4th of Adar, 5770
Approximately 2400 years ago, the Persian Empire was ruled by King Achashverosh. It extended from India to Ethiopia. It was the largest empire in ancient history. Approximately 1 million Jews lived in the empire, including 40,000 in the land of Israel, trying to rebuild the Bet haMikdash under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia.
Some Jews lived in the capital of the empire: Shushan haBira. Achashverosh, apparently sensing threats to his life, appointed a very tough prime minister: Haman and gave him full authority to do as he pleases over the empire. Haman not only demanded obedience from all but also expected a kind of personal cult or worship: everyone had to bow down (fully bow down!) upon seeing him.
(to be continued....)