Hiding in Esther

Why do we wear costumes on Purim?

It could be because of the theme of hiding in Megillat Esther (the Book of Esther). How many examples of hiding can you find in Esther? Feel free to be creative with your answers. My husband named quite a few.

Happy Shushan Purim. Shushan Purim is the day after Purim, and it is celebrated in cities that had a wall at the time of Joshua. That is, a long, long, long, long time ago. Today that means in the city of Jerusalem, with Hebron and Tiberias and others as possibly walled during the time of Joshua (so they read double megillah in those cities). One such double Purim place (with a famous blogger) is Shiloh.

13 thoughts on “Hiding in Esther

  • The name of God is never written so I suppose we can say that, since miracles do happen God is hidden in the narrative.
    Esther’s name is hidden too. Her real name is Hadassah.
    I have a few other ideas but would love to see what others think.

    • Great examples. Yes, the fact that the name of God is not mentioned is the classic. Interestingly, the name of Moshe is not mentioned in this past week’s parsha.

  • Here are a few more:
    1) Mordechai discovers Bigtan and Teresh’s plot.
    2) The incident remains “hidden” in Achashveirosh’s diary.
    3) Esther doesn’t reveal her nationality and identity.
    4) Mordechai “covers himself” (actually Haman “covers” Mordechai) in the royal clothes when Haman leads him around on the horse.
    5) The Megilah uses a euphemism (“keilim m’keilim shonim”) to refer to the utensils of the Beit HaMikdash.

  • The name of G-d not overtly being mentioned signifies that G-d is hidden, but there, directing the events and guarding Abraham’s decendants.

    Esther’s nationality is hidden.

    Asasuerus found out through court records that were read to him when he experienced insomnia that Mordecai was not honored for saving the kings’s life.

    • Between you, Ilana-Davita and Mrs. S. I have some great teachers! Thanks for offering your insights.

      I don’t think any of you mentioned that Esther’s name means “hidden,” as in the Hebrew “Nistar.” (Ilana-Davita said her name *is* hidden, as in we don’t know her true name). Although I’ve read sources that her name is after goddess Ashtoret.

    • Did she explain to you as in “for Purim” or as in “there are much symbolism of the theme of hiding in Megillat Esther so we wear costumes on the holiday”? I’ll assume it’s the first.

  • Reading the comments has been very interesting for «Louis».

    Because Esther is Mme la Vache’s favorite Biblical character, «Louis» has taken a lot of interest in Purim this year.

    He’s also happy to see you’ve once again showcased your daughter’s art. He applauds the encouragement you give your child.

  • ???? I don’t know what you meant that we read double megillah in those cities. We have both Purim and Shushan Purim – the walled cities and those not with walls. BUT, being they’re so close, those of us who love partying may go to another city and sort of celebrate twice. It’s not imcumbent – reading megillah in the evening and in the following morning of where you live (or sleep) is all that is required. It really is a strange custom, to have already celebrated “my” Purim and the following day to go to Jerusalem and see everyone else celebrating “their” Purim.

    • Klara, you will have to ask Batya for more explanation. My understanding is that with Jerusalem one knows for sure that the megillah is read on Shushan Purim, but for Shiloh and other cities it is in doubt whether there was a wall at the time of Joshua, so they read double. Click on the link and ask Batya.

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