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Esther's Iranian tomb draws pilgrims of all religious stripes
Haaretz ^ | 3/22/05 | Helen Eliassian

Posted on 03/22/2005 9:48:58 AM PST by freedom44

Though the holiday of Purim is celebrated by Jews worldwide, the story, based as it is in Persia, has special resonance for the Jews of Iran. Recent decades have proved difficult for Persian Jews, many of whom fled the country after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. From a community of about 100,000, an estimated 25,000 to 35,000 now remain.

This month, Jews from across Iran will pray at a shrine in Hamadan, in northwestern Iran, dedicated to the heroes of the Purim story. They will likely be met upon arrival by Muslims and Christians, who pray year-round at the unusual shrine. The building follows the architecture of emamzadeh ("Islamic shrine"), but has walls adorned with Hebrew inscriptions describing Esther and Mordechai's origins. In fact, it might come as a surprise to learn that the story of Purim has resonance for all Iranians.

Not only was Esther a Jewish queen, but, as the wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), she also continues to be revered as a Persian queen and, thus, an icon of national Iranian history.

Though her original name, Hadassah, means "hidden" in Hebrew, she is known as Esther. Scholar and writer Haideh Sahim explains that "Esther" is derived from the Persian word astaar, meaning "star." It is believed that Esther and Mordecai were buried in the shrine at Hamadan, originally called Hegmataneh, in the fifth century B.C.E.

(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; esther; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; iran; iranhistory; persia; purim

1 posted on 03/22/2005 9:48:58 AM PST by freedom44
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG


2 posted on 03/22/2005 9:49:17 AM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44

Esther is an absolutely rich story.


3 posted on 03/22/2005 9:51:41 AM PST by Preachin' (Democrats know that they can never run on their real agenda.)
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To: freedom44; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks freedom44, this event also has current political relevance.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

4 posted on 03/22/2005 9:55:52 AM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: Preachin'
Esther is an absolutely rich story.

I understand that it is the only book in the bible that does not mention the name of the Lord.

5 posted on 03/22/2005 10:00:04 AM PST by curmudgeonII (I've had amnesia once...or twice.)
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To: freedom44
...in the fifth century B.C.E.
... during the Arab conquest of Persia in 621 C.E.

B.C.E.? C.E.? Obviously anything Christian is unwelcome in this article.

6 posted on 03/22/2005 10:00:56 AM PST by Between the Lines (True Christianity is the best kept secret around.)
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To: Between the Lines

It's from Haaretz, an Israeli news organization, so they're going to use B.C.E./C.E. as opposed to B.C./A.D. I wouldn't take it as an anti-Christian slam.


7 posted on 03/22/2005 10:05:58 AM PST by Guvmint_Cheese (Beware of virgin porcupines bearing antichrists...)
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To: Between the Lines
B.C.E.? C.E.? Obviously anything Christian is unwelcome in this article.

Why would a Jewish newspaper refer to a time "before Christ?"

8 posted on 03/22/2005 10:15:43 AM PST by Modernman ("They're not people, they're hippies!"- Cartman)
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To: Between the Lines

By the same token, the Book of Esther doesn't mention God. It does mention another ancient root of modern Arab behavior, which is pertinent:

9:24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

9:25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

9:26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,

9:27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;

9:28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.

9:29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.

9:30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,

9:31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.

9:32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.


9 posted on 03/22/2005 10:52:46 AM PST by SunkenCiv (last updated my FreeRepublic profile on Sunday, March 13, 2005.)
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To: Modernman; Guvmint_Cheese
Why would a Jewish newspaper refer to a time "before Christ?"

Why would a "Jewish" newspaper not use the Jewish calender and then the date wouldn't be before anything? Because they intend for more than just Jews to read this.

Why would a "Jewish" newspaper refuse to use A.D. and B.C. yet date the article at the top of the page Tuesday? (note: Tuesday and the Christian date is printed alongside the Jewish date for Jewish readers.) Tuesday, named after the Tiw, a god of law and war. Seems to me that if you were sensitive about dating things according to other religions you would surely not use the name of a pagan god for the name of the day. Oh, I forgot pagan good, Christian bad.

