To most Jews around the world, the Purim story happened somewhere far away in an unknown city with the fairy-tale sounding name of Shushan. But what if you knew Shushan as a real city as close as New York or Boston? What if Esther grew up in Chicago or you could visit her grave in Washington, D.C.?
Purim makes Iranians proud because Esther comes from their country. Esther, meaning 'star' in Persian [Ashtar or Akhtar], was beautiful, brave and smart enough to know how to live in two worlds. This is wisdom.
Esther and Mordechai’s tomb is located in the crowded city of Hamadan, where Avicenna is also buried.
The door, a 6-8 inch thick piece of solid gray granite with a rough surface, opens into a small anteroom. A soot-blackened glass separates visitors from a space designated for candle lighting. The plaster walls have Hebrew inscriptions.
An arch with plaster ornaments directs visitors into a high ceiling square room whose walls are decorated with Hebrew reliefs describing Esther and Mordechai' origins.
In the center, the two beautifully carved wood coffers stand five feet high, draped in shimmering vibrant color cloth, one reading “Ester;” the other “Mordekhay.” The original graves are located deeper below in the ground.
Like other historic monuments, the tomb has been victim to theft and vandalism. One surviving treasure is a magnificent 300-year-old Torah that is now housed in a modern cabinet.
Mordechai and Esther are not alone. There are also other historic Biblical tombs in Iran.
The prophet Daniel (Damal-e Nabi) (c. 540 b.c.e.) was born in Shushan (Susa), and prophesied in the decade 545-35 b.c.e. The 22nd book of the Bible bears his name, and his tomb is located in Shoush.
The prophet Habakuk (c. 600 b.c.e.) descended from Jewish exiles in Babylon. The 8th book of the Bible bears his name. A shrine is dedicated to him in Tuy-serkan, western Iran.
*** UPDATE: I haven't ever been to Tuyserkan but it seems the photos below belong to another biblical site NOT the prophet Habakuk in Iran. I did a small research and I found that these photos may belong to another tomb named after Prophet Habakuk in Galilee, Israel.
Tomb of Prophet Habakuk (Galilee, Israel?)
Pasargadae is the first capital of Achaemenian empire. Achaemenians under the rule of Cyrus The Great established the Persian empire. Cyrus is highly regarded as a King who favored all faiths including the Judaism equally. When he conquered the empire Babylonia in 538 B.C., he freed all Jews. Cyrus because of his respect for local customs and religions of different parts of his vase empire, is highly regarded as a liberator, rather than a conqueror. Pasargadae has always been an attractive place for the Jewish community from all over the world to visit. A little northeast of Pasargadae, is a large stone platform on a hill known as the Takht-e- Madar-e- Soleiman (Throne of the Mother of Solomon). Jews also visit this place to pay their respect.
http://fz-az.fotopages.com/?entry=900076 (Fariborz and Friends)