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The Death Verdict

The Death Verdict


Shabbat was the last day of the great seven day feast in the King's palace. While pious Jews everywhere ceased working, and spent the day in prayer and Torah study, the wild revels at the palace did not abate. The King, his tongue loosened by wine, began to boast of his riches, of his vast empire, and then of Vashti, his queen, whose extraordinary beauty and wondrous charm surpassed those of all other women. Made reckless by the intoxicating liquors he imbibed, one of the guests challenged the King to prove the truth of his words and allow Vashti to display her beauty before the guests. The King immediately sent for Vashti, his queen, to appear before his guests.

In Vashti's heart burned a vicious hate for the Jews, which she had acquired from her grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar. She delighted in tormenting Jewish children by sending for them on Shabbat and forcing them to perform all sorts of demeaning tasks. When the King sent for her, she cried indignantly, "Am I to be sent for like a common slave, a mere servant girl?" and she boldly refused to do the King's bidding to come to the banquet hall.

King Achashverosh was enraged. He called upon the wise men of his kingdom to pass sentence upon Vashti for her disobedience. But all were afraid to answer. All, with the exception of one Haman, then an obscure official by the name of Memuchan, the lowest ranking official present. He advised the King to have Vashti executed, as her disgraceful act would have far reaching consequences. And so Vashti was executed for her rebelliousness. But it was not a mere coincidence that the cruel Vashti was executed on the very day of Shabbat; it was the penalty she paid for the suffering she had inflicted upon the Jewish children on the holy day of Shabbat.

Photo courtesy of Chabad of Northern Virginia.
The Complete Story of Purim, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY.
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Discussion (4)
March 21, 2016
reply to vashti
they agreed on it in order to make the jews sin but when she got tzara'as (aka pimples) and a tumor (aka tail) she refused
February 28, 2010
reply to Vashti
i wouldn't be able to prove which is correct or not, but to agree with anonymous manchester, my Dad taught me achashverosh wanted a sandwich from vashti. she refused and therefore was persecuted. gotta love children stories
February 26, 2010
reply to vashti
I believe both are correct. I assume they did not want to mention this part in a childrens book.
manchester, uk
March 11, 2009
this is not the version that I was taught . I learned tha Ahashveros wanted Vashti to dance in a very immodest way before his male friends. She refused and he beheaded her.
Cincinnati , OH
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