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    How Esther was saved – Rabbi Akiva to the rescue

    And it came to pass that Queen Esther was in fearful peril and her cousin Mordechai, the prime minister, could not save her, for behold he too was faced with danger.

    The queen had saved her people, but were not the people lacking in gratitude?

    The great doings that removed the wicked Haman and his wife and ten sons, are they not written in a scroll?

    But the people wanted only to hide the scroll away, for they said, “Lo, the story was not written with the Holy Spirit, and is not the Name of the Almighty omitted from the chapters?”

    And they said, “It’s all politics and palace intrigues, and where is the finger of God?”

    And the debate raged, and the Book of Esther was in danger of exclusion from the Scriptures and left to be part of apocryphal writings that had no place in the synagogue.

    And when all seemed lost, there arose Rabbi Akiva, a scholar and sage who came to the rescue.

    And Rabbi Akiva said, “All the Scriptures are holy, and the Book of Esther is holy of holies”.

    For, said Akiva, even though the Name of God is not found in the Book, His Presence is everywhere.

    Behind all that happened, said Akiva, there is the working of Divine Providence, for does not the Scripture itself say, “Who can recount the mighty deeds of the Lord and tell all His praise?”

    And does the Scripture not also promise that the valley of tears will become a place of springs?

    So it happened on that day that the people perceived hidden miracles in the Book of Esther and they knew the Presence of God was behind every event and Rabbi Akiva saved the Book of Esther to the end of days.

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