This bronze shows the Queen with outstretched arms, as if pleading to save her people.
Esther becomes the queen to King Ahasuerus in the land of Susa when the first queen, Vashti, refuses to appear in the presence of the King and his princes. On the advice of her cousin and guardian, Mordecai, Esther conceals her Jewish heritage from the king. An advisor to the king, Haman, is given authority over all the princes of the kingdom. The king’s decree that all who were at the king’s gate should bow down and pay homage to Haman was ignored by Mordecai. When the king’s servants ask why he is disobeying the king’s command, Mordecai explains that he is a Jew and does not bow to anyone but G-d. Haman vows not only to punish Mordecai, but to destroy the entire Jewish population of Susa for Mordecai’s insubordination. Not knowing that Esther is Jewish, King Ahasuerus grants Haman’s request.
Risking her life to enter the king’s presence when she had not been summoned, Esther reveals her Jewish heritage to him and appeals to him for mercy for her people. Because of his love for her, Ahasuerus has Haman hanged for his plot against the Jews. Further, the king exalts Mordecai to a position of authority and commands him to write the decree repealing Haman’s vindictive intentions. In the decree, Jews are granted the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy any people or province which might attack them. As a result of Esther’s courage and her devotion to her tradition, the Jews of Susa were saved from total annihilation.