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Parsha Points

Parsha Points is a weekly d'var Torah (short sermon) written by Sharona Margolin Halickman which highlights a theme in the weekly Torah portion. Parsha Points focuses on the Torah's relevance to our lives today. Parsha Points often emphasizes the Biblical importance of the land of Israel.

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This Week's Parsha

Was Vashti Pretty Print E-mail

If Vashti was pretty then why didn’t she want to appear before King Achashverosh?


The Talmud in Masechet Megilla 15a states:

The Rabbis taught: There have been four women of surpassing beauty in the world- Sarah, Rachav, Avigail and Ester. According to the one who says that Ester was sallow, Vashti should be inserted in place of Ester.


We know that Sarah was beautiful as both King Pharaoh and King Avimelech wanted to marry her.


Rachav was a harlot whose “bed and breakfast” was on the top of the list for most men who visited Jericho.


King David was attracted to Avigail even when her husband was still alive and he rushed to marry her soon after her husband died.


Ester was beautiful but some say that since her name was also Hadassah (myrtle) that she had a green complexion like a myrtle.


If Vashti would take Ester’s place then that would have to mean that she was very pretty.


If Vashti was so pretty then why didn’t she want to appear before the king?


In Megillat Ester, Chaper 1, sentence 11 King Achasverosh asked “to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty for she was of comely appearance.”


The fact that it says that she should come wearing the royal crown implies that she should only wear the royal crown (otherwise she would be undressed).


The Gemara explains that it wasn’t Vashti’s modesty that kept her from appearing before the king. Rabbi Yose ben Hanina said: This teaches us that tzaraat (a skin disease similar to leprosy) broke out on her.


In the Braita it is taught that the angel Gabriel came and fixed a tail on her.


The Gemara implies that Vashti was beautiful and that the only reason that she didn’t come out was because she was suffering from some imperfections. Without these imperfections she would not have had a problem appearing before the king.


We learn from here that beauty is only skin deep!