TO LIFT HOPE AND EXPECTATION

A RECENT FILM based on the book of Esther in the Bible, One Night With The King, is a more elaborate and detailed telling of Esther's story—something that has long been on many wish lists. Her story, which appears in both the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, is vital to Jewish tradition. The Jewish holiday Purim centres around reading aloud the entire book of Esther, in celebration of a time when the Hebrews escaped annihilation. The story is also loved by many Christians.

According to the story, the beautiful young Esther kept her Jewish heritage secret when she was selected to replace Queen Vashti as queen of Persia. Later Prince Hamam, an advisor to the king, openly plotted to destroy all Jews. This severely tested Esther's courage. But supported by her uncle Mordecai's counsel, she sent a message to all Jews, asking them to pray and fast with her. At the end of three days, Esther approached King Xerxes, unsummoned, on behalf of the Jewish people. This could have meant immediate death. But the king let Esther speak. Haman's plot was revealed, and the Jews were saved.

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