Purim is possibly one on the most beloved Jewish holidays. There is no fasting, no mention of sins. But what is Purim really about? What is the true Purim story? Did a miracle happen in Shushan?
Purim and Shushan
There is a very good reason to celebrate on Purim. Roughly 2,400 years ago, the Persian King Ahashverosh made a feast in the capital city of Shushan. He demanded his wife, Vashti, to appear in her crown. She refused. As a result, King Ahashverosh had her killed. He then searched for a new wife. Ahashverosh had every unmarried woman in the empire go to him to see if he wanted the woman to be his queen. Ester, a Jewish woman, was taken to the palace. Ahasverosh chose Ester to be his queen. Meanwhile, Ester hid her Jewish identity.
Bigtan and Teresh in Shushan
Two of King Ahashverosh’s guards, Bigtan and Teresh, plotted to kill the king. They made their plans speaking in a different language, thinking that no one could understand them. However, Mordechai understood many languages. Realizing the danger, he passed the info to Ester, his niece, who told the king. Consequently, the plot was foiled. Royal records stated that Mordechai saved the king.
The evil Haman wanted to kill all Jews. Since he was a high ranking official, he was able to secure King Ahashverosh’s permission to do so. Mordechai knew what had transpired. He spoke with Ester, his niece. He implored her do do something. As the queen, she was uniquely qualified to ask for the king’s help. Ester agreed. First, she united all of the Jews and asked them to fast and pray for her. On the third day, Ester approached the king and invited him, and Haman, to a feast. He agreed.
At the feast, Ahashverosh asked Ester what she desired. She asked Ahashverosh and Haman to return the next day again. Intrigued, he agreed. The next day, at the feast, Ahashverosh again asked Ester what she wanted. She declared that she wanted to live, as Haman wanted to kill all Jews and she was Jewish.
In the end of the Purim story, the Jews are delivered from their enemies and end up defeating their enemies all over the kingdom of Persia.