Have you ever heard the story about Queen Esther? Well if you haven’t, there was this king in ancient Iran who got mad at his Queen. His staff suggested he throw her off the throne so as not to be shamed, since she had publically disobeyed. It had been a humiliating event for the King to say the least. So, off she went.
In time, the King grew very sad, and the royal staff grew worried. It was time to find a new lady for the lonely monarch. And so they did. With that, a nationwide beauty pageant-type search was put underway. All the lovely virgins from regions around were brought to the harem and prepared for their “audition”.
One exceptional creature won the heart of the King. Her name was Esther. Unfortunately for our new heroine, she was Jewish. Now, that’s not a problem in itself, except that a particularly powerful person, who had the King’s ear, hated those members of Jewish race. It wasn’t looking good for Esther or her people. And it wasn’t long before this evil man, Haman, figured out a way to get rid of them. But the plot was foiled, and the Hebrew people were, in the end, saved. Hooray! But only by the bravery of our lovely new Queen who put her life on the line when it came down to the wire.
That said, in case you didn’t know, this very story is commemorated and celebrated by the Jewish people, annually, to this day. So what about that Lottery thing? Oh, yes…
Lots were cast to pick the day that Haman and his cronies would kill the Jews. The Hebrew word for Lots is Pûrîm. And so, this coming weekend, Jewish folks the world over will celebrate the holiday simply known as: Purim.
Their children will dress up as characters from the story, and they will read the Megilla (The Book of Esther) out loud. They will have graggers (noise makers) on hand. And each time the name of the evil Haman is read aloud they will Boo and hiss and wave their graggers. It’s quite a scene to be sure.
There will be food and festivities the entire weekend. So everyone can be sure to get in on the fun.
So there you have it. If you thought the Lottery was relatively new, think again. The ancient Persians (Iranians) beat us to it. And, the tradition even ended up with its own holiday! Who knew.
Just my thoughts.
PS: If you like movies, check out One Night with the King. Good stuff.
Purim’s Passion seen in today’s world. Click here