The story of Esther is quite remarkable. It belongs to that dark period in Jewish history when God’s people were enslaved and scattered right across the Babylonian empire. It has the fairy tale atmosphere of a 1001 nights, tinged with the deadly smell of Hitler’s gas chambers. After Auschwitz Concentration Camp, probably the saddest place I have ever visited is the Jewish cemetery in Prague. The cemetery is surrounded by high walls and it took a while to find the entrance. Inside 12,000 grave stones compete with one another for every inch of earth. As I stood there quietly reading the inscriptions that date back to the 16th Century, it was as if the clock had stopped when the Nazis invaded, never to start again. The gravestones are all that was left of what was once a thriving Jewish community.
In one of the eight former synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, is a museum. Inside there is an exhibition of letters and pictures drawn by Jewish children deported to various death camps. Each picture is a profound, silent epitaph to an unspeakably awful tragedy. Yet, the very fact that those pictures have survived and are displayed is eloquent testimony to God’s sovereign rule. God had not forgotten his people. It is no coincidence that the Book of Esther is still the number one favourite story in Jewish families.
Read more here stephensizer.com/2011/05/esther-an-introduction/
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