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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.   chooses   to replace   (chapter 2). 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   implores   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   reveals to   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 's  orders.   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: . The book of   is read twice on the holiday of   which celebrates the Jews' victory over their enemies.


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