Purim is the holiday of masks and costumes. The Megillah is a story of hidden identities. Only at the end is everyone understood completely for who they are, for better or for worse.
- Rabbi Yehudah says: Hadassah was her name, and she was called Esther because she hid her important matters (masteret in Hebrew means "hide").
- Rabbi Nechemiah says: Hadassah was her name, and she was called Esther because the gentiles called her after Ishtar, the goddess of beauty.
- Ben Azzai says: Esther was not tall and she was not short, but of medium stature, just like a myrtle (hadas in Hebrew means "myrtle").
- …Rabbi Eliezer said: Every individual nation imagined that she came from there.