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Where is the tomb of Mordechai and Esther?
Jerusalem Post ^ | 3-11-9 | MICHAEL FREUND

Posted on 03/11/2009 5:42:58 AM PDT by SJackson

A few months ago, the normally hostile Iranian regime took the rather unusual step of adding a Jewish holy site to its National Heritage List. On December 9, 2008, Iranian news outlets reported that the tomb of Mordechai and Esther, the heroes of the Purim saga, would now be under official government protection and responsibility.

The purported tomb of Mordechai and Esther in Iran. Photo: Courtesy The move cast a brief spotlight on the site, which is well-known to Iranian Jews but largely unfamiliar to those outside the country. And with Purim being celebrated this week, it is worth taking a moment to ponder this relic of our ancient past.

The mausoleum housing the shrine of Mordechai and Esther consists of a simple brick structure crowned with a dome which was built five to seven centuries ago over the underground grave sites. It is located in the northwestern city of Hamadan, about 335 kilometers west of Teheran. According to tradition, Hamadan is believed to be the site of the city of Shushan, which played such a central role in the events described in the Book of Esther.

Various travelers down through the ages took note of the site, with the first having been Benjamin of Tudela, the famed 12th century Jewish explorer.

Iranian Jews revered the shrine, and many would travel to Hamadan to observe Purim there by reading the Megila alongside the tomb. Others held family celebrations, such as bar mitzvas or circumcisions, at the site.

The entrance to the building is said to have been built intentionally low to compel visitors to bow their heads upon entering, thereby engendering a requisite attitude of respect. Inside the main hall, which is adorned with Hebrew inscriptions, lie two large, decorated wooden boxes, or trunks, below which are said to be the final resting places of Mordechai and Esther.

A small synagogue adjoins the tomb, and the site is also considered holy by Muslims and Christians, who come to pray there.

Next to the mausoleum lies a large hollow in the ground, which Iranian Jews believe to be the entrance to a tunnel that stretches all the way to Jerusalem.

INTERESTINGLY, THERE is a competing tradition which identifies the traditional burial place of Queen Esther and Mordechai as being on the outskirts of the village of Baram, in the Upper Galilee, near Safed.

As early as 1215, Rabbi Menahem Hahevroni wrote that while visiting the Galilee, he came across the tomb of Queen Esther, "who, during her lifetime, had instructed her son Darius to bring her there [for burial]."

Later pilgrims mentioned the site, and noted that special celebrations were held there on Shushan Purim.

Currently, the tomb is believed to be located in the ruins of a building found in the Baram National Park.

After the area was liberated in the War of Independence, a group of Safed Jews went up to the tomb on Purim in 1949 and read the Megila there to revive the long-standing custom of previous generations.

Hence, we have two conflicting traditions as to where the protagonists of the Purim story are buried, with one placing them in Persia and the other much closer to home.

And while we cannot say with any certainty which of the two traditions is more authentic or correct, of one thing we can all be sure: The deeds of these two great Jewish heroes will never fade from our collective memory.

As the Megila (9:28) itself tells us: "And these days of Purim shall not pass from among the Jews, and their memory shall not lapse from among their descendants."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: cyrusthegreat; esther; godsgravesglyphs; hamadan; iran; mordechai; purim

1 posted on 03/11/2009 5:42:58 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

“The deeds of these two great Jewish heroes....”

Cmon! Tell us more! Don’t make us wiki for it!


2 posted on 03/11/2009 5:46:50 AM PDT by icwhatudo (The Dow is down nearly 6,000 points since democrats took back congress.)
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To: SJackson

Now if we can find Haman’s gallows we have the story complete with the resident bad guy...


3 posted on 03/11/2009 5:47:07 AM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
He's memorialized in hamatanschen! His fate is to be eaten!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

4 posted on 03/11/2009 5:56:26 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: icwhatudo

Read the book of Esther. It’s only ten (pretty short) chapters long.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Esther%201-10;&version=31;


5 posted on 03/11/2009 5:56:56 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: mbarker12474

Awesome-thanks! The full read is better but here’s is the story in 4 paragraphs:

Persian King Xerxes asks the Queen to come on out wearing the crown to show the guests at a party. She refuses so Xerxes starts looking for a new queen. Esther, an orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai, was one of many Xerxes looked at but she hid the fact she was Jewish. Xerxes liked her, made her Queen, and she tipped him off, thanks to Mordecai, on an assassination plot which really made him trust her.

