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The Entire Story Of Purim, As Told By Cat GIFs

The festive Jewish holiday of Purim begins the evening of this Wednesday March 4th. The entire story of Purim, retold in the universal language of the web: the cat GIF.

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Meet King Ahasuerus.

alxbngala.tumblr.com / Via giphy.com

Three years after ascending the Persian throne, when he celebrated by throwing a grand 180-day-long party.

His wife Vashti made a party of her own.

Ahasuerus called Vashti to join him at his party.

alxbngala.tumblr.com / Via giphy.com

He wanted to show them all her beauty to all the men.

But Vashti was like...

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Vashti refused his request.

Ahasuerus ordered Vashti's execution.

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Ahasuerus began to miss Vashti. So he held a beauty pageant.

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He held a beauty pageant for the most beautiful women in the land. The girl who would find favor in the king's eyes would be the new queen.

Then we meet Esther.

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The leader of the Jews at that time named Mordechai. He had an orphaned cousin named Esther, who he raised as a daughter.

Esther was chosen as Queen of Persia.

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The king fell instantly in love with her. Based on Mordechai's request, however, Esther never divulged her nationality.

Mordechai saves the day.

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Shortly after Esther became queen, Mordechai heard two of the king's servants plotting to assassinate the king.

Though they spoke a foreign language, Mordechai understood them and reported their plan. The traitors were hanged.

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Enter Haman.

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One of Ahasuerus minister's, the evil Haman, grew in prominence.

Haman did not like Mordechai, for Mordechai refused to bow to him.

Hamn offered the king 10,000 silver pieces for permission to kill the Jews.

Ahasuerus, who was no friend of the Jews, gave Haman permission, with no need to pay.

The decree was sent.

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Haman sent proclamations, signed with the king's seal, to all the king's land. The people were ordered to rise up against the Jews and kill them all – men, women, and children – on the 13th of Adar.

Mordechai's request.

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Mordechai became aware of the decree. He rent his garments and donned sackcloth. He sent a message to Esther, asking her to approach the king and beg him to spare her people.

Esther visits the king.

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"What is it?" Ahasuerus asked. "What is your request?"

"I would like to invite the king and Haman to a small feast I have prepared," Esther responded.

The party was held.

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Haman erects gallows for Mordechai.

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When he arrived home after the party, his wife and wise advisors counseled him to erect a gallows, and then to go to the king and request permission to hang Mordechai. Haman excitedly went ahead and put up the gallows.

This was the beginning of the end.

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Sleep eluded the king that night, so he asked his servants to read for him from the Royal Chronicles.

Ahasuerus hears from his chronicles.

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They read from the Chronicles how Mordechai saved the king's life when two of his chamberlains hatched a plot to kill him.

"Was he rewarded for this fine act?" Ahasuerus asked. "No he was not," the servants responded.

Haman must follow his own advice.

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At that moment Haman entered the king's courtyard wishing to ask for permission to hang Mordechai.

Ahasuerus however, asked him: "Haman, in your estimation, what shall be done to a person whom the king wishes to honor?"

Haman, certain that the king wished to honor him, responded:

"Bring royal garments and a royal horse. And let one of the king's nobles dress the man and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, 'So is done for the man whom the king wishes to honor!'"

"Great idea," Ahasuerus responded. "Now go get the garments and the horse and do so for Mordechai the Jew!"

Haman had no choice but to comply.

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The second party.

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Haman runs to the second party.

There Esther identifies Haman as the one who wishes to kill her people.

King Ahasuerus was not pleased.

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"You don't mess with my wife in my house," he told Haman.

The tables were turned.

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The king decreed that Haman was to be hung from the gallows he made for Mordechai, and that Haman's estate was to be given to Esther. Mordechai was appointed Prime Minister in Haman's stead.

A new decree.

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A new decree was granted, letting the Jews defend themselves against their enemies.

The Jews in Shushan rejoiced!

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The Jews defend themselves.

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On the 13th of Adar that year, the Jews throughout the Persian Empire mobilized and killed the enemies who had wanted to kill them.

In Shushan, the capital, it took an extra day.

The Jews Rejoice!

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Mordechai and Esther established a holiday to commemorate these amazing events. Jews worldwide celebrate on the 14th of Adar, while residents of walled cities – like Shushan – celebrate on the 15th of Adar.

This holiday, called "Purim," is the most joyous holiday on the Jewish calendar.

Four ways to celebrate Purim:

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Esther and Mordechai established for special commandments for Purim:

1. Hear the Megillah.

2. Give to the Needy (Matanot La’Evyonim).

3. Send Food Gifts to Friends (Mishloach Manot).

4. Feast! L'chaim!

The end!

Via scratch.mit.edu

Happy Purim!

To learn more about Purim go to chabad.org/Purim

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