Esther 1:11, Question 1. Why does Achashverosh ask the chamberlains to “bring” Vashti instead of “sending for her?”

יא לְהָבִיא אֶתוַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת לְהַרְאוֹת הָעַמִּים וְהַשָּׂרִים אֶתיָפְיָהּ כִּיטוֹבַת מַרְאֶה הִיא

11. To bring Vashti the Queen before the king in the crown of royalty to show the nations and the officers her beauty because she was good to look upon.

Logically, the verb, “bringing” must refer to an object. In the Torah, for instance, when Moshe is asked to bring his brother Aaron to a certain place, Rashi is quick to point out that he is to verbally convince him to come rather than physically put him somewhere (Vayikra 8:2) because it is not appropriate to speak of human beings as if they were objects to be taken from place to place. In stark contrast, as pointed out by class participant AG, Achashverosh intended for the chamberlains to treat Vashti as the vessel (the Talmud’s verbage) she was to him, and bring her – acording to the Maharal and Malbim – by force if necessary1.

1Perhaps their inability to fulfill this aspect of his order earned them the death penalty (cf. Targum Sheini to Esther 2:1).


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