Esther 1:20, Question 4. Why is the word “yitnu” (“will give”) written in the masculine if it refers to the wives?

Rabbi Dovid Feinstein writes that the use of the masculine verb for giving honor indicates that two important consequences of this decree will simultaneously deteriorate the power of women. First, they will have to exchange their unique position for the more active, masculine creative role. Although this may seem initially appealing, much can be said in praise of a husband and wife working in tandem as a team to achieve their goals, the man using his natural ability to actively create in the world, and the woman using her natural talents to mold that created product to perfection. Worse still, men will dictate how women should honor them, constantly coming up with new ways to stroke their own egos while further dehumanizing their wives.


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