12" x 24"
Cold-Cast Bronze $3,600
Limited Edition 18
Queen Esther, the celebrated heroine of the Purim story, saved the Jewish people from Haman's evil plan of genocide through acts of great self-sacrifice. When the Persian king, Achashverosh, executed his wife for defying him, he sought a new queen. All young maidens were required to present themselves before him. Esther, an orphan, lived with her cousin, Mordechai, and commentaries say that they married. She was very beautiful, modest and righteous. While at the palace she did not request anything to primp or decorate herself with in the hopes that she would not find favor in the king's eyes.
Nevertheless, the king chose Esther. Mordechai reasoned that this happened for a divine purpose and when he had a vision that Haman, with the kings approval, intended to kill every Jew, he sat before the palace in torn sackcloth and cried bitterly. Esther was shaken and Mordechai told her what she must do though it could cost her her life. It was forbidden to go before the king without being summoned yet she had to approach Achashverosh and tell him that someone was trying to destroy her and her nation. At this moment Esther changed from being quiet and unassuming into a decisive and courageous woman.
Until now, Esther could remain married to Mordecai because her relationship with the king was forced. By going to the king willingly, she became an adulteress under Jewish law, and she would never be able to return to Mordechai. She selflessly took the risk physically and spiritually to save her people, which she succeeded in doing.
The image is of Esther approaching Achashverosh. The side panel depicts the two edicts read across the land – the first ordering the annihilation of the Jews and, the second, allowing the Jews to defend and save themselves.