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Why Purim Has a Persian Name

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Why Purim Has a Persian Name

The names of the Jewish festivals and other dates on the Jewish calendar are all in Hebrew, the Holy Tongue. There is, however, one exception: The festival of Purim.
Purim, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Why Purim Has a Persian Name
Disc 137, Program 547

Event Date: 14 Adar II 5746 - March 25, 1986

The names of the Jewish festivals and other dates on the Jewish calendar are all in Hebrew, the Holy Tongue. There is, however, one exception: The festival of Purim.

Purim is named after the pur – the lot – not a Hebrew word, but one from the language of Ancient Persia, as the Scroll of Esther itself makes sure to point out. This emphasis on the mundaneness of the name Purim teaches an important lesson in the way a Jew should interact with his non-Jewish surroundings.

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Simcha Bart for Chabad.org March 23, 2016

Biblical personalities often have multiple names, those given at birth and others acquired later on. The Talmud (Megillah 13a) discusses whether her birth name was Esther and she was called Hadassah meaning a myrtle indicating her righteousness - seehere about this. There are also other explanations in the Talmud why she was likened to a myrtle. Others contend that her name was Hadassah and she was called Esther because she concealed her identity - see here about this. Another view is that the populace called her Esther because they likened her beauty to the moon - in their language related to the name Esther. Reply

Eleanor Forman NY NY 10001 March 23, 2016

Why and how Esther and Hadassah refer to the same person. Just as many Jews have a regular first name, and a Jewish one, so did she. Esther was named after Ishtar, a goddess, but her Jewish Hebrew name was Hadassah, myrtle tree. Reply

zissel Moscow March 20, 2019
in response to Eleanor Forman:

I thought Esther in Persian meant Star? Not g-des Reply

Michele Tarrytown NY March 4, 2015

Question: Please explain WHY and HOW Esther and
Hadassah refer to the same person. Is this an accurate question-statement? Thanking you for your time..Michele RGG Reply

Esther Ny March 2, 2015

Happy Purim! Wow that's so relevant! Reply

Anonymous March 1, 2015

so interesting! i never thought about that. fascinating Reply

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