I wouldn't take it as an anti-Christian slam.

If you are going to use a dating system that is based on Christian dates yet change the name of that dating system because you want nothing to do with anything associated with Christ, then yes it is anti-Christian political correctness.

10 posted on 03/22/2005 10:55:45 AM PST by Between the Lines (True Christianity is the best kept secret around.)
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To: Between the Lines
Why would a "Jewish" newspaper not use the Jewish calender and then the date wouldn't be before anything? Because they intend for more than just Jews to read this.

Sure. They made a compromise. They know that their Jewish audience uses, for everyday purposes, the common dating system where it is year 2005, rather than whatever the year is in the Jewish calendar. However, they also know that the A.D./B.C. dating system is not something practiced by the majority of their audience.

Why would a "Jewish" newspaper refuse to use A.D. and B.C. yet date the article at the top of the page Tuesday? (note: Tuesday and the Christian date is printed alongside the Jewish date for Jewish readers.) Tuesday, named after the Tiw, a god of law and war.

Whatever religious connotations there once were with the reference to a pagan god in the word "Tuesday" are now long gone. The fact that some people get riled up about BCE versus BC shows that the religious content there is still important.

11 posted on 03/22/2005 11:07:15 AM PST by Modernman ("They're not people, they're hippies!"- Cartman)
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To: Between the Lines
So since the world pretty much uses the Gregorian calendar, with the current year being 2005, you are suggesting that Jews have one of two options - not recognize the world standard and say that it's 5765 or utilize 2005 Anno Domini (year of Our Lord), when Christ is not their Lord.

You're making much more of this than you really need to...
12 posted on 03/22/2005 11:16:58 AM PST by Guvmint_Cheese (Beware of virgin porcupines bearing antichrists...)
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To: Between the Lines
If you are going to use a dating system that is based on Christian dates yet change the name of that dating system because you want nothing to do with anything associated with Christ, then yes it is anti-Christian political correctness.

Actually, it's NOT "anti-Christian political correctness." All you have to do is understand how Jews look at "Holy" document, such as the bible, and to simply look at the wording.

First off, you may have noticed that many Jews who post on FR refer to The Lord as "G-d." The reason is the tradition that when you inscribe The Lord's name on something, then in effect, that item becomes "holy" in a way. If you deface or destroy it, you're showing indifference to, or even insulting The Lord. When you write the name of The Lord on a piece of paper, you can't just discard it. It's to be treated as you would any other book with the name of G-d inscribed on it, like the bible. Inscribing something describing The Lord has special meaning to observant Jews. So keep this in mind for a moment.

BC - is typically understood to mean "Before Christ." AD - does not mean "after death," although many people believe that's what it means. It's from the latin "anno domini," which translates to "In the year of our lord."

The issue is the last two words: "Our lord." Jews do not recognize Jesus as either "The Christ," or savior or messiah, or as their Lord and Savior. For a Jew to use the common calendar system and BC or AD would be, in effect, a religious statement, accepting Jesus as their Lord, which isn't acceptable to most religious Jews.

Mark

13 posted on 03/22/2005 11:25:15 AM PST by MarkL (I didn't get to where I am today by worrying about what I'd feel like tomorrow!)
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To: MarkL

I wonder why the article did not use the Jewish year. That probably would have been understood & accepted by more people.

It is a mystery, is it not, as to what actually became of Esther? Did Xerxes remarry the banished wife?


14 posted on 03/22/2005 11:31:30 AM PST by madison10
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To: madison10

I don't think she was banished. She was still his wife when she uncovered Haman's plot at the end of the story.


15 posted on 03/22/2005 12:07:45 PM PST by Guvmint_Cheese (Beware of virgin porcupines bearing antichrists...)
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To: Guvmint_Cheese

Ummm...no I mean Vashti was banished. The king married Esther and she later uncovered the plot against the Jews.

History shows that Xerxes has a son later, but NOT that Esther was the mother. I was wondering if Esther died & if Vashti returned to her original position as queen. I didn't know what Jewish tradition stated what happened to Esther AFTER she save her people.


