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Mordechai and Esther

Mordechai and Esther


Vashti was no more, and the King needed a new queen. The King ordered a search throughout his kingdom for a fitting wife. All the beautiful daughters of the country were brought to the palace so that the King might choose one whom he desired for a wife in place of Vashti.

Mordechai, who lived in the capital city of Shushan (Susa), dreaded the moment when the King's men might come knocking on his door in search of a possible queen. For he was in charge of a very charming and good hearted cousin named Esther, or Hadassah. As Esther was an orphan, her cousin Mordechai brought her up.

To most parents it would have been a rare honor and a great privilege to have a daughter married to the King. But Mordechai feared the day when Esther would be called to the palace. He knew that he could not hide her successfully for long, and finally, the authorities heard of Esther and came to take her to the royal palace.

The contest for Vashti's place went on for several years. The fairest maidens from all the 127 provinces of the King's empire were assembled in the King's palace in Shushan to view for the King's favor. They received all the beauty treatments they requested, and the most exquisite clothing they asked for. Esther however, did not ask for anything at all. Nevertheless, from the moment of her appearance in the palace, she enchanted everyone by her modesty, and was treated with marked respect and deference. Her beauty radiated from her inner self, giving her special grace and charm that was hers alone.

Although Esther was by no means the most beautiful of all the assembled maidens, the King preferred her above all the others. When Esther found out that she was destined to be queen, she surrounded herself with faithful Jewish servants who provided her with kosher food and did not betray the fact that she was a Jewess -- for Mordechai had told her to keep her ancestry a secret until the day came for her to reveal it.

Thus Esther became the new queen. Esther did not tell the King that she was Jewish. All he knew was that she was an orphan. Each day, Mordechai would come to the palace to obtain news of Esther. He regarded Esther's lot as very unfortunate but found consolation in the thought that perhaps Esther was chosen by G‑d, for her true devotion to Him, to help the Jewish nation in time of need. Mordechai began to feel that a dark cloud was looming upon the horizon, boding trouble for his brethren.

Photo courtesy of Chabad of Northern Virginia.
The Complete Story of Purim, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY.
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Mina Austin March 24, 2016

how old was Mordecai? Reply

Tobie The chair April 28, 2014

Re: Mordecai and Esther's relationship Dear Mr. Zaimanov,

Thank you very much for your response. It clears up a lot of things for me.

The question remains though: if the text means to say "bayit" instead of "bat", then why is beit-tav written instead of beit-yud-tav ("daughter" instead of "home")? And, how do we know what is intended in the text if the text itself is ambiguous.

Thanks again. Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for April 24, 2014

Re: Mordecai and Esther's relationship It does indeed mean that they were cousins, but the commentators also note that when the Megillah states that Mordechai "took her to him as a 'bat' [daughter]" it actually means to say "bayit"--as in "home"--meaning that he married her and they built a home together.

As far as your being uncomfortable with it; more "uncomfortable" would be them living together as unmarried adults. By them marrying, they ensured that they may continue living together, and that his responsibilities to her continue even after she is of age. Reply

Tobie My Desk April 18, 2014

Mordecai and Esther's relationship. Does the word "bat" (daughter) in "bat-dodo" (daughter of his uncle) imply an age difference between Mordecai and Esther, or just implies that they are cousins? And if he raised her, is it creepy that they would have gotten married? Or am I the only person who is creeped out by this? Reply

Anonymous California March 11, 2014

I am confused. Was Esther " brought up" by her uncle? Was she married to him? Seems he would be much much older than she. Which is right. Reply

John Bigingi Kenya August 23, 2013

The Story of Esther Esther's decision not to ask anything to beatify herself reminds me of the 3 Hebrew guys who refused the Kings food but rather took vegetables and during the contest they made it to the top position in the King Nebuchadnezzer's Kingdom.
True beauty is from inside make-ups are fleshy! Reply

John Penshurt February 27, 2013

great That's a fantastic story Reply

Anonymous December 12, 2012

What did Esther do when she worked for modecai. Also what did she do in her middle years? Reply

Wayne Hunter Raleigh, NC May 16, 2012

Nothing new under the Sun I especially like how the Lord Helped His Will to be done through the Wisdom of Mordecai and obedience of Esther. I especially like how the fate befell that first "Hitler" type Hyman (spellchec). God is still on the Throne ! Reply

Kelly Rae Sydney, AU March 1, 2007

A good point for women... Regarding Queen Esther: "Her beauty radiated from her inner self, giving her special grace and charm that was hers alone."

My Nana, who raised me, always told me that one day a woman's beauty would fade and all she would have left was what was within her. She encouraged me to concentrate on building a quiet and mild spirit, one of faith and hope and charity.

Here in this story I found where my pios Nana got her information from. And to her credity, my Nana was often called "the beauty of the family," although she was only 4'10" tall and lived to an old age. Truly, her inner beauty continued to shine through.

Thank you for including this point. Reply

Wangui Maina London, UK August 24, 2006

The story of Easter I would like to thank you for your wonderful site, and as i begin to read the story of Esther I was immediately taken away with of course the detail e.g. The Solomon throne story. I have often read the book of Esther from the bible but reading this account is quite refreshing. Reply

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