Monday, March 07, 2005

Queen Esther A Sex Slave?

I was thinking of the Purim story, and how Queen Esther was abducted, raped and forced to marry her rapist.

So often in our communities survivors of sexual violence are looked upon as being "lepers" of sorts. They are told they are lying, get excommunicated, and shamed into believing the assault was their own fault.

When talking about this to rabbis they will explain that Queen Esther had to go through the trauma so that she would become the woman she became. Why is it that survivors of today are NOT honored like Queen Esther? Why is it that when a survivor walks in a room, everyone whispers -- instead of standing up and applauding them for coming forward, and for surviving horrendous experiences?

I wonder if the Purim story would happen today, what the headline news would say about it?
I figured this was something we could talk about?


Blogger Naomi said...

this is really interesting. I'm sure in those days it was considered an honor to be d by the king.
I grew up orthodex and always considered Esther the e of the story but I learned that in the reform movement they consider queen Vashti to be the of the purim story because she stood up to the king and refused to appear in front of his guests.

March 07, 2005 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Naomi,
I didn't understand what you were saying. What's the "E" of the story? I also not sure what "to be "d" by the king" means?

Just spell out the words. I don't think we have to be ashamed to say what the words are.

March 07, 2005 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole story of Purim is pretty difficult and troubling. So are many
biblical stories. These aren't fairy tales. These are real life stories where horrible things happen to good people and yet more often than not good triumphs over evil at the end.

Rabbi Ari Kahn has an article on Purim see:

>that survivors of today are NOT honored like Queen Esther?

Frankly, a figure like Moshe Rabeinu would not be honored today either. He would have problems even getting a shidduch because of his stutter. He would never achieve a leadership position today. Why? It reflects the quality of society which unfortunately today is superficial and ignorant. We live in a time where there is reverence for the qualities of an Esav and distain for
the qualities of a Yaakov. It's a sad time.

That's why people need to be educated, through knowledge and awareness.

March 08, 2005 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This posting takes the entire story of Esther out of context and perverts it.

There is a historical, cultural and sociological perspective that is ignored if in fact you can make a claim that Esther was abducted and raped.

There is a relatively recent book entitled The Dawn that addresses some of these issues in a more accurate fashion.

The Dawn: Political Teachings of the Book of Esther by Yoram Hazony.

March 08, 2005 11:50 AM  
Anonymous rabbi anonymous said...

An interesting thought. The Talmud suggests that Queen Esther remained entirely passive when Ahasuerus was intimate with her, as if to indicate here objection to the relationship.

March 08, 2005 6:48 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I did spell out the words but for some reason certain words are not posted by this program. I will try to write the words again:
Rape. ual Abuse.
Heroine. (The Program probably thought this was a .) Maybe I spelled it wrong.

March 08, 2005 7:06 PM  

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