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When I was young, I wished for the day I would get my first bicycle. When I got my bicycle, I wished for my first car. Now I’m driving my 17th (and 18th) car. They’re great, but they’re getting to be expensive.

When I was 16, I wished for the day I would go on my first date. After my first date, I wished for the day I would get married. (That first date didn’t work out as well as I hoped). When I got married, I wished for my first child. After my first child, I wished for my first grandchild.  We now have several of both (Gd bless). They’re great, but they’re a big responsibility.

More than 2400 years ago, Esther was the involuntary queen to Achashveirosh (Ahasuerus). (No, that’s not what you say when you sneeze, that was the King’s name). He had a wicked viceroy named Haman (as in hamantaschen) that wanted to destroy the Jewish people. In a long complicated story full of hidden miracles (I won’t give you the whole megilla (story)), the Jews were victorious and their enemies were destroyed.

The King turns to Queen Esther and says, “Darling, dearest, love of my life, I hereby grant you your heart’s desire. What is your wish?”

So what did she wish for?  A new camel? (They didn’t have Model T’s back in those days). An extension on the palace with a pool and a jacuzzi? A divorce? (Although I don’t think that would have gone over so well).

In essence she replied, “You have hung the ten evil sons of Haman on a tall beam. If it pleases the King, please do this again at some time in the future and hang ten equally evil men.”

How could she wish for something like that? Is it possible for a king of flesh and blood to grant such a request? Perhaps she was not addressing him at all but rather she was making a wish from the King of all Kings.

On October 16th, 1946, ten Nazi officers were executed as a result of the Nuremberg Trials. Why only ten and not hundreds? Why were they hanged and not shot? Why on a wooden beam and not a metal gallows? And why were they hanged exactly on the date hinted at in the mysterious, miraculous Scroll of Esther?

It seems that you have to be careful what you wish for.

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Posted in: Jewish Holidays
by   Max Anteby

Comments icon February 21, 2010


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