This is the first that I haven't spent in shul. It has kind of forced me to take a look at exactly what Purim really is, what meaning I can extract from it.

I have always been intrigued by Vashti. What a brave woman to speak her mind, and to be in control of what she will or will not do with her body. She remained true to her convictions, and because of that and being a women, she suffered greatly. Outspoken men are often heroes; not so much with outspoken women. Vashti was a trailblazer and a true hero in the Esther story.

Still, the sages didn't see it that way. From what I can tell, she got a bad rap. Vashti did not work within "the system" and her reputation suffers because of that. Still, I don't know a lot about the historical interpretation of Vashti so I cannot comment too much on it. I just know that I have never looked very closely at her except for this year. I find that her modesty, self advocating and bravery are something I admire.