Esther 7:1, Question 3. Why does the verse call Esther a queen?

  • According to M’nos HaLevi, the verse calls Esther a queen to emphasize Haman’s jealousy. After all, Haman was upset that his daughter was not chosen to be the queen, effectively robbing Haman of more influence on Achashverosh.

  • Perhaps the verse also calls Esther a queen because, according to the Talmud (Kesubos 65a), women do not generally drink – especially together with men. However, Esther’s behavior can be excused as exceptional because her status in royalty makes her an exception to the rule.

  • Perhaps the verse is calling Esther a queen because she was engaged in the holy work of fulfilling a prophecy. The Midrash (Tanchuma 14) applies a verse (Bireishis 49:27) that “Benyamin is a wolf that captures; in the morning it will eat its prey and in the evening it will divide its spoils” to Esther’s actions. Esther “captured” Achashverosh and Haman by luring them to a party, and then pounced. She “ate her prey” by having Haman executed (Esther 7:10), and then “divided her spoils” by carving up Haman’s property (Esther 8:1).

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Esther 4:13, Question 2. Why does the verse use the word “binafshech” in reference to imagination?

  • The Malbim interprets the verse’s use of the word “binafshech “as Mordechai’s manner of reminding Esther that her position as queen was not for her own self, but for the sake of the Jewish nation. This is true for all people. H-Shem puts us in our situation for the good of the entire world, even when we cannot see this.
  • The M’nos HaLevi writes that Mordechai was telling Esther that her physical body would survive an attack against the Jews, but her spiritual soul (nefesh) would be forever scarred.