Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Miami Al posits myrhh/mikveh connection

From the comments to my anti-Achashverosh zinger post comes an interesting idea.

Miami Al said...

Note: I also think the fact that the young Yeshiva Bochurs, and the occaisional Rabbi, in a drunken D'var Torah will talk about Esther being "raped every night" by the King, which is preposterous. Any time she was brought to the King's chamber, no doubt to attempt to produce an heir, she would have been pampered and prepared for days... where do we think the requirements to prepare for Mikveh come from? The poor person's version of the Near Eastern preparations!

Shira Salamone said...

Miami Al,. . . I'm particularly intrigued by the connection that you made between the "six months with oil of myrhh and six months with 'sweet odors'" [nu, I thought "v'samim" meant "spices"] mentioned in Megillat Esther, chapter 2, verse 12 and the preparations for entering the mikveh. Fascinating, as Spock would say.


Anonymous Miami Al said...

Not equating it to Mikveh. Equating the "preparations" for Mikveh, which are cultural, with the pampering that was done for the King's women in Persia...

Most Jewish pampering is combined with references to "being like a King/Queen" -- the royalty in question are Middle Eastern royalty, not Disney royalty!

Wed Mar 03, 12:34:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

The similarity is interesting, but so's the difference, it occurs to me: while the Persian prep *added* myrhh and spices, the mikveh prep requires the *removal* of make-up, nail polish, rings, and anything else that could prevent the water of the mikveh from touching every exterior surface of the body. In that sense, one might make a case that the preparations for immersion in a mikveh are both a symbolic re-enactment of the Persian royal sex-preparation rituals and a repudiation of them.

Wed Mar 03, 01:27:00 PM 2010  

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