16 posted on 03/22/2005 12:12:08 PM PST by madison10
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To: Guvmint_Cheese
...you are suggesting that Jews have one of two options - not recognize the world standard and say that it's 5765 or utilize 2005 Anno Domini (year of Our Lord), when Christ is not their Lord. You're making much more of this than you really need to...

Actually I am not making much of anything. I am not the one renaming calendars. I merely posted an observation from which I expected no replies. That observation that "anything Christian was unwelcome" seems to be validated by your above comment.

17 posted on 03/22/2005 12:14:35 PM PST by Between the Lines (True Christianity is the best kept secret around.)
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To: madison10

Oops - Forgot all about Vashti. Good question. Is there any mention of Esther outside of this story in other Persian literature?


18 posted on 03/22/2005 12:17:14 PM PST by Guvmint_Cheese (Beware of virgin porcupines bearing antichrists...)
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To: Guvmint_Cheese
Is there any mention of Esther outside of this story in other Persian literature?

That's what I am curious to discover. Notes in my Bible says that a son had been born about the time/just before Vashti was banished & Vashti is mentioned later on. Notes are not necessarily correct, though. I was wondering what Jewish/Persian tradition stated about Esther's life.

19 posted on 03/22/2005 12:28:21 PM PST by madison10
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To: MarkL
Actually, it's NOT "anti-Christian political correctness."

The issue is the last two words: "Our lord." Jews do not recognize Jesus as either "The Christ," or savior or messiah, or as their Lord and Savior. For a Jew to use the common calendar system and BC or AD would be, in effect, a religious statement, accepting Jesus as their Lord, which isn't acceptable to most religious Jews.

You are right I should not have said anti-Christian but instead anti-Christ political correctness.

20 posted on 03/22/2005 12:34:12 PM PST by Between the Lines (True Christianity is the best kept secret around.)
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To: Between the Lines

Anything Christian was unwelcome? I think plenty of Jews have accepted Christian concepts and ideas. Accepting that God had a son is perhaps a bit of a stretch for most Jews, so they're not going to refer to "Domini." You seem to be suggesting that there's some malicious intent in their use of BCE/CE.


21 posted on 03/22/2005 12:38:05 PM PST by Guvmint_Cheese (Beware of virgin porcupines bearing antichrists...)
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To: curmudgeonII
I understand that it is the only book in the bible that does not mention the name of the Lord.

...except in 5 acrostics.

Like Esther's name means "hidden", the Lord's name is also hidden in the book, just as He is hidden in the background, unseen, but still powerfully working for His people.

22 posted on 03/22/2005 1:08:47 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: Guvmint_Cheese

Oh I would. They can live with AD and BC and have no need to change history to suit their insecurity.

It's not only a slam, it's revisionism.


23 posted on 03/22/2005 1:09:42 PM PST by Hostage
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To: Between the Lines

I really think you have some other purpose in belaboring this. Please excogitate further, if you will.


24 posted on 03/25/2005 8:55:38 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: freedom44

Thanks for the informative post!


25 posted on 03/25/2005 8:56:20 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: All

BTTT


26 posted on 10/26/2006 1:16:54 AM PDT by JockoManning (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/f/cftworld.htm?40)
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To: Preachin'

Anyone else see "One Night with the King"? We thought it was pretty good.


27 posted on 10/26/2006 1:23:17 AM PDT by JohnnyP
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To: JohnnyP
'Anyone else see "One Night with the King"? We thought it was pretty good.'


It was a good movie, but sure did detract greatly from the story.

My main issue with it was that they took the liberty of making the former queen (Vashti) and Esther both anti-war peace activists.

Unless I overlooked it, they also did not show both occasions of Esther having the King and Haman to dinner.

They changed the part of Haman begging for his life, and made it as though he were mocking her instead.

It was a good "movie", but I certainly would not recommend it to anyone who wants the real low down.
28 posted on 10/26/2006 3:17:15 AM PDT by Preachin' (Enoch's testimony was that he pleased God: Why are we still here?)
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