Saturday, March 07, 2009

Purim Shpiel 2009, pt 4

Meanwhile, back at the palace, the king was having trouble sleeping, so he ordered his servant to read the book of the royal records out loud. This was the strongest sedative the king knew of, second only to being hit over the head with the book of royal records. When the servant came to the part about how Mordecai had saved the king’s life, the king asked, "Did I ever do anything to thank that guy?"

"No," replied the servant.

"I really should do something to thank him–but what? You know who’s really good at coming up with ideas like that? Haman."

Just then, in walked Haman to ask the king about the gallows.

"Hey, Man!" said the king, causing the whole palace to yell Boo! "You’re just the person I wanted to see! You know, Haman, I really like you! You are one of my favorite people in the kingdom! Tell me, what do you think should be done for someone really special–someone I want to honor?"

Your Majesty, I’m flattered," said Haman. "Well, this is what I would do: dress me–er ‘that man’–in one of your royal robes. Set him on one of your horses. Put a crown on his head, and then have one of your most noble princes lead him through the city streets while shouting, ‘This is what is done for the man the king wants to honor!’ But that’s just off the top of my head."

"I like it!" the king said. "Let’s do all of that! And you get to be the man... who leads the horse and makes the proclamation! Do all of that–for Mordecai the Jew! And Haman, don’t leave anything out!"

Well, he didn’t like it, but he did it–and then ran home, humiliated. He looked to his wife and friends for comfort, but they were no help at all. "What did you expect?" they asked. "Mordecai’s a Jew. No one can stand against the Jews and succeed for long!" Hardly had these "encouraging:" words been spoken, when the king’s servant arrived to hurry Haman off to the queen’s banquet.

While they were there, the king asked Esther again, "What did you want to ask me for? Even if your wish is for fish filling up half my kingdom, I’ll grant it–though I’d need some extra time to come through with that one."

And Queen Esther said, "If it please Your Majesty, I ask that you spare my life and the lives of my people–for, you see, I am a Jew."

"What?" said the king.

"A Jew!" said Haman.

"Gesundheit!" said the king.

"No! Not ‘achoo’!" said Esther, "A Jew. I’m Jewish–and there’s someone here in your palace who wants to get rid of all of us!"

"Who would do that?" asked the king.

"Him!" she said.

"Mordecai?" he said.

"No!" she said, "That’s Haman!"

The king went off in a huff, and returned in a minute and a huff.

While he was gone, the wicked Haman–knowing he was doomed–collapsed upon the queen’s couch & begged her for mercy. The king walked in and saw his right-hand man sprawled across the couch where Esther was reclining, and–what was he supposed to think?

"Get your hands off my wife!" thundered the king. The guards rushed in and arrested Haman. "I can’t even imagine a harsh enough punishment for you!" snarled the king.

Just then, the king’s servant, Harbona, walked in and said, "Hey! Have you all seen the 75 foot gallows downtown?"

So they hung Haman on his own gallows. It was an appropriate way to die for someone who was always so high-strung, anyway. (This is what is known as "gallows humor.") In his death, he proved that he was a truly swingin’ cat–and Esther was given his spacious estate, so now she had room enough to swing a cat. And the job of Haman was given to Mordecai the Jew.

However, there was still the matter of the evil scheme of Haman. Esther pled with the king to put an end to the edict that all Jews be killed on the 13th of Adar. But the king couldn’t do it. In Persia, once the king made a law, it couldn’t be repealed. So the king made a new law that the Jews should arm themselves, fight back, and destroy anyone who sought to kill them! And so, on the 13th of Adar, the day intended by Haman for the Jews’ annihilation, they assembled together and destroyed their enemies! They even hunted down the villain’s 10 sons, and hung them as well.

And so it was that they all lived happily ever after, except for the household of Haman, who stopped living entirely. Since that time, every 14th of Adar, the Jews celebrate the events of the book of Esther in a holiday called Purim, which means "lots" or "dice," because the date Haman chose by casting lots became the day when God delivered his people!

3 comments:

PaperSmyth said...

I loved it! Thanks for sharing.

Allen's Brain said...

Glad you enjoyed it! One more Purim-related post today (Monday the 9th)

HMSnow said...

Puns, puns everywhere, but nary a drop to drink? Doubtful. Enjoyable, though. Perhaps the other Purim-related post should have been written first, as a warning...