Translated by Mordecai Housman
© Copyright 2011
Mordechai Calls for Repentance
1 But Mordechai knew of all that had happened, and he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went to the center of the city and wailed a loud and bitter cry.
2 He went up until the king’s gate, because it was forbidden to enter the king’s gate while wearing sackcloth.
3 In every province that the king’s decree reached there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, crying and wailing; many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 Esther’s maids and attendants came and told her, and the queen became very upset. She sent clothing with which to clothe Mordechai, to replace his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.
5 Esther called Hasach, one of the king’s chamberlains whom he had designated to serve her, and she ordered him to go to Mordechai and find out what he was doing and why.
6 Hasach went out to Mordechai, to the city street in front of the king’s gate.
7 Mordechai told him everything that had happened, about the allotment of money Haman had said he would give to the king’s treasury for the eradication of the Jews.
8 He gave him a copy of the decree that had been circulated in Shushan, which contained the words «to destroy them,» to show Esther, and to command her to go to the king to beg and plead to him for her people.
9 Hasach went and told Esther what Mordechai had said.
10 Esther responded to Mordechai through Hasach:
11 «The servants of the king and the people of the provinces all know that any man or woman who comes to the king in the inner court without being summoned is sentenced to death by the law, unless the king extends his royal scepter to him, granting him life. And the king has not called for me for thirty days now.»
12 They told Mordechai Esther’s message.
13 Mordechai sent back word to Esther: «Don’t imagine that you alone among the Jews will escape to the king’s palace, and that this will save your life.
14 «Even if you are silent now, the Jews will get relief and rescue some other way, and you and your father’s house will be lost. And who knows? Maybe it was for just such an occasion that you were made queen!»
15 Esther sent back word to Mordechai:
16 «Go and gather all the Jews in Shushan, fast for me: do not eat or drink for three days and nights. My girls and I will also fast. Then I’ll go to the king — against the law — and if I am killed, I will be the only one killed.»
17 Mordechai left and did all that Esther had commanded him.