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Summary: The Story of Esther and the Day of Purim - Day of Rememberance.

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From the Book of Esther:

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THE STORY OF PURIM - A Day of Rememberance

THE MEGILAH BEGINS BY INFORMING US THAT ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT IS THE PERSIA-MEDIA OF KING ACHASHVEROSH, WHO THEN RULED OVER THE EMPIRE. THAT EMPIRE ENCOMPASSED ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SEVEN STATES AND PROVINCES

(DEFINITELY NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SEVEN RIGHTEOUS YEARS OF OUR MOTHER, SARAH); IN EFFECT, THE ENTIRE (MORE-OR-LESS) CIVILIZED WORLD AT THAT TIME. ACHASHVEROSH IS MAKING A FEAST FOR ALL OF HIS KINGDOM, AND FOR THE SAME REASON THAT THE UNFORTUNATE BELSHAZZAR MADE ONE! AGAIN, ACHASHVEROSH HAS DONE HIS HOMEWORK, AND IS CONVINCED THAT YIRMIYAHU’S SEVENTY YEARS ARE BY NOW CERTAINLY OVER (WRONG AGAIN!). ACTUALLY, THERE ARE TWO REASONS FOR

ACHASHVEROSH’S FEAST. THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE IS TO CELEBRATE THE SUPPOSED ABANDONMENT OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE BY THEIR GOD.

THE SECOND REASON FOR THE FEAST HAS TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT HE WANTS TO KEEP HIS POPULATION, ESPECIALLY THE MOST POWERFUL MEMBERS OF IT, INCLUDING THE ARMY, ITS OFFICERS AND ALL THE PRINCES AND PRINCESSES,

DUKES AND DUCHESSES, ETC., HAPPY. FOR, THE MIDRASH TELLS US, ACHASHVEROSH IS NOT OF "ROYAL BLOOD." RATHER, HE HAS COME TO POWER THROUGH A REVOLUTION. THEREFORE, HE IS NEVER TOTALLY SURE OF HIMSELF IN

HIS ROLE AS KING. HIS WIFE, VASHTI, THE QUEEN, IS HOWEVER A GENUINE "BLUE-BLOOD," BEING FROM THE HOUSE OF NEVUCHADNETZAR, KING OF BABYLON, AND WORLD CONQUEROR, AS SHE DOES NOT HESITATE TO REMIND HER HUSBAND, AS WE SHALL SEE. ALSO ON THE GUEST LIST ARE THE JEWISH PEOPLE. ACHASHVEROSH GOES ALL OUT TO MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE; HE HAS "GLATT KOSHER" MEAT, UNDER

IMPECCABLE "HASHGACHAH," PERHAPS UNDER THE "OU" OF THE TIME. THE JEWS, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAVE WEIGHED THEIR OPTIONS. A BEAUTIFUL CATERING HALL, GREAT FOOD, TERRIFIC SMORGASBORD, AND THE KING’S PROBABLY CORRECT

IN HIS CALCULATIONS. THEY FEEL A LITTLE QUEASY ABOUT CELEBRATING WITH VESSELS FROM THE TEMPLE NOT ONLY ON DISPLAY, BUT IN USE. BUT THE MAJORITY OF THEM HAVE COME. AND IT IS THEIR PRESENCE AT A FEAST CELEBRATING THEIR ABANDONMENT AND MOCKING THEIR TEMPLE THAT, ACCORDING TO THE MIDRASH, HAS MADE THEM GUILTY OF TREASON AGAINST God, AND THEREFORE CANDIDATES FOR DESTRUCTION! "ALSO QUEEN VASHTI MADE A FEAST FOR THE WOMEN" THE TALE (TAIL(?)) CONTINUES

NOT TO BE OUTDONE, QUEEN VASHTI MADE A FEAST FOR THE WOMEN OF THE KINGDOM. HER PURPOSE WAS TO SHOW OFF HER GREAT BEAUTY, SINCE SHE HAD BEEN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN THE WORLD. BUT HASHEM SPOILED HER PARTY. SHE DEVELOPED A FULL-BLOWN CASE OF LEPROSY. OTHERS SAY SHE ACTUALLY GREW A TAIL! THESE BLEMISHES WERE APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENTS FOR VASHTI, FOR HER ABUSE OF HER CAPTIVE JEWISH GIRLS. SHE HAD MADE THEM WORK FOR HER ON SHABBAT COMPLETELY NAKED, THUS GREATLY OFFENDING THEM FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO VIOLATE THE SHABBAT, AND ALSO BY PREVENTING THEM FROM PRACTICING THE CHARACTERISTIC OF "TZNIUT,"

MODESTY, WHICH WAS A MAJOR PART OF THEIR LIFE-STYLE. SO HASHEM PUNISHED HER "MIDAH K’NEGED MIDAH," "MEASURE FOR MEASURE," BY NOT ALLOWING HER TO MAKE A DISPLAY OF HER "PRITZUT," HER TOTAL IMMODESTY. "BRING VASHTI THE


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