Esther's old story
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2004-06-21
Madonna also known as Esther
While it has only come out in public that the artist formerly known as Madonna is now preferring to be known by the biblical name of Esther, a Jewish blog reported Esther has been using her hebrew name for over a year.
According to an entry in the popular Yada blog on July 23 2003: "According to close friends of the singer, she is now telling people to call her Esther, preferring the name of the Biblical heroine to her own Italian-birth name of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone."
Writing further tongue-in-cheek the blog made a further suggestion for Esther's spouse. "No word yet on whether her husband, Guy Ritchie, will be switching his name to Mordechai."
Meanwhile, with the renewed interest in all things Esther, SomethingJewish offers a quick quide to the festival of Purim in which she is associated.
The Purim story
This one-day festival takes place four weeks before Passover and usually falls in February or early March.
It recalls the story of Esther, a Jewish Queen married to the King of Persia who foiled a plot by one of his advisors, Haman, to kill all the Jews. Esther was tipped off by her uncle Mordechai of what was to happen and stopped this terrible plot.
As well as the story being read in synagogue in a book called the Megillah, it is a day for parties and celebrations, and fancy dress is traditional. Pastries called Hamentaschen are also eaten - these are triangular (the same shape as Haman's hat) and filled with poppy seeds, jam or fruit.