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THE Many ADVENTURES OF ESTHER The story of Purim

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THE Many ADVENTURES OF ESTHER The story of Purim. The Story of Purim

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The Story of Purim

  The story of Purim is found in The Megillah, the Scroll on which the Book of Estheris written. It tells the story of Queen Esther, King Ahasuerus, Esther's uncle (or cousin) Mordechai, and the king's chief advisor Haman

      Though Synagogues are mostly solemn places, it becomes festive as children dress up as their favorite Purim characters and rattle graggers

(noisemakers) at every mention of

Haman's name.

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The Story of Purim

One day the King of Persia, Ahashverosh, decided to have a feast. During the feast he called for his wife, Queen Vashti, because he wanted to show all the guests how beautiful she was.

Vashti was very insulted and refused to appear. The king got very angry. He was worried that all the women in his kingdom would stop obeying their husbands if they found out that the queen didn't come when the king called her. He decided to teach her a lesson and find a new queen.

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The King decided to bring beautiful women from all over the world and give them beauty treatments for a year, so he could choose a new queen. A Jewish man called Mordechai lived in Shushan. He looked after Esther, his cousin, because she was an orphan. Esther was chosen to live in the palace and prepare to be seen by the king. She didn't tell anyone that she was Jewish. The king liked Esther best and chose her to be his queen.

Mordechai spent a lot of time near the palace so that he could keep in touch with Esther. One day he overheard two guards plotting to kill the king. He told Esther, who told the king in Mordechai's name. The guards were hanged and a note made in the king's chronicles.

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The King chose Haman       to be his chief advisor. Everyone had to bow down whenever Haman passed, but Mordechai, who was often outside the palace, refused to bow because Jews bow only before G-D.. This made Haman very angry and he decided to kill Mordechai and all the Jews in the kingdom as a punishment.

He cast lots or PURIM to determine the day of destruction.

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Haman      went to the King and and convinced him to go along with his plans. When Mordechai heard about what had happened, he tore his clothes, wore sackcloth and ashes, and walked through the city crying loudly. Mordechai told Esther about the evil decree and asked Esther to intercede for the Jews.

Esther sent a message back that the law states that anyone who goes to the king without being called must be put to death. Only if the king points his golden scepter to a person, will he live.

Esther said that she would fast for 3 days and asked that all the Jews in Shushan should fast too. "...then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I must die, then I will

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On the third day, Esther put on royal clothes and stood in the inner courtyard of the palace. The king was happy to see Esther and pointed the gold scepter at her. "What is it you wish, Queen Esther? Even if you want half the kingdom, I will give it to you." Esther said, "I would like to invite the king and Haman to a feast." At the feast, while King Ahash-verosh and Haman were happily drinking wine, Esther asked them to come back the next day for yet another feast.

Haman left in a very good mood - until he saw Mordechai who wouldn't bow down. He arrived home very angry. He told his wife and their friends that all his wealth and power meant nothing to him as long as he had to look at Mordechai. They suggested that he build a big gallows and ask the king to hang Mordechai on it in the morning. Haman liked the idea, and built the gallows.

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That night, the king could not sleep, and asked for his book of chronicles. He read how Mordechai had saved him from the two guards, and had never been rewarded. At that moment Haman arrived to speak with the king about hanging Mordechai.

"Haman, " said the king. "What should be done for a man whom the king wants to honor."

"Who would the King want to honor more than me?" Haman thought. So he said: "Bring him the kings clothes and the king's horse, give him a crown to wear and lead him through Shushan."

"Hurry," said the king. "You must do exactly what you just said to Mordechai the Jew."

And that's what Haman did.

Afterwards he went home sad and embarrassed.

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It was the second feast that Queen Esther made for the king and Haman. "What is your wish?" asked the king, "you can have half the kingdom if you want."

So Queen Esther told the king that she and all her people were about to be killed. "Who dares to do this?" cried the king. "The evil Haman." said Esther. The king jumped up in anger and stormed out into the palace garden. Haman started to beg Queen Esther for his life. When the king came back, Haman was kneeling on Esther's bed, which made the king even more angry.

One of his servants said, "Haman has prepared gallows to hang Mordechai, who helped the king. "Hang him on it!" the king said. So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.

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That same day, King Ahashverosh gave Queen Esther everything that had belonged to Haman. Mordechai was put in charge of Haman's household. Now Esther had to plead again with King Ahashverosh, because the law that the Jews were to be killed had been sealed with the king's ring and could not be changed. So a new law was made and sent to all the countries and provinces. It allowed the Jews to join together and defend themselves and take the property of anyone who tried to attack them.

Mordechai left wearing royal clothes and a big gold crown. The city of Shushan and Jews everywhere were joyful and happy. Many people even pretended that they were Jewish because they were afraid of the Jews.

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On the 13th of Adar, the day that the enemies of the Jews had believed they would kill them, the opposite happened, and the Jews rose up over their enemies.

The Jews gathered in all the countries of King Ahashverosh, to attack those who wanted to hurt them. No one stood in their way because they were afraid. The Jews killed their enemies but did not take any of their property.

Queen Esther and Mordechai wrote that the Jews should remember what happened, and make a festival for themselves and their children, with feasts and giving food to each other. Because Haman had held a pur, a lottery, for when the Jews would be killed, the festival was called Purim.

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