Esther 2:18, Question 1. Why does the verse emphasize that the party was “great?”

יח וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ מִשְׁתֶּה גָדוֹל לְכָלשָׂרָיו וַעֲבָדָיו אֵת מִשְׁתֵּה אֶסְתֵּר וַהֲנָחָה לַמְּדִינוֹת עָשָׂה וַיִתֵּן מַשְׂאֵת כְּיַד הַמֶּלֶךְ

18. And the king made a great party for all of his ministers and servants – the party of Esther – and made an easement for the states, and he gave gifts like the hand of the king.

  • The Vilna Gaon points out that the verse is contrasting this party with the previous party mentioned in Megillas Esther (1:1-10). Perhaps it was not quantitatively better, but it was qualitatively better. It was for a better person, thus engendering more real joy and happiness.
  • The Me’am Loez adds that this was a superior party because Esther insisted that only the nobles should be invited, and not the poor. Why would Esther not want to treat the poor to her party? She was extremely sensitive to the costs and discomfort the poor would have to endure if they had to attend such a party.

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