ ָחה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬חיוהיהודיים [ְו ַה ְּיהּו ִדים] ֲאֶׁשר־ְּבׁשּוָׁשן ִנ ְק ֲהלּו ִּבְׁשֹלָׁשה ָעָׂשר ּבֹו ּו ְב ַאְרָּב ָעה ָעָׂשר ּבֹו‬
‫ְונֹו ַח ַּב ֲח ִמּ ָׁשה ָעָׂשר ּבֹו ְו ָעׂ ֹשה ֹאתֹו יֹום ִמְׁש ֶּתה ְוִׂש ְמ ָחה׃‬

‫ ‪.‬טי ַעל־ֵּכן ַה ְּיהּו ִדים הפרוזים [ ַהְּפָר ִזים] ַהּיְֹׁש ִבים ְּב ָעֵרי ַהְּפָרזֹות ֹעִׂשים ֵאת יֹום‬
‫ַאְרָּב ָעה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ֲאָדר ִׂש ְמ ָחה ּו ִמְׁש ֶּתה ְויֹום טֹוב ּו ִמְׁשלֹו ַח ָמנֹות ִאיׁש ְלֵר ֵעהּו׃‬
‫ ‪.‬כַו ִּי ְכּ ֹתב ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֶאת־ ַה ְּד ָבִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה ַו ִּיְׁש ַלח ְס ָפִרים ֶאל־ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲאֶׁשר ְּב ָכל־‬

‫ְמ ִדינֹות ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ַה ְּקרֹו ִבים ְו ָהְרחֹו ִקים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬אכ ְל ַק ֵּים ֲע ֵלי ֶהם ִל ְהיֹות ֹעִׂשים ֵאת יֹום ַאְרָּב ָעה ָעָׂשר ְל ֹח ֶדׁש ֲא ָדר ְו ֵאת יֹום־ ֲח ִמּ ָׁשה‬

‫ָעָׂשר ּבֹו ְּב ָכל־ָׁש ָנה ְוָׁש ָנה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בכַּכ ָּי ִמים ֲאֶׁשר־ ָנחּו ָב ֶהם ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֵמאֹוְי ֵבי ֶהם ְו ַה ֹח ֶדׁש ֲאֶׁשר ֶנ ְהַּפְך ָל ֶהם ִמָּיגֹון‬
‫ְלִׂש ְמ ָחה ּו ֵמ ֵא ֶבל ְליֹום טֹוב ַל ֲעׂשֹות אֹו ָתם ְי ֵמי ִמְׁש ֶּתה ְוִׂש ְמ ָחה ּו ִמְׁשלֹו ַח ָמנֹות‬

‫ִאיׁש ְלֵר ֵעהּו ּו ַמ ָּתנֹות ָל ֶא ְביֹו ִנים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גכְו ִקֵּבל ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֵאת ֲאֶׁשר־ ֵה ֵחּלּו ַל ֲעׂשֹות ְו ֵאת ֲאֶׁשר־ָּכ ַתב ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲא ֵלי ֶהם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬דכִּכי ָה ָמן ֶּבן־ ַהְּמ ָד ָתא ָה ֲא ָג ִגי צֵֹרר ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ָחַׁשב ַעל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְל ַאְּב ָדם ְו ִהִּפיל‬

‫ּפּור הּוא ַהּגֹוָרל ְל ֻהָּמם ּו ְל ַאְּב ָדם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬הכּו ְב ֹב ָאּה ִל ְפ ֵני ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ָא ַמר ִעם־ ַה ֵּס ֶפר ָיׁשּוב ַמ ֲחַׁש ְבּתֹו ָהָר ָעה ֲאֶׁשר־ ָחַׁשב ַעל־‬

‫ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ַעל־רֹאׁשֹו ְו ָתלּו ֹאתֹו ְו ֶאת־ָּב ָניו ַעל־ ָה ֵעץ׃‬
‫ ‪.‬וכ ַעל־ֵּכן ָקְראּו ַל ָּי ִמים ָה ֵאֶּלה פּוִרים ַעל־ֵׁשם ַהּפּור ַעל־ֵּכן ַעל־ָּכל־ ִּד ְבֵרי ָה ִא ֶּגֶרת‬

