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What did Vashti do to deserve such a horrible fate?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

Library » Holidays » Purim » The Story | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Vashti (queen of Ahasuerus until he had her beheaded for refusing to appear at his feast) was not a great person, to put it mildly.

She was the granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar, the man who destroyed the Jews’ Holy Temple and sent them into exile. She inherited her grandfather’s profound hatred for the Jews. On the Shabbat, she would summon Jewish children and force them to perform humiliating labor on their holy day of rest. That’s why she was punished on the seventh day of the feast, which was also the seventh day of the week, the Shabbat.

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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Ahasuerus
King of the Persian Empire in the 4th century BCE. Husband of Esther, heroine of the Purim story.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.