Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Misunderstanding The Bible

Yair Lapid, interviewed by ynetnews:
What would you remove from the Jewish calendar?

I would omit Purim. The story about an anti-Jewish conspiracy that is foiled due to the fact that someone forces his virgin niece into the bed of a womanizing king and because of this the Jews receive permission to commit genocide against 70,000 people and then they get drunk from happiness – does not bring us much honor.

Did you get it? According to Lapid Mordechai forced Esther to marry Ahasuerus, and that the Jew's war against their enemies that wanted to wipe them out was "genocide". The genocide claim is totally ludicrous, however given the propensity of journalists to misuse words I'm not surprised that Lapid uttered it. The claim that Mordechai forced "his virgin niece into the bed of a womanizing king" is entirely off the wall, as we can see from a quick glance at the Book Of Esther, chapter 2:

1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was assuaged, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him: 'Let there be sought for the king young virgins fair to look on; 3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the castle, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their ointments be given them; 4 and let the maiden that pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti.' And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. {S} 5 There was a certain Jew in Shushan the castle, whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair the son of Shimei the son of Kish, a Benjamite, 6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives that had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter; for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden was of beautiful form and fair to look on; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter. 8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was published, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the castle, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken into the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

Esther was forcibly taken by royal decree, and not forced into Ahasuerus' bed by Mordechai, as Lapid maintains.


Jason H. Elbaum said...

Not to mention that Esther was Mordechai's cousin, not niece.

Cosmic X said...


Good point!

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