‫ַהּ ֹזאת ּו ָמה־ָראּו ַעל־ָּכ ָכה ּו ָמה ִה ִּגי ַע ֲא ֵלי ֶהם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬זכ ִק ְּימּו וקבל [ְו ִקְּבלּו] ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֲע ֵלי ֶהם ְו ַעל־ ַזְר ָעם ְו ַעל ָּכל־ ַהִּנ ְלִוים ֲע ֵלי ֶהם ְולֹא‬
‫ַי ֲעבֹור ִל ְהיֹות ֹעִׂשים ֵאת ְׁש ֵני ַה ָּי ִמים ָה ֵאֶּלה ִּכ ְכ ָת ָבם ְו ִכ ְז ַמָּנם ְּב ָכל־ָׁש ָנה ְוָׁש ָנה׃‬
‫ ‪.‬חכְו ַה ָּי ִמים ָה ֵאֶּלה ִנ ְזָּכִרים ְו ַנ ֲעִׂשים ְּב ָכל־ּדֹור ָודֹור ִמְׁשָּפ ָחה ּו ִמְׁשָּפ ָחה ְמ ִדי ָנה ּו ְמ ִדי ָנה‬
‫ְו ִעיר ָו ִעיר ִוי ֵמי ַהּפּוִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה לֹא ַי ַע ְברּו ִמּתֹוְך ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ְו ִז ְכָרם לֹא־ ָיסּוף ִמ ַּזְר ָעם׃‬

‫‪39‬‬

29. Then Queen Esther daughter of Abihail wrote a second letter of Purim
for the purpose of confirming with full authority the aforementioned one
of Mordecai the Jew.

30. Dispatches were sent to all the Jews in the hundred and twenty-seven
provinces of the realm of Achashveirosh with an ordinance of “equity
and honesty:”

31. These days of Purim shall be observed at their proper time, as Mordecai
the Jew—and now Queen Esther—has obligated them to do, and just as
they have assumed for themselves and their descendants the obligation
of the fasts with their lamentations.

32. And Esther’s ordinance validating these observances of Purim was
recorded in a scroll.

Chapter 10 - hAPPILY EVER AFTER?

1. King Achashveirosh imposed tribute on the mainland and the islands.
2. All his mighty and powerful acts, and a full account of the greatness to

which the king advanced Mordecai, are recorded in the Annals of the
Kings of Media and Persia.
3. For Mordecai the Jew ranked next to King Achashveirosh and was highly
regarded by the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brethren; he
sought the good of his people and interceded for the welfare of all his
kindred.

40

‫ ‪.‬טכַו ִּת ְכּ ֹתב ֶא ְס ֵּתר ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ַבת־ ֲא ִבי ַח ִיל ּו ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַה ְּיהּו ִדי ֶאת־ָּכל־ּ ֹת ֶקף ְל ַקֵּים ֵאת‬
‫ִא ֶּגֶרת ַהּפּוִרים ַהּ ֹזאת ַהּ ֵׁש ִנית׃‬

‫ ‪.‬לַו ִּיְׁש ַלח ְס ָפִרים ֶאל־ָּכל־ ַה ְּיהּו ִדים ֶאל־ֶׁש ַבע ְו ֶעְׂשִרים ּו ֵמ ָאה ְמ ִדי ָנה ַמ ְלכּות‬
‫ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ִּד ְבֵרי ָׁשלֹום ֶו ֱא ֶמת׃‬

‫ ‪.‬אל ְל ַקֵּים ֵאת־ ְי ֵמי ַהֻּפִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה ִּב ְז ַמֵּני ֶהם ַּכ ֲאֶׁשר ִק ַּים ֲע ֵלי ֶהם ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַה ְּיהּו ִדי ְו ֶא ְס ֵּתר‬
‫ַהַּמ ְלָּכה ְו ַכ ֲאֶׁשר ִק ְּימּו ַעל־ ַנ ְפָׁשם ְו ַעל־ ַזְר ָעם ִּד ְבֵרי ַהּצֹמֹות ְו ַז ֲע ָק ָתם׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בלּו ַמ ֲא ַמר ֶא ְס ֵּתר ִקַּים ִּד ְבֵרי ַהֻּפִרים ָה ֵאֶּלה ְו ִנ ְכ ָּתב ַּב ֵּס ֶפר׃‬

‫ ‪.‬אַוּיֶָׂשם ַהֶּמ ֶלְך אחשרש [ ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש] ַמס ַעל־ ָה ָאֶרץ ְו ִאֵּיי ַהָּים׃‬
‫ ‪.‬בְו ָכל־ ַמ ֲעֵׂשה ָת ְקּפֹו ּו ְגבּוָרתֹו ּו ָפָרַׁשת ְּגֻדַּלת ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ֲאֶׁשר ִּגְּדלֹו ַהֶּמ ֶלְך ֲהלֹוא־ ֵהם‬

