ז וַתַּעַן אֶסְתֵּר וַתֹּאמַר שְׁאֵלָתִי וּבַקָּשָׁתִי
7. And Esther answered and she said, “My request and my petition:
- The Targum says Esther repeats this language to stress to Achashverosh that he is wrong in thinking Esther wants half the kingdom.
- However, the Vilna Gaon says she was saying that he is right that she has both a personal request and a public need, but she was not yet ready to submit either of these.
- According to the Midrash, this is because she was looking for a miraculous sign from H-Shem indicating that she should continue with her request. Not receiving one, she invited the king and Haman to another feast as a sort of do-over.
- Rav Moshe Dovid Valle writes that Esther was implying that the request is a minor issue, just something she wants, whereas a petition is for a major issue, a national need.