Later on Mordecai refused to bow down in front of the new top royal guy Haman. Haman is so mad he doesn’t just want to just kill Mordecai, but wants to kill all his people (the Jews) and gets permission from the king to do so. Later, when Xerxes asks Haman about the best way to honor someone, (Hanan thinks the king is talking about him), Hanan tells him all kinds of great ways. The King says, Ok then, do these things for...Mordecai. Now Haman is even more mad.

Esther tells the king that she and her people are being threatened with death. The king ask by who and she says Haman. The king goes looking for him. Haman freaks and asks Esther to spare him. When the king returns he finds Haman sitting next to Esther he gets enraged and he has Haman killed on the same gallows Haman had prepared for Mordecai.

Esther tells the king she and Mordecai are related and Mordecai is given all of Hanans estates. The kings orders that the Jews will be allowed to defend themselves and they do just that-killing all their enemies thruout all the provinces when the time of Hanans planned attack had arrived.


6 posted on 03/11/2009 6:37:20 AM PDT by icwhatudo (The Dow is down nearly 6,000 points since democrats took back congress.)
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To: icwhatudo

A couple of years ago there was a very good movie called “One Night With the King” it tells the story of Queen Esther.


7 posted on 03/11/2009 6:40:05 AM PDT by NellieMae (Here...... common sense,common sense,common sense,where'd ya go... common sense......)
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To: SJackson
Mordechai wasn't Jewish and it's likely that Esther also wasn't.
8 posted on 03/11/2009 8:13:01 AM PDT by freedom9
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To: freedom9
Mordechai wasn't Jewish and it's likely that Esther also wasn't.

What's your source that is better than the Book of Esther?

9 posted on 03/11/2009 4:40:04 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: SJackson

bttt


10 posted on 03/11/2009 4:56:57 PM PDT by silverleaf (Freedom's just another word for "nothing left to lose")
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To: Gondring
What's your source that is better than the Book of Esther?

None other than. . .

Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

(Are you going to argue that every Israelite is a Jew?)

11 posted on 03/11/2009 6:27:54 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: Gondring
What's your source that is better than the Book of Esther? None other than. . . Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

(Are you going to argue that every Israelite is a Jew?)

(Or argue that a Benjamite is of the seed of the Jews?)

12 posted on 03/11/2009 6:44:18 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: icwhatudo

It’s all about Purim. Intrigue within the Persian court, that had taken over Babylon, where the Hebrews were captives. Pretty interesting story, IMHO.


13 posted on 03/11/2009 6:50:41 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: SJackson

Where is the tomb of Mordechai and Esther?

Where did they leave it last?


14 posted on 03/11/2009 6:53:23 PM PDT by woofie
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To: freedom9
[...] there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai [...]

Is that not clear?

15 posted on 03/11/2009 9:18:15 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring
"...] there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai [...]

Is that not clear?

-----------------------------------------------

It's clear you would regard him as a Jew.

... there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

I contend that he is not of the seed of the Jews but is a Benjamite.


16 posted on 03/11/2009 10:22:30 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: freedom9
In every translation I find, Benjamite is a modifier to the noun Jew, except where it's ambiguous and Jew can stand alone. In all cases, Jew points to Mordecai.

I can go only by the English translations. But your claim would make all the other translators wrong.

I don't have any stake in this and don't even know what reason you might have for your cliam and don't care. I am simply pointing out the grammar.

17 posted on 03/12/2009 4:37:19 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: freedom9; Gondring
(Or argue that a Benjamite is of the seed of the Jews?)

I will argue that, yes. "Jew" is a shortening of "Judah", to be sure, but stands for the Great House of Judah, not the tribe of that name- And the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of the House of Judah.

18 posted on 03/12/2009 4:51:54 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Proud 1%er... Reagan Conservatism is the only way forward.)
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To: roamer_1
(Or argue that a Benjamite is of the seed of the Jews?)

