Megillas Esther “Playbill”

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16 Feb 2016

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Following the destruction of the First Temple, the Jews were exiled from Israel. This exile was prophesied to last 70 years, but both the Jewish people and the Persian King Achashverosh miscalculated. Assuming that the 70 years had passed and God had forgotten the Jewish people, King Achashverosh threw a lavish party with the remaining vessels from the temple. The king also donned the garments normally reserved for the priests (kohanim) in the Temple to celebrate what seemed to be his permanent kingship over the “forsaken” Jewish people.

The story of Esther, as recounted in the Megillah, tells the story of Achashverosh, guided by his assistant Haman, wanting to exterminate the Jewish people and the efforts of Esther and her cousin Mordechai to ensure the survival of the Jewish people.

The story, both tragedy and comedy, illustrates the hidden hand of God in Jewish history.

List of Characters

King Achashverosh – The Persian king in the megillah who was known to have a clear anger problem. Aside from his anger, he was rather susceptible to persuasion.

Esther – Esther, an orphan, was chosen by King Achashverosh to serve as his Queen. Her cousin Mordechai urged her to accept the position even though it was clearly not an ideal environment for a Jew. While serving as the Queen, she kept her Jewish identity secret.

Mordechai – One of the last remaining prophets, Mordechai was the moral compass for the Jewish people. When most Jews had already assumed God had forgotten them, Mordechai inspired the people to reconnect with Him.

Haman – An avowed anti-Semite, Haman had one goal: Killing all the Jewish people. As the king’s right hand man, he was in the perfect position to get the job done. It seemed like it would take a miracle to stop him.

God – God does not have any speaking roles during the entire story of Esther. In fact, He is not mentioned at all. If you look closely though, you may realize He was directing the story all along.

Summary of Each Scene

Scene 1 – Partying Like It’s the End of the World

Scene 2 – A Persian Beauty Pageant

Scene 3 – The Final Solution

Scene 4 – It’s Up to You

Scene 5 – A Bold Step

Scene 6 – Lullabies Just Aren’t Enough

Scene 7 – The Tables are Turned

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