‫ְּכתּו ִבים ַעל־ ֵס ֶפר ִּד ְבֵרי ַהָּי ִמים ְל ַמ ְל ֵכי ָמ ַדי ּו ָפָרס׃‬
‫ ‪.‬גִּכי ָמְר ֳּד ַכי ַהְּיהּו ִדי ִמְׁש ֶנה ַלֶּמ ֶלְך ֲא ַחְׁשֵורֹוׁש ְו ָגדֹול ַל ְּיהּו ִדים ְוָרצּוי ְלרֹב ֶא ָחיו ּדֵֹרׁש‬

‫טֹוב ְל ַעּמֹו ְודֹ ֵבר ָׁשלֹום ְל ָכל־ ַזְרעֹו׃‬

‫‪41‬‬

42

PURIM INSIGHTS

Of Kings & Tyrants
Rebbetzin Shalvie Friedman
Senior Educator

“And it was in the days ofAchashveirosh bland in terms of his own character.
– the same Achashveirosh who reigned What he does do is follow the advice
from Hodu to Cush, one hundred and of those who have his ear. When it is
twenty seven provinces. In those days, Haman who he is listening to- he relies
when Achashveirosh sat on his throne on Haman to tell him how to deal with
which was in Shushan…” a disobedient wife (murder); choose
King Achashveirosh is often presented a wife (host a crass beauty pageant),
to us in a polarising way- he is the deal with a minority in our kingdom
wicked king of Persia. He kills his (kill them.); and reward a loyal subject
wife for failing to show up to a party, (have them wear the king's clothes
he authorises the mass murder of and get marched through the city on
his Jewish population. Throughout the king’s horse.)
the story he leaves destruction and As Haman gets more and more
tragedy in his wake. He is TYRANT. Or powerful, Achashveirosh gets more
is he? and more threatened by him. When
The Talmud directs us to some Queen Esther invites Haman to join
interesting observations of this their romantic dinner for two he is
peculiar king. Achasverosh is suspicious. When she does it a second
constantly surrounded by a gaggle time- he is livid. And then just like that-
of “advisors”. He doesn’t actually in the blink of an eye, Achashveirosh
come up with any wicked or twisted replaces Haman with Mordechai and
decrees himself. In fact he is pretty everyone lives happily ever after
(kind of).

"But even more dangerous are those who are
powerful and fickle. They don’t have a backbone

of principles or values."

43

Because the truth is that there are two You guessed it- Achashveirosh is a
different kinds of wicked people in the narcissist. The word narcissism gets
world. There are those that plot and tossed around a lot in our selfie-
scheme. These people are dangerous. obsessed, celebrity-driven culture,
often to describe someone who seems
But even more dangerous are those excessively vain or full of themselves.
who are powerful and fickle. They But in psychological terms, narcissism
don’t have a backbone of principles or doesn’t mean self-love—at least not of
values (even distorted ones). They are a genuine sort. People with narcissistic
like chameleons, changing with every personality disorder (NPD) have a
season. The only thing that they truly tendency to place the blame on to
value is themselves. And they will go to others. What’s more, they are extremely
any length to ensure their own power sensitive and react badly to even the
and popularity. And here lies a double slightest criticisms, disagreements, or
danger. The danger of egotism is perceived slights, which they view as
multiplied by the total lack of direction personal attacks.
to this ego. Achasvheirosh is utterly It’s more accurate to say that people
unpredictable and malleable. with narcissistic personality disorder

44

are in love with an idealized, grandiose His reaction to having been upstaged
image of themselves. And they’re by Vashti at his party – decreeing the
in love with this inflated self-image unequivocal superiority of every ‘man
precisely because it allows them to of the house’ over his wife - hints at a
avoid deep feelings of insecurity. deep-rooted insecurity in himself that
But propping up their delusions he will spare no expense, not even life
of grandeur takes a lot of work— itself, to cover up.
and that’s where the dysfunctional The Purim story is one that lives on a
attitudes and behaviours come in.

"Uniquely, he is one of the only Biblical figures who
adopts a practice of dispatching his royal decrees in

the local vernacular of their destination."

Achashveirosh, our sages teach, theme of reversals and sudden about-
didn’t feel fully secure until the third turns. All is not as it seems as the story
year of his reign. And even then, his unfolds through each twist and turn
self-image needed propping up on of its gripping narrative. And just as
a vast scale, throwing parties lasting we dress up on Purim, so too are the
for months on end with extravagant characters who populate the Megillah’s
entertainment and all-you-can-eat fine well-thumbed pages not all as they
dining. Uniquely, he is one of the only seem. The story’s message is clear:
Biblical figures who adopts a practice do not be fooled by shows of power,
of dispatching his royal decrees in the no matter how excessive and dazzling
local vernacular of their destination. He that show might be. True worth comes
wants to make sure that every citizen from a healthy, grounded sense of self-
of his sprawling empire understands image, humility and purpose.
his will, every time he expresses it.

