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The Scroll of Esther tells the story of Purim, but many of the details appear only in the oral tradition handed down through the generations by the Sages.

The Complete Story of Purim

The Complete Story of Purim

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The people of Persia, already in awe of King Achashverosh's wealth, were further impressed when he married Vashti -- the granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar, the powerful world ruler.
King Solomon's throne was the most wonderful throne that any king ever sat upon. It was fashioned of ivory and covered with gold. It was set with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other precious stones...
Achashverosh felt secure and powerful, so much so that he did not hesitate to adorn his tables with the precious and sacred vessels of the Holy Temple...
In Vashti's heart burned a vicious hate for the Jews. She delighted in tormenting Jewish children by forcing them to perform all sorts of demeaning tasks on Shabbat...
To most parents it would have been a rare honor and a great privilege to have a daughter married to the King. But Mordechai feared the day when Esther would be called to the palace...
One day, Mordechai overheard in the court a conversation between two of the King's attendants, Bigtan and Teresh. He learned that they planned to poison the King...
Mordechai answered: "I am a Jew, and would never bow down to any human being wearing the image of a pagan idol on his chest"...
G-d said, "You wicked man! Because you complain of the many holidays the Jews celebrate, I will give them yet another one, which they will celebrate over your downfall!"
"It is clear," Mordechai said, "that you were chosen as Queen so that you might be of service to your people just in such a fateful day..."
"Gather all the Jews of Shushan, young and old alike, and fast and pray on my behalf for three days, until their pleas will reach Heaven and G-d will have mercy..."
The King saw Esther, standing at the entrance. She looked very pale and troubled, but there was something about her face that made her look like an angel...
On that night there was a great clamor in Heaven. The tears and prayers of the distressed Jews, their sincere repentance and true remorse, broke through all the gates of Heaven...
Arrayed in full majesty and now looking quite stately, Mordechai rode through the streets of Shushan, while Haman led the horse, crying, "Thus shall be done to the man whom the King desires to honor!"
The villain is no other than this wicked Haman!" cried Esther, pointing an accusing finger at Haman. Haman grew pale and was terrified...
By royal decree, permission was granted to the Jews to gather on the thirteenth day of Adar and defend themselves against their enemies, and to attack and slay all those who would assault them...
The Purim story took many years to evolve. Here's a handy table of dates of the major events of the Purim story.

 
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