Queen Esther

by tillerofthesoil

Image“It is certainly unnecessary to remove a woman to another place unless her husband so commands and gives her permission to go. [Accordingly] one first of all informs her husband and placates him so that he should command her and give her permission to go to that place… How do we know this? From the Righteous One of the world [Yesod] who gave Malkhut permission to abide among the righteous in this world, and She dwells among them as a bride in all Her jewellery, and the Righteous One of the world sees it, and is happy. She lies in the arms of Her husband but returns to be with the righteous [in this world], then returns [again] to Her husband, as it is written: In the evening she would come, and in the morning she would go (Esther 2:14). In the evening she would come—to her husband; and in the morning she would go—to be among the righteous of the world, everything being done with the permission of Her husband” (Ra’aya Meheimna Pinḥas).

“You may say that Esther has a bad reputation, that she was defiled with Ahasuerus, [yet] she was worthy that the Holy Spirit would be clothed in her as written, Esther donned מַלְכוּת (Malkhut), royal garb (Esther 5:1). Yet the blessed Holy One said, I am YHWH: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to פְּסִילִים (pesilim), graven images (Isaiah 42:8). [However] the Holy Spirit is the Shekhinah [who is פָּסוּל (pasul), rejected, cf. Isaiah 50:1] a name that was clothed with Esther.

The masters of Mishnah say: It is said of the Matronita: and His kingdom rules over all (Psalms 103:19). After Esther put on [royal garb/Malkhut] she ruled over Ahasuerus and his people, and it is said of them, [And the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces assembled and defended their lives and had respite from their enemies] and killed of foes, [seventy-five thousand, but they did not lay hands on the spoils] (Esther 9:16). If you say that [Ahasuerus] mated with her, perish the thought, though they were in the same house. Rather it was like Joseph of whom it says, and she [the wife of potiphar] laid out בִּגְדוֹ (bigdo), his garment, by her (Genesis 39:16). בִּגְדוֹ (bigdo), his garment—this is like treacherous dealers have dealt very בָּגָדוּ (bagadu), treacherously (Isaiah 24:16).

There is a great mystery here, which is why אֶסְתֵּר (Ester), Esther, is derived from סֵתֶר (seter), secret, as written, You are סֵתֶר (seter), a hiding place, for me (Psalms 32:7), since the Shekhinah hid her from Ahasuerus and gave him a female demon instead while she returned to Mordechai’s arm. And Mordechai, who knew the explicit Name and the seventy tongues, did all this with wisdom [see BT Sanhedrin 17a]” (Ra’aya Meheimna Ki Tetze, cf. Zohar 2:277a).