45

The holy hangover?

As an avid, sworn, and opinionated from being asked, answered, refuted,
alcohol avoider, Purim has always debated, dissected and resurrected,
deeply fascinated and confounded relentlessly, for millennia. This question
me. How did the golden liquid of sin, is as old as the underwater hills, and
come to be so deeply absorbed into the arthropods and the dinosaurs. The
the fabric of this day, to the point heaviest brained among us and who
where the Talmud’s instruction to preceded us, have mulled and twisted
reach a state where we are unable and pried and pulled this concept, in
to distinguish between the hero and an attempt to make peace with the
the villain has, in the overwhelming incongruity of a concept which we’re
majority of cases, been explained taught to be true, yet as soon as we
to mean one should partake of open any WhatsApp chat or news site,
intoxicants? Clearly my definition of or family catalogue, feel to be deeply
said liquid is faulty or at minimum misleading and a million miles from
incomplete. our reality.
Now while we mull (wordplay Now, in no way do I want to mislead
intended) on this, let’s bite off you into thinking that in the next few
another conundrum and endeavour lines I will be giving you a remotely
to chew through them both, to some agreeable answer. If I was able to do
satisfactorily digestible degree. that I don’t think I’d be sitting here
If God is so good, why is there so tapping keys, I’d probably be doing
much bad? angel things in angel town in heaven,
This question is threadbare and tattered but I’m not, I’m here, dredging tangled
smudges of concepts onto screens
and papers. All I can attempt to do, is
outline a few measly thoughts which
may or may not offer an itsy bitsy
smidge of clarity or comprehension to
this celestial sized conundrum.
And that is, that us dear humans are
rather proficient at picking up on all
the bad, the suffering, the hurt, the
pain, the sadness, the violence and
the injustice, but somehow, somehow,
we seem to have a bit of a harder time
picking up on the good things which
are happening all around us, all the
time.
So I wonder, what if we were to shift
our thinking just a little?

46

Rebbetzen Leah Moszkowski

Aish on Campus - Leeds

What if we viewed the experiences eardrums, but they’re not registering
of love, friendship, connection and in our consciousness.
human interaction as unexpected, Enter our liquid champion of the day.
unwarranted hugs from Above? Alcohol. Now, like every other thing on
What if we viewed the stunning array of this earth, alcohol can be an express
flavours and microbes and succulents, ticket to the wretchedest part of
as personal love notes scattered darkest earthly hell, or, it can be a
throughout the universe- FOR US? celestial trip of the highest variety,
What if we found the world as utterly an upward parachute to the spiritual
show stopping as a baby first finding spheres of deep understanding,

"we drink to remove self and socially constructed
barriers which sometimes fog up our
perceptions of reality"

their toes, or a drunk man finding his revelation and realisation. Alcohol
fingers? What if we held onto that takes centre stage at some of Judaism’s
infantile wonder, instead of letting it most auspicious occasions- every
become background noise, blurred Friday night as we give testimony to
scenery, unacknowledged backdrops the creation story we hold a cup of
to life? What if we fine-tuned our mind wine. When two individuals commit to
to recognise all the beauty and delight each other under the wedding canopy,
of our human experience? Maybe, we seal this union of souls over a cup
just maybe, a microscopic tip of an of wine. And on Purim, a day where
answer to one of the most challenging we celebrate national salvation and
questions of all time, is down to our deliverance and a revelation of the
perceptions. Maybe, we are actually undying love God has for us, we drink
constantly enveloped in a sweet- wine. We drink not to dull our senses,
smelling salve of glory, and splendour, but to heighten them. We drink to
but we’re letting it fly below our radar. remove self and socially constructed
The images are falling into our retinas, barriers which sometimes fog up
the scents are clambering into our our perceptions of reality and of the
nostrils and the sounds are hitting our goodness and beauty of our reality.

