Mordechai and Esther, The Rebel and The "Sleeper"

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Purim: Mordechai and Esther, The Rebel and The "Sleeper"

One of the great things about the Hebrew language is that pretty much every single combination of two or three letters can be understood as words.

Waiting to hear the Megilla, the Scroll of Esther

Chaz"al, our sages, have been debating and discussing the meanings of the two most crucial names in Megillat Ester, Mordechai and Esther. Most claim that neither are actual Jewish/Hebrew names. Maybe it's a bit chutzpadik of me to add my two cents 2¢ to the discussion, but very learned teachers and friends do respect my opinions, so here goes:

Megillat Ester, Chapter 2, Verse 7זוַיְהִ֨י אֹמֵ֜ן אֶת־הֲדַסָּ֗ה הִ֤יא אֶסְתֵּר֙ Hadassah, that is Esther

I agree with those who say that the name Esther/Ester is Hebrew/Jewish, not a version of "star." It is derived from the Hebrew linguistic root  סתר, s, t, r, which means hide. In the megillah narrative, Esther is planted as a spy, a "sleeper," by her uncle Mordechai. In the line in which she is introduced to us, I don't think that the הדס hadas, myrtle plant is used as a noun, name of the bush.  The myrtle is a hardy, evergreen plant. The fact that in the megillah, it's written with a ה "h" at the end to make it feminine, I consider it an adjective. So I'd translate it as:

"strong/hardy is Esther"

We have some myrtle in our garden, and they thrive in the most difficult of weather. Yes, that is very much like Esther who rose so magnificently to the challenges she was faced with.

Mordechai is considered by most as a totally non-Jewish, non-Hebrew name. It is even suggested that he is the Navi, Prophet Malachi. But I see a Hebrew name very clearly. Actually, so did Haman. Haman accused Mordechai of being rebellious. And what is the meaning for the first three Hebrew letters in מָרְדֳּכַ֛י Mordechai?

מרד mered, rebellion

Now go over Megillat Ester with this new information. What do you think?

Chag Purim Sameach!