This beautiful film in both Farsi and English takes one on a video visit to the tomb of Esther and Mordachi, the holiest site to Persian Jews other than Jerusalem. The tomb is located in Hamadan in modern day Iraq.
The caretaker says that the burial site dates back 2500 years. The mausoleum itself was built by the Mongols in the thirteenth century. The site was restored in the 1920’s with initial funding provided by a Jewish women’s group. The place has special significance for Iranian women, not just Jews. Among the traditions associated with the place, it is believed that clothing made from cloth that touches Esther’s tomb will bring blessing and healing to the person wearing it.
There is a competing tradition that says the bodies of Mordachai and Esther were brought back to Israel and buried in Baram, in the upper Galilee.
The story of Esther and Mordachai is also part of Iranian culture. In Iran Jews are known as the “children of Esther”. The site is also part of Iran’s National Heritage list.
For more on the tomb, its architecture and its traditions, see
- Asian Historical Architecture: The Mausoleum of Esther and Mordachai
- Farsinet: The Tomb of Esther and Mordachai
- HaAretz: Esther’s Iranian tomb Draws Pilgrims of All Religious StripesAr
- Arutz Sheva: Where is the Tomb of Mordachai and Esther