Ask The Rabbi

Megillah Marriage

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Achashverosh's Marriage to Queen Esther

Name@Withheld wrote:
Dear Rabbi,

Dear Rabbi,

How does one explain the fact that Queen Esther married a non-Jew when it is written that no daughter of Israel shall marry a non-Jew? Furthermore, how does one explain that the Jewish People actually benefited from this "intermarriage?" Many thanks, again. Shalom.


Dear Name@Withheld,

Let me make your question even stronger: The Talmud says that Esther was already married ... to Mordechai! With that in mind, Esther's "marriage" to Achashverosh seems to be an even worse sin than intermarriage.

The answer is that Esther did not marry Achashverosh willingly, she was forced into it. So she is blameless in that regard. Even when she went willingly, since the salvation of the entire Jewish People depended on this, it was permitted.

But your second question is, why did the Jewish People benefit from this mismatch? Why did G-d allow the redemption of the Jews to sprout from Esther's ignominious "marriage" to a drunken, idol-worshipping king?

I think the answer is as follows: The main theme of Purim is that even when we Jews are in exile, G-d directs every aspect of history for our ultimate benefit. Even seemingly bad events further G-d's hidden plan to bring the final redemption.

Sources:

  • Esther 2:8
  • Targum Ibid.
  • Even Haezer 178, Beit Shmuel, Chochmat Shlomo


 
Enter Search Phrase:    
Browse By Keyword: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z


Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.