CHAPTER 1 -- KING ACHASHVEROSH THROWS A PARTY
1. A lavish six-month celebration marks the third year in the reign of Achashverosh, king of Persia.
2. Queen Vashti refuses the king's request to appear at the celebration and display her beauty for the assembled guests.
3. The king's advisors counsel that Vashti be replaced with a new queen.
CHAPTER 2 -- ESTHER BECOMES THE QUEEN
1. Across the Persian Empire, officials are appointed to identify beautiful candidates to succeed Vashti as queen.
2. A Jewish girl, Esther, the niece of Mordechai, is brought to the capital of Persia as one of the candidates.
3. Mordechai tells Esther to conceal her identity.
4. Esther is chosen to be the queen.
5. Mordechai learns of a plot to overthrow the king. Mordechai informs Esther, Esther tells the king, and the plotters are hanged.
CHAPTER 3 -- THE RISE OF HAMAN
1. Achashverosh appoints Haman to be his prime minister. All bow in homage to Haman.
2. Mordechai consistently refuses to bow to Haman.
3. An enraged Haman vows to kill all the Jews of Persia.
4. Haman prevails upon Achashverosh to destroy the Jews.
5. A royal edict is disseminated throughout Persia. The 13th of Adar is designated as the date to exterminate all the Jews and plunder their possessions.
CHAPTER 4 -- ESTHER'S MISSION BECOMES CLEAR
1. Mordechai tears his clothes and puts on sackcloth and ashes as a sign of public mourning.
2. Mordechai sends a copy of the decree to Esther and asks her to intercede with the king.
3. Esther replies that to approach the king without being summoned is to risk death.
4. Mordechai tells her that she has no choice.
5. Esther tells Mordechai to ask the Jews to fast and pray for three days before she will approach the king.
CHAPTER 5 -- ESTHER'S STRATEGY, HAMAN'S FURY
1. King Achashverosh receives Esther and grants her virtually any request.
2. Esther's request: that the king and Haman join her at a banquet.
3. After the banquet, Haman sees Mordechai who once again refuses to bow.
4. When Zeresh, Haman's wife, suggests that Mordechai be hanged, the gallows are prepared.
CHAPTER 6 -- THE REVERSAL BEGINS
1. The king can't sleep and asks to hear the royal chronicles.
2. For the first time, the king learns of the assassination plot that Mordechai had revealed.
3. That same night, Haman comes to see the king about hanging Mordechai.
4. Before Haman can speak, the king tells Haman to honor Mordechai by dressing him in royal garments, to place him on a royal stallion and to personally lead him through the streets of Shushan, capital of Persia.
CHAPTER 7 -- REVERSAL OF FORTUNE
1. At the second banquet, Esther reveals her identity and announces that she and her people are about to be murdered.
2. Esther identifies Haman as her arch enemy.
3. The king has Haman hung on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordechai.
CHAPTER 8 -- THE REVERSAL IS COMPLETE
1. Mordechai is named prime minister to replace Haman.
2. A second royal edict is promulgated empowering the Jews to fight and kill anyone who would try to harm them.
CHAPTER 9 -- THE HOLIDAY OF PURIM
1. On the 13th of Adar, a day that had been designated for Jewish destruction, the Jews are victorious over their enemies.
2. The 10 sons of Haman are hung.
3. The 14th and 15th of Adar are designated to celebrate the salvation. These are the days of Purim.
4. Mordechai initiates the Purim practices -- consisting of a festive meal, the exchange of gifts of food, and the giving of monetary gifts to the poor.
CHAPTER 10 -- MORDECHAI AND PERSIA
1. Persia, with Mordechai as prime minister, flourishes.
2. The role of Mordechai in the history of the Persian empire is recorded in the king's chronicles.
Adapted from "One Hour Purim Primer," by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf. www.leviathanpress.com