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.