Saturday, March 07, 2009

Purim Shpiel 2009, pt 3

Haman went to the king & told him that the Jews who lived in Persia had different customs from everyone else, and that they didn’t obey the king’s commands. "It would be in the king’s best interest to make a law that they all be destroyed," said Haman. "In fact, I’m willing to donate 375 tons of silver into the R.M.G.F.–the Royal Mass Genocide Fund–to pay whoever carries out this initiative!"

To which the king replied, "Keep the money. This is your baby. You rock it." So letters were sent throughout the kingdom of Persia that on the 13th day of the 12th month–the month of Adar–all Jews in the land should be annihilated and extinguished–or at the very least, killed.

And so we come to Esther ch 4. In this chapter, Mordecai finds out the evil plans of Haman. The action is primarily concerned with people tearing their clothing, pouring ashes on their head, and in general weeping, moaning, and carrying on. Eventually, all the noise got Esther’s attention, and she developed a way to make slow Jews fast! She told them all to fast with her for 3 days, probably figuring that if they didn’t eat anything for 2 days, they’d at least be too tired to make a ruckus–which would give her some peace and quiet in which to come up with a plan.

After 3 days, she went to see the king and plead for mercy. This was dangerous, because, even if you’re the queen, you don’t just waltz into the king’s presence without being summoned. Neither do you foxtrot, two-step, or electric slide in to see the king, without him calling for you. If you did so, you might lose your head. And if Esther lost her head, where would she wear her crown? The only exception to the rule would be if she approached, and the king held out his golden scepter to her. The she would be spared. But it had been 30 days since he had last called for her to come see him. What if he didn’t like her anymore? What if he was bored with her? It seemed like a risky proposition.

But Mordecai had told her, "Make no mistake. Even though you live in the palace, the fact that you’re Jewish will eventually come to light, and your life won’t be spared either! "

"Do you really think the king will discover that I’m Jewish?" asked Esther.
"Esther, you light Sabbath candles; you keep 2 sets of dishes for meat and dairy; and you don’t eat pork! He’s bound to figure it out sooner or later! And who knows, but perhaps you have come into your royal position for just such a time as this!" And so Esther went to see the king.

When Achashverosh saw Esther, he was thrilled, and extended his golden scepter to her. "I’m sorry I haven’t called you in a while," he said. "It’s just that I’ve been playing a lot of golf lately, and I’ve spent all my spare time with personal trainers trying to improve my game! What can I do for you? Up to half my kingdom is yours for the asking, as long as it’s not the half with the good golf courses."

Esther was relieved, flattered, and more than a little confused–especially by the fact that the king’s "golden scepter" bore a very close resemblance to a nine-iron. Steadying herself, she asked, "How about coming over for dinner tonight, just you and me and Haman?"

"Fore!" shouted the king. "I mean, yes. That would be great!"

And Haman said, "I’ll be there."

Later that night, over drinks, the king asked Esther, "Now, what is it you really wanted to ask me for? I’ll grant your wishes, even up to half of my kingdom."
Esther had carefully rehearsed her speech. It went something like this: "Uh... how about coming over for dinner again tomorrow night?"

"Mordecai, too?" asked the kings.

"I’m not Mordecai! I’m Haman!"

"Oh, right!" said the king. "I have a hard time telling you two apart after a few drinks."

"Seven," said Haman.

"Whatever, Mordecai," said the king.

"So, can I come too?" asked Haman.

"Yes, you too," Esther said.

"We’ll be there!" they said.

On the way home, Haman was in a great mood. Not only was he over all the other royal officials in the palace, but he was an honored guest at the queen’s table. And soon, all the Jews in Persia would be gone! Everything was going perfectly! And then he ran into Mordecai the Jew. After picking himself up and dusting himself off, he was enraged. "Who left this mirror here?" screamed Haman (he’d had a few drinks himself.)

"I’m Mordecai," said... Mordecai.

Haman was further enraged to note that Mordecai still did not bow down to him!

That night, Haman told his wife Zeresh, "My life is great, but so long as I know that Mordecai the Jew is at the palace, and I can’t enjoy any of it!"

"Oh! A brilliant idea!" said Zeresh.

"Yes?" said Haman.

"That’s what we need–a brilliant idea," she said. "Wait, I have it. Build a gallows 50 cubits high, and in the morning, ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then yo can go to the party tomorrow and forget all your troubles."

"That’s ingenious!" remarked Haman, "but how big is a cubit?"

To which his wife replied, "Who cares? Just make it really, really big!"

part 4

1 comment:

PaperSmyth said...

"Esther, you light Sabbath candles; you keep 2 sets of dishes for meat and dairy; and you don’t eat pork! He’s bound to figure it out sooner or later!"

Yep, I think it's pretty much an open secret, dear.