VIDEO: Purim in Israel

There is an old joke about Jewish holidays, that they are all the same:

They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat…

We would not be doing the upcoming holiday Purim justice if we left it at that, but honestly it’s not too far from the truth.

Purim comes from the dramatic story found in the book of Esther, of another attempt to wipe out the Jewish people.

The Book of Esther begins with a six month banquet given by King Ahasuerus which is followed by another seven day drinking fest while his Queen organized her own drinking party for the women.

At the end of this feast Ahasuerus gets thoroughly drunk and demands Queen Vashti display her beauty before his guests.

Vashti refuses, and Ahasuerus, after consulting with his advisors, decides to vanquish her as queen—lest all the women of Persia follow her example. Of course that presents a problem. He needs a new queen. So, he has all the young maidens of Persia paraded before him so he can choose one.

A Jewish man named Mordecai tells his neice Esther to go, but not to reveal that she is Jewish. Esther finds favor in the king’s eyes and he makes her his new queen.

If the story ended there, it would be enough for a Hollywood script: Jewish orphan becomes queen.

But it gets more intense.