Esther 1:3, Question 2. Considering its seeming irrelevance to the actual Purim story, why is this feast mentioned in the Megillah?

One may think that the story of the feast is integral to the introduction of Esther as Achashverosh’s new queen. However, the Megillah could have just as easily utilized its more typical lack of literary/ dramatic build-up by simply stating that, in the third year of his reign, Achashverosh was angered by his wife and killed her. According to the Talmud (Megillah 11b), the Jews’ participation in the feast that (in a sense) celebrates the continuation of their exile is what led directly to H-Shem’s later allowing Achashverosh to exterminate the Jews. Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller says that the Jews should have been “incapable of enjoying the party.” With H-Shem’s help, we shall see how the Talmudic Sages see hints to this idea in the very wording of the next few verses.

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