I will argue that, yes. "Jew" is a shortening of "Judah", to be sure, but stands for the Great House of Judah, not the tribe of that name- And the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of the House of Judah.

Ya?

Isa 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

19 posted on 03/12/2009 10:04:12 AM PDT by freedom9
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To: freedom9
Isa 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

This reply makes no sense.

20 posted on 03/12/2009 12:44:34 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Proud 1%er... Reagan Conservatism is the only way forward.)
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To: roamer_1
Isa 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

"This reply makes no sense.

Disregard it then.

What really makes no sense is;

"a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters"

21 posted on 03/12/2009 1:05:30 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: freedom9
"a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters"

That makes no sense either. Speak plainly.

22 posted on 03/12/2009 1:13:25 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Proud 1%er... Reagan Conservatism is the only way forward.)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

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23 posted on 03/15/2009 6:57:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: NellieMae
I did not know that. I'll have to check it out. The story of Esther has always been a favorite of mine. It has a very satisfying ending.
24 posted on 03/15/2009 7:55:34 PM PDT by stayathomemom (Cat herder and empty nester)
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To: SJackson

Are there any remains? DNA might be telling if allowed.


25 posted on 03/16/2009 3:03:58 PM PDT by Bellflower (The end of this age is near but the beginning of the next glorious one is coming!)
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To: freedom9
What's your source that is better than the Book of Esther?

None other than. . .

Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

I'm almost certainly out of my league here, but is not a person's Jewishness determined by his mother's descent, rather than his father's? Hence though descended in the father's line from Benjamin, if his mother descends from Judah, (which line is not given) does that not make him a Jew?

26 posted on 03/16/2009 6:51:25 PM PDT by night reader (NRA Life Member since 1962)
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To: night reader
"I'm almost certainly out of my league here, but is not a person's Jewishness determined by his mother's descent, rather than his father's? Hence though descended in the father's line from Benjamin, if his mother descends from Judah, (which line is not given) does that not make him a Jew?"

I've heard that also but there is no reference as to the mother of Mordecai and the scripture stated that;

"If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews"

not

"If Mordecai be of the "egg" of the Jews"

27 posted on 03/16/2009 7:24:18 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: SunkenCiv

One Night With the King is an excellent retelling of the Esther story. Pretty much family friendly even with the angle that the King sampled Esther before their marriage. Peter OToole has a cameo and Omar Sharif an important supporting role.


28 posted on 03/17/2009 2:53:50 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

I saw that on DVD (haven’t watched it) when it first came out, and didn’t get it, but saw it again, much reduced in price, and did get it. Took it to work (thought some of the customers would enjoy it) and it’s still there, I should grab it tomorrow and watch it tomorrow night. Anyway, thanks!


29 posted on 03/17/2009 5:09:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SJackson
"Next to the mausoleum lies a large hollow in the ground, which Iranian Jews believe to be the entrance to a tunnel that stretches all the way to Jerusalem."

Seriously?

30 posted on 03/17/2009 6:36:54 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: freedom9
"Are you going to argue that every Israelite is a Jew?"

A portion of Benjamin, and a portion of Levi were always considered "Jews" because they lived in the southern kingdom (Judah).

31 posted on 03/17/2009 6:46:51 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: Gondring; freedom9
"What's your source that is better than the Book of Esther?"

The Babylonian captivity didn't include much of Judah.

32 posted on 03/17/2009 6:49:48 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: freedom9
"If Mordecai be of the "egg" of the Jews"

Are you serious? - Genesis 3 speaks of the 'seed' of EVE brusing the head of the serpent.

33 posted on 03/17/2009 6:57:05 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bummer administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: editor-surveyor
"A portion of Benjamin, and a portion of Levi were always considered "Jews" because they lived in the southern kingdom (Judah).

But that does not make them of the seed of the Jews.

Deu 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

It seems that there were bounds afixed for a reason and that the tribes should remain seperate and distinct.

(Even my country, Canada, was at one time divided into twelve parts :-)

34 posted on 03/17/2009 7:03:16 PM PDT by freedom9
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To: freedom9

Splitter!


35 posted on 03/19/2009 4:38:13 PM PDT by wildbill
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