Study and Theory/
Purim

The Story of Purim

a.

Many years ago, in the city of Shushan, there lived a king whose name was Achashverosh.

The king once held a feast. The king ordered to bring in Vashti, his wife. He wanted all of the guests to see how pretty she is. He sent his slaves to bring her, but Vashti said: Even if King Achashverosh ordered so, I will not come to the party.

 

b.

Achashverosh became angry with Vashti and sent her away.

The king wanted a new queen. The king’s messengers went out to search the land, and cried: Our master the king is looking for a woman to place a royal crown on her head.

 

c.

In Shushan there lived a Jew, his name Mordechai. He was the uncle of Esther. Esther was beautiful, good looking and lived in Mordechai’s house. The messengers of Achashverosh brought many young girls to the king’s palace, and Esther too. King Achashverosh liked Esther best of all. He placed a royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

Esther did not tell him she was Jewish.

Bigtan and Teresh wanted to kill the king. This became known to Mordechai, and he told the king.

 

d. 

King Achashverosh had a minister, his name was Haman. Haman was a very evil man. He ordered all people to bow to him. Mordechai the Jew did not want to bow to Haman. Haman the villain was angered and wanted to kill Mordechai and all of the Jews.

 

e.​

Haman went to King Achashverosh and told him: The Jews are not following the king’s orders, they should all be destroyed. King Achashverosh agreed. Haman cast lots. On the 13th of Adar, all the Jews must be killed and destroyed.

 

f.​

Mordechai the Jew heard that Haman wanted to kill all the Jews. He wore a sack and went to Queen Esther to tell her. Queen Esther became very sad. She cried and fasted for three days.

g. 

King Achashverosh’s sleep wandered at night. He could not fall asleep. He lay in bed and read from his diary, that Mordechai had once saved his life. Mordechai had told the king that two of his guards were plotting to kill him. King Achashverosh ordered to hang them from a tree, and wrote this in his diary.

 

h. 

The king thought: How can I reward Mordechai for his good deed? The king asked Haman: What should be done for the man whom the king desires to honor? Haman thought in his heart: They king must mean me.

Haman said: He should be dressed in royal clothes and led on a horse in the city, with people calling out loud: Thus shall be done for the man whom the king favors. King Achashverosh replied: Take Mordechai the Jew and do all you just said.

Haman did as the king told. And the wrath of the king subsided.

 

i. 

Esther the queen held a banquet. She invited King Achashverosh and Haman. King Achashverosh told Esther: Esther, what is it that you want? Whatever you wish for, I shall give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom.

Esther told him: An evil man wants to kill me and my people. The king asked? Who? Who is this man?

Esther told him: Haman that evil man.

 

j.

The king became angry with Haman and ordered to have him hanged on the tree prepared for Mordechai. The king sent messengers throughout the land and ordered that the Jews should not be killed.

Then Mordechai appeared before the king, wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large gold crown, and a fine purple robe; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was merry.  The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

Since then, each year, the Jews celebrate the Purim holiday on the 14th of Adar. They eat and drink and sending gifts [of food].

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