[Avodah] nashim and betulot

Simi Peters familyp2 at actcom.net.il
Tue Feb 26 05:14:26 PST 2013

While it is clear that the original plan called for taking just betulot (Esther 2:2-3), it seems from a later reference that the 'pekidim' who circulated around grabbing women for the palace, did not hesitate to take married women as well (Esther 2:17)--'mikol hanashim...umikol habetulot...'.  Ahashverosh had absolute power and absolutely no scruples.  In a society which viewed people as essentially dispensable, it's not hard to see how one of his officers might hear about a beautiful woman and simply take her in to the palace without worrying too much about her status.  Consider that in the flood of women being shlepped to the harem, Esther had no difficulty concealing her identity--it's not like they were checking people's personal information on a computerized data base.  Ahashverosh's paranoia about enemies may have been grounded partially in the fact that he was taking women indiscriminately, married or not. 

Kol tuv,
Simi Peters
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