While the first of Esther’s parties was uneventful, the second party certainly made up for it. At the second party, Achashveirosh asked Esther what she was after, and Esther declared that there was a man out to destroy her entire people. Achashveirosh grew very angry, demanding to know who this man was, and, to Haman’s horror, Esther pointed to him. Many agree that Achashveirosh had already grown suspicious of Haman and he responded furiously. As Achashveirosh left the room, presumably to check into the details, Haman threw himself at Esther, begging for mercy. Achashveirosh promptly returned, furious at the scene he saw before him and assuming the worst of Haman. Haman and his ten sons were quickly hanged on the very tree Haman had formerly set aside for Mordechai. Mordechai, on the other hand, has been promoted in place of Haman as the royal vizier. Esther and Mordechai intended to arrange with the king for a withdrawal of the decree against the Jews as quickly as possible, but Achashveirosh would not make it so simple. Political analysts presume that Achashveirosh was afraid of showing weakness to his reign by backing out of a royal decree, so instead, he allowed another decree to be made that would help the Jews. This decree would allow the Jewish people to fight back against all those who attempt to slaughter them on the 13th of Adar. An extra day of fighting has been granted to the Jews of Shushan. We wait to see if this will be enough.

UPDATE: The day has come and in a miraculous, overwhelming victory, the Jews have succeeded in killing thousands among thousands of their enemies. The next day (the 14th of Adar for those outside of Shushan, the 15th for those in Shushan) the Jews made a holiday celebrating their salvation and the hidden orchestration of events that G-d surely led. The Jews also re-accepted the entire Torah upon themselves, something unseen since Matan Torah at Har Sinai centuries ago. It has been realized that the impression that 70 years have passed without the redemption having come has been a mistake in calculation, and indeed, the redemption is imminent and on time. In the meantime, Mordechai has sent out a decree makin the celebration of this holiday, which is to be known as Purim, official for future generations, and has published an official account of the full story of everything that has occurred.

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