In the Hebrew Bible, Esther appears as a woman of deep faith, courage and patriotism, ultimately willing to risk her life for her adoptive father, Mordecai, and the Jewish people.
In Judaism, the book of Esther is read on Purim. It tells a story of palace intrigue and plotting to kill the Jews thwarted by the Jewish queen of Persia.
The story opens with an account of King Ahasuerus' royal seven-day feast to display the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor of his majesty.
Drunk with wine, the King ordered his queen Vashti to appear nude in front of his drunken guests. Vashti refused (apparently she didn't like gang rape) and this pissed off the king. He then demanded that a new queen reign in Vashti's place and then had her killed to make her an example for other disobedient wives. (I hate when that happens).
A Jew named Mordecai presented his beautiful niece, Esther, not revealing that she is also a Jew. Enchanted with her charm and beauty, King Ahasuerus chose Esther to be his wife and queen.
Soon after this, the King gave Haman, his prime minister, power and authority—the people would bow to him. (Yeah, right). Everyone bowed except Mordecai who refused to bow to anyone but his God. This pissed off Haman, and he plotted to massacre all Jews, including Esther. That night, over the banquet, Esther told the king about Haman's plan and acknowledged her own Jewish ethnicity. The king then ordered Haman to be hanged! (Na-na-na-na-na!)
Jews established the annual feast of Purim in memory of their deliverance. I created this collage to illustrate the story.