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Exclusive Check the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai

By Jews for Torah / September 19, 2021
Check the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai

The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is located in Hamadan, Iran. Iranian Jews believe it houses the remains of the biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai and is the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in Iran is located in Hamadan, Iran. Iranian Jews believe it houses the remains of the biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, and is the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in Iran, and was declared a World Heritage Site by the Iranian government in 2008. There is no mention of it in either the or and the Iranian Jewish tradition has not been supported by Jews beyond Iran.  The mausoleum of the biblical Esther, wife of Xerxes I, and her cousin Mordechai. Also attributed to Shushan-Dukht, the Jewish wife of the Sassanian king Yazdigird I (399-420). It’s the most important Jewish pilgrimage center in Iran. Hamadan.

In 1891, the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai was described as consisting of an outer and inner chamber surmounted by a dome about 50 feet (15 m) high. The dome had been covered with blue tiles, but most of them had fallen away. A few tombs of worthy Jewish individuals were located within the outer chamber.  Menahem ha-Levi, a rabbi of Hamadan, wrote in 1932 that the building was 20 m high, that there was an inscription of Isaiah 26 on the doorway, that the first room had been built two centuries previous above the graves of a physician and a messenger from Hebron, and that a 19th-century Hamadan chief rabbi was buried in the center of the room. Between the main tombs, he described an opening into a cave beneath, which could be accessed for maintenance.   The archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld rejected the notion that the cenotaphs were connected with Esther and Mordechai, arguing that they were buried in Susa, and argued instead it was the tomb of Shushandukht, daughter of the late antique Exilarch Huna bar Nathan, wife of Yazdegerd I, and mother of Bahram V.  According to Stuart C. Brown, the site is indeed more probably the sepulcher of Shushandukht, Jewish consort of the Sasanian king Yazdegerd (399–420). Local legend has it the pit between the two tombs opens into a way that leads directly to Jerusalem.

However, the city of Hamadan in which the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is located, is the ancient Hagmatana/Ecbatana, the capital of the Median Empire which also served as one of the three, simultaneous capitals of the succeeding Achaemenid Empire. This is the dynasty to which the Bible assigns the story of Esther and Mordechai, the event that serves as the basis of the Jewish feast of Purim today.

“On the ceiling of the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is a small niche in which jewels were found at the beginning of the twentieth century by a French explorer, who took them to the Louvre. The Jews of Hamadan believe that the crown found among the jewels had belonged to Queen Esther.

The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai was declared a world heritage site.

“In 2008, the Iranian government declared the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai a world heritage site. The government’s protection of the site was removed, however, when Iranian students threatened to destroy it in revenge for the so-called Jewish destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque and the massacre of the Persians mentioned in the Megillah.”

 

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