Introduction to the Book of Ester
The Book of Esther provides one possible answer to that question, tough cookie though it is. Today, that query may not loom quite as large in America, but it definitely does in many other places throughout the world (the Middle East, Burma, the Congo—and about a dozen or more other places). It happened to loom really large in the ancient Middle East too. In Esther's case, though, no one seems to know if there really was a wicked counselor named Haman who attempted to manipulate the emperor (probably Xerxes I, though here he's called "Ahasuerus") into having all the Jews in the Persian Empire murdered during the fifth century BCE. Nevertheless, you don't have to look too deeply into Jewish history to find highly similar attempts at genocide and persecution against the Jews. The story (which was probably written during the third or fourth Century BCE) may have helped people who were living under later rulers and needed to reckon with threats from above (regardless of how historically accurate the story is—or isn't).
Good Girl, Mad World
Why Should I Care?
AUGUST 19 Monday
WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY
Ester, Chapter 1, Verse 8
The whole nation of the just was shaken with fear at the evils to come upon them, and they expected to perish.
Sounds like 2019 to me, afterall we according to AOC we only have 12 years left-so let’s party!Party Like It's Roughly 500 BCE
- The first chapter starts off by describing the setting: this all went down in the Persian capital of Susa, where King Ahasuerus was ruling over an empire that extended from India to Ethiopia.
- Three years into his reign, Ahasuerus throws a huge banquet, showing off his wealth to all of the different governors and officials in his kingdom. It's a massive party that goes on for one hundred and eighty days.
- Then, he gives another banquet for all the people living in his citadel—both the important people and the unimportant. It lasts for seven days. All of the kings' luxurious couches and curtains are on show, and he amply provides wine for his guests in golden goblets.
- The queen, Vashti, also provides a separate banquet for all the women in the kingdom.
- On the seventh day, King Ahasuerus orders the queen to come so that he can show her beauty off to all the people in the kingdom, sending eunuchs to tell her.
- But the queen refuses to come. Uh-oh.
Sounds like a Case for Judge Judy
- King Ahasuerus goes into a rage and asks his sages what the law says about this.
- The sages say that the queen has not only wronged the king but all the people in the kingdom as well, since she's setting a disobedient example for all the wives. They tell him he needs to dismiss the queen.
- So, the king divorces Vashti, strips her of her title, and orders her never to come before him again.
- He also writes letters to each of his provinces telling everyone that men should be the masters of their houses. (Nice touch, fella.)
World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day seeks to recognize the compassion and bravery of humanitarian workers. The day also serves to gain international cooperation to meet the needs of humanitarian work around the world. Humanitarian workers provide life-saving assistance consisting of first aid, nutrition, shelter and help rebuild after disaster has struck. These workers often battle violence, local diseases and hunger while attempting to save lives and provide relief to those most in need. World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United Nations in December of 2008 in an effort to honor the sacrifices of humanitarian workers. It is celebrated annually on August 19, a day that commemorates the 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq.
World Humanitarian Day Facts & Quotes
· It is estimated that approximately 22 billion dollars of aid was given worldwide in 2013, though there is no official way to track exactly how much money is spent.
· The US is the top national donor in terms of raw dollars allocated to humanitarian aid. In 2013 it gave approximately 4.7 billion dollars. However, among developed nations, it donates the lowest percentage of its GDP.
· Despite all the money and aid that is being given for humanitarian relief, it is still estimated that one-third of all global humanitarian needs are not being met.
· Battle for the Soul of America-Day 5
· Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
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