How Queen Esther Saved Her People

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The tale of the Jewish holiday Purim is recounted in The Bible’s Book of Esther and commemorates her story as the Jewish Queen of Persia, wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and details the actions that saved the Jewish people of Persia from annihilation. The holiday is also called The Feast of Lots and is celebrated with joy and abandonment, punctuated by giving gifts to friends and donating to the needy. “One of the most important things we learn from Purim is that no person can exist alone. We share with others not only our daily lives but our hopes and dreams as well” (Goldrich). Because God is not specifically mentioned throughout the Book of Esther, Purim is not considered a traditionally religious Jewish holiday. It has been treated as a minor yet spiritually significant holiday, paying homage to ancestors who, as a minority group successfully overcame a larger, more powerful force. Purim is a community holiday for the Jewish people, honoring the acts of working together and helping each other as well as being a family-oriented festive occasion. It is celebrated on the 13th and 14th day of the Month of Adar, this year that was March 7th and 8th. The story begins when Esther is chosen to be Xerxes new queen. He is unaware that she is Jewish and she hides that fact from him under the guidance of her uncle, Mordecai. Mordecai uncovers a plot to kill King Ahasuerus and informs Queen Esther who then tells her King. The story is investigated, found to be true, and the perpetrators are put to death. Mordecai is to be rewarded for his loyalty to the King at a later date. Meanwhile, King Xerxes appointed Haman as his next in command and ordered all his subjects to pay Haman reverence. Mordecai, a faithful Jew, would not bow to another man and this angered Haman. Haman then told King Ahasuerus that there was a group of people who would not keep the King’s laws

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