Heroine of the story told in the book of
is an orphan being raised by her cousin
The King of Persia,
having deposed his wife
seeks a new queen and to that end has maidens brought from around his dynasty to the capital city
too is taken for consideration by the king, but is cautioned by
not to reveal her true religion. After twelve months of preparation,
has an audience with the king who loves her more than all the other women he has seen.
. Persia's prime minister,
has set in motion a plan to kill all of the kingdom's Jews, a massacre which is well-publicized. Nevertheless,
only learns about the catastrophe from
through her servant
to use her position on behalf of her people, warning her that if she does not come to their aid she too will perish (chapter 4)
fasts for three days following which she appears before
who is very accommodating, promising to grant his queen whatever she requests.
asks merely that he and
join her for a feast. At the feast, the king again asks
what he can do for her and she responds that she would like the king and his minister to come to a second party the following day (chapter 5)
. It is at the second party that
that she and her people have been sentenced to die by
The king is enraged and
is immediately executed (chapter 7)
. Realizing that the threat to her people still looms,
begs the king to recall
states that while no royal edict can be revoked, he will grant the Jews permission to fight for their lives on the day that the attacks are meant to take place (chapter 8)
is one of seven women appearing on a list of female prophets in the Gemara:
îâéìä éã ..
The book of
is read twice on the holiday of
which celebrates the Jews' victory over their enemies.