Esther 2:9, Question 3. Why is “tamrookeha” (“her cosmetics”) spelled in full and “manoseha” (“her portions”) written in a deficient spelling, without the letter yud?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky says that all three opinions in the Talmud regarding the food Esther ate (as we in the last post) can be correct. First, Heigai tried to give her non-kosher food. When she refused it without telling the reason, he tried “Jewish food,” and then seeds and whatever else might work. Therefore, “tamrookeha” (“her cosmetics”) is spelled in full because he gave her the same variety of cosmetics as the other women. However, “manoseha” (“her portions”) is spelled missing a letter yud because Esther’s portion of food was lacking in variety, as can happen with a kosher diet.

Esther 2:3, Question 3. How is the women being watched by Heigeh and their being given cosmetics or ointments important to the narrative?

  • The Midrash (Esther Rabbah 5:3) relates that the advisers told Achashverosh to utilize Heigeh for the position of harem guard because he was a eunuch, with no desire for the women gathered.
  • According to Rashi, these ointments removed hair and softened skin.
  • The Alshich adds that if the women used their own such remedies, how would the king know if the women were naturally beautiful, or just had better cosmetics or skillful use of them? Therefore, the women were only allowed the cosmetics provided by the palace.