47

Taking centre stage

Purim tells of a story where God’s acts who built the very gallows that he was
are at no point directly revealed. There to be hung upon.
is no miracle, nor even mention of God’s The power of the irony of evil ultimately
name. Yet the impossible comes to be. destroying itself is only one part
Through a series of apparent coincides, of the picture. For it could lead to
the very source of would-be destruction complacency. Why need I intervene if,
of the Jews, unwittingly conspires to in the end, everything will work out?
destroy itself, save Israel and reveal Purim teaches the very opposite.
God. Arch-antisemite Haman ends up In the critical moment the Jewish
dying because his own decree to kill leader begs Queen Esther to risk all to
all Jews, turned out to be treason; the intercede on behalf of her people. In
queen was Jewish. The former queen what appears to be the least persuasive
Vashti was killed through the advice of line possible, Mordechai first declares,
a court adviser that tradition records ‘If you stay silent now, salvation will
as Haman himself. It was he who had come to the Jews from somewhere
inadvertently placed a Jewish queen else!’ before continuing, ‘yet you and
there in the first place! It was even he

48

Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Executive Director

your ancestral home may be obliterated; the greatest reason to step forward and
who knows if it was for precisely this play a role.
moment that you became queen?’ If Looking back over history, it is
the Jews will be saved anyway, then staggering to consider the impact
why ought she to intervene? And why of one little nation. A revolution of
would non-intervention lead to loss of human-values that was wrought by no
her ancestry? Why should she feel the conqueror, but by the combined acts of
precious nature of ‘this moment’? many people just trying to live a Godly
Yet that is precisely the point. The very vision of human affairs.
fact that history must resolve itself Looking forward, we hear the call of
means that there us a genuine ‘story’ Purim; that even when man struggles
that history is telling. History is not to believe in God, God continues to
a collection of unrelated acts, but a believe in man. That somehow every

"No person and no act is insignificant. And that is the
greatest reason to step forward and play a role."

singular ultimate narrative within which moment of creation can be transformed
each action plays an inextricable part in into a part of history. The call of Judaism
the plot, ultimately culminating in the is the call of the future. A worldview
fulfilment of creation itself. In such a that is foreign to any moment in time,
scenario, to fail to take a stand is to walk precisely because it belongs to all of
away from history itself. It is to wipe out time.
all that the past has bequeathed. That It is never relevant to anyone who lives
is what Mordechai tells Esther. When for the here and now alone. But there
you stand before a moment, remember could be nothing more relevant to one
that history itself beckons; that we are who lives with the consciousness of the
part of a plot such that in the end things past and the conscience of the future.
will work out. We cannot control the It is to hear the call of eternity in each
outcome of our choice, and what we moment, and to recognise the power of
hope for may not happen. But we know each moment to shape eternity itself.
that no moment is ever lost. No person
and no act is insignificant. And that is

49

The therapeutic joy of purim

There is a unique law in the approach The decree sentencing them to death
to Purim. Mishe-nichnas Adar marbim had been rescinded. Their enemies had
be-simcha: “From the beginning of been punished. Haman had been hanged
Adar, we increase in joy.” It is stated in on the very gallows he had prepared for
the Talmud (Taanit 29a), and is based Mordechai. Mordechai himself had been
on the passage in the Megillah (Esther raised to greatness.
9:21) - in which Mordechai sends a letter But is joy the emotion we should feel in
throughout the land instructing Jews “to perpetuity, remembering those events?
observe the fourteenth day of the month The first warrant for genocide against
of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year the Jewish people (the second if one
– the days on which the Jews obtained counts Pharaoh’s plan to kill all newborn
rest from their enemies and the month Jewish males) had been frustrated.
which for them was turned from sorrow Is simcha the appropriate emotion?
into gladness and from mourning into a Surely what we should feel is relief,
holiday.” (Esther 3:7)

"Humour is the Jewish way of defeating hate. What you can
laugh at, you cannot be held captive by."

This in turn refers back to the text in not joy. Pesach is the proof. The word
which Haman decided on the timing “joy” is never mentioned in the Torah in
of his decree: “In the first month, the connection with it.
month of Nissan, in the twelfth year of Besides which, the Talmud asks why
Achashveirosh, they cast pur (that is, we do not say Hallel on Purim. It gives
lots) before Haman from day to day, and several answers. The most powerful is
from month to month until the twelfth that in Hallel we say, “Servants of the
month, which is the month of Adar” Lord, give praise,” – meaning that we
(Esther. 3:13). are no longer the servants of Pharaoh.
The difficulties though are obvious. Why But, says the Talmud, even after the
an entire month? The key events were deliverance of Purim, Jews were still the
focused on a few days, the thirteenth to servants of Achashveirosh (Megillah 14a).
the fifteenth, not the whole month. And Tragedy had been averted but there
why simcha? We can understand why was no real change in the hazards of life
the Jews of the time felt exhilaration. in the Diaspora.

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