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In the book of Esther, the Bible tells a story from the fifth century BCE, when the Jews were in exile in Persia.

The Persian king Ahasuerus had installed a Jewish woman, Esther, as his queen at the time that one of the king’s ministers started a genocidal programme against the Jews. Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, appealed to her to intervene. She told him that the law did not allow her to approach the king without invitation, and that the penalty for disobedience of this law was death. But when he insisted, she agreed to risk her life to protect her people...

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