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Under penalty of death, it was not permitted to approach the king of Persia. Esther was a orphan who became Queen to King Ahasuerus, but she did not let her Jewish heritage be known. Mordechai refused to bow to Haman, so Haman planned to kill Mordechai and all the Jews of Persia as well.

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Mordecai asked Esther to ask her husband to help. Not knowing what to do, Esther fasted and prayed for three days. Then she committed herself to her fate, whatever it might be. Her courage and presence of mind is an example for us all. On the third day Esther arranged a dinner with the King and Haman. At dinner the King requested that Mordecai be honored.

Esther arranged a second dinner. At the second dinner, Esther revealed that she was Jewish and Haman had plans to wipe out her people. The king got angry and ordered Haman to be hanged on the gallows prepared for Mordecai. Then he allowed Mordecai and Esther to write their own decree. The decree allowed Jews to kill those who threatened them. Quite a massacre followed, but the Jews of Persia were saved. Every community observes Purim in its own way.

Dr Esther Reid

The Talmud relates that anyone who met Esther thought that she was from that person's nation. Slovak, Russian, African, it made no difference — you thought Esther was your landsman. This is difficult to understand; people from different countries each have their own unique look, language, customs and nuances. How was Esther able to pull this off? Was she such a chameleon? Esther was one of those rare people who have the unique talent of allowing others to feel as if she is one of them by instantly connecting with and relating to whomever she meets. She knew how to listen, see another's needs, quickly intuit a person's hot-button, and concentrate on the other and not herself.

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By giving another this total and undivided attention, every person who came in contact with Esther felt she knew and understood them so well that she must have come from their locale. In Hebrew the word for charm is chain. Its root is from the word, chinam which means gratis. People will like you, for no apparent reason at all and freely, if you make them, and not yourself, the focus during your interaction with them.

This is the "grace and kindness" that King Achashverosh and everyone else, immediately felt upon being in her presence.

The Date of Purim

Furthermore, Esther's reluctance to be the Queen was a crucial factor in winning over the King. She did not want, nay did not need, to be Queen because she knew it was not necessary to have that title and position. She exuded such confidence in herself from already knowing of her true royalty that came with her talents, morals, integrity and leadership — that it was completely unnecessary to have any formal recognition of it. She was not the least bit interested in formally being declared a Queen because she already knew that she was one. In complete contrast to Esther was Haman who wanted so badly to be like a king.

The problem was that he did not have any of the charm and grace of an Esther; a crucial quality for a King to relate to his many different subjects. Knowing deep down of his personal failings, his insecurity was so great that even though he had managed to amass tremendous power, it became meaningless if but one person would not recognize it. It only took one individual's refusal to bow to Haman to shatter his fragile ego and expose the fact that all the love and obedience shown to him was forced and false because it came through deception, lies and favors.

Such is the frailty of the ego of a person who knows that all his success, admiration and wealth are a sham.

The irony is that those whose egos are so sensitive and in constant need for validation never really get the respect they so crave. However, those who are secure and happy in their knowledge of themselves, who need no accolades, who have enough love and confidence of self that they can easily share it with others — those people always end up becoming honored Kings and Queens in the eyes of family, friends and anyone who might have the good fortune to be in their presence.

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One who runs after honor, honor flees from him. One who flees from honor, honor runs after him.

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