5 07, 2020

What is the book of Esther Really about?

By |2020-07-05T05:15:04-07:00July 5th, 2020|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  Maggid books has just published an excellent comprehensive 493-page study of the biblical book Esther called “Esther: Power, Fate, and Fragility in Exile” by Dr. Erica Brown, an award-winning author of many books, lecturer, and Jewish teacher. Her book tells readers exactly what the Bible text is saying, not what people read into it, [...]

25 02, 2020

Esther never fasted on the Fast of Esther

By |2020-02-25T08:41:38-07:00February 25th, 2020|Thoughts|

The holiday of Purim is observed beginning the evening of March 9 with a fast day called the “Fast of Esther” that precedes it on 13 Adar. Some Jews observe the fast day from morning of March 9 until sundown. It does not begin the night before as Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, and is, [...]

25 02, 2018

Rabbi Soloveitchik’s view of Esther

By |2018-02-25T07:13:31-07:00February 25th, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Megillat Esther Mesorat Harav By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik   Many books have been published which are commentaries on various subjects, including the Bible, Siddur, and Haggadah, which are based on teachings of Rabbi Soloveitchik. These books were not written by the rabbi. They are collections of his sayings that the authors of the books [...]

12 03, 2017

What are the five megillot?

By |2017-03-12T09:31:31-07:00March 12th, 2017|Jewish Books|

Textual Tapestries Explorations of the Five Megillot By Gabriel H. Cohn Maggid Press, 2017 Textual Tapestries is the seventh excellent and informative addition to Maggid’s Tanakh Companions series. As its subtitle states, it is about the five biblical books that Jews call Megillot, “scrolls,” – Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther – and [...]

9 03, 2017

Who was Judith?

By |2017-03-09T04:53:08-07:00March 9th, 2017|Thoughts|

                                                                                        Most people do not know who Judith was and, therefore, are [...]

5 03, 2017

Esther in Legends

By |2017-03-05T05:11:19-07:00March 5th, 2017|Thoughts|

For the last few days, because of the approach of Purim, I have been posting chapters from my recent book “Unusual Bible Interpretations: Ruth, Esther, and Judith,” in which among a lot of other things, I showed that Judith, in the apocrypha, the book Jewish ancestors decided not to include in the Bible, was more [...]

1 03, 2017

Purim is not observed as mandated in the Bible

By |2017-03-01T05:37:50-07:00March 1st, 2017|Thoughts|

I am reposting this essay since Purim is coming shortly. My book “Ruth, Esther, and Judith,” tells, among much else, what the biblical book Esther really states, not what people want it to state.   It is remarkable how a reading of the biblical text itself without any preconceived notions reveals many things that is [...]

26 02, 2017

What does the Bible really say about Esther?

By |2017-02-26T05:41:53-07:00February 26th, 2017|Thoughts|

Since the holiday of Purim occurs soon, I thought you might be interested in reading the introduction I wrote to my analysis of the book of Esther in my book "Unusual Bible Interpretations: Ruth, Esther, and Judith."                                     [...]

15 08, 2016

Esther in my new book

By |2016-08-15T03:43:06-07:00August 15th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                      "Ruth, Esther, and Judith”   I just published two books “Ruth, Esther, and Judith” and “Jonah and Amos.” Both offer [...]

31 03, 2016

Esther is not as Simple as People Think

By |2016-03-31T03:57:51-07:00March 31st, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                         Esther is not as Simple as People Think   The biblical book Esther, like Ruth, is one of the five Megilloth, scrolls that are read in synagogues [...]

28 02, 2016

A superb interpretation of biblical Esther

By |2016-02-28T07:06:49-07:00February 28th, 2016|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

God and Politics in Esther By Yoram Hazony Cambridge University Press, 2016, 262 pages + Hebrew of Esther   Hazony offers readers a revised and expanded version of his 1995 book “The Dawn,” which was subtitled “Political Teachings of the Book of Esther,” and gives us one of the best commentaries written on the biblical [...]

10 12, 2014

Some thoughts on Esther

By |2014-12-10T12:49:49-07:00December 10th, 2014|Thoughts|

  After completing our examination of the book of Esther, we see that Esther is in no way similar to what people think the book contains. There is no mention of God in the book of Esther and no indication that the Judeans observed any biblical command. Even when the Judeans fasted because of Esther’s request, [...]

11 11, 2014

Scholarly studies on the book of Esther

By |2014-11-11T04:41:15-07:00November 11th, 2014|Book Reviews|

                                                          Scholarly studies on the book of Esther   Carey A. Moore, the author of the highly praised Anchor Bible commentary on the biblical book Esther collected 37 scholarly articles on Esther which he placed in this book, many of which would not otherwise be available.[1] He includes his own 81 page Prolegomenon with notes [...]

3 11, 2014

Esther in the legends

By |2014-11-03T09:16:03-07:00November 3rd, 2014|Thoughts|

This is a draft of chapter two of the Esther section of the book I am writing tentatively called "Unusual Bible Interpretations: Ruth, Esther, and Judith" that may be published in 2015.                                                                                       Chapter two                                                                                    Esther in the Legends   We have seen some imaginative interpretations of the book of Esther, [...]

30 10, 2014

An unusual introduction to Esther

By |2014-10-30T10:57:19-07:00October 30th, 2014|Thoughts|

I have begun to work on my book tentatively called "Unusual Bible Interpretations: Ruth, Esther, and Judith." Here is the draft of my introduction to Esther. I will continue with chapter one in a few days, with subsequent chapters every week.                                                                                    Introduction                                                           Esther is not as simple as people think [...]

25 03, 2014

Ibn Ezra on Esther 4-6

By |2014-03-25T06:22:58-07:00March 25th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                   Ibn Ezra on Esther 4-6                                        Esther’s chapters 4-6 describe the Judean[1] exiles’ reactions to Haman’s decree that allowed Persian citizens to murder every Judean on 13 Adar.[2] According to Jewish tradition, which is not stated in the book of Esther, the decree was promulgated in mid-Nisan, some ten months before the [...]

17 03, 2014

Ibn Ezra on Esther – Part 1

By |2014-03-24T06:56:36-07:00March 17th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                             Ibn Ezra on Esther - Part 1   Ibn Ezra wrote two commentaries on the biblical book Esther. The first published was a short version. His long version was not printed until about 150 years ago.[1] Both contain clever interpretations of the Esther drama. However, he also included some legendary material to add spice [...]

14 03, 2014

Esther in the Legends

By |2014-03-14T11:04:34-07:00March 14th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                     Esther in the Legends   People invented many legends, called Midrashim, about the story of Esther. This is not surprising. The biblical tale raises a host of questions about the people in the book, their intentions and actions. The following legends were taken from Louis Ginzberg’s masterful seven-volume “The Legends of the Jews.”[1] [...]

15 02, 2013

The true story of Esther

By |2013-02-17T05:36:43-07:00February 15th, 2013|Book Reviews|

The Dawn By Yoram Hazony Shalem Press, 2000, 312 pages   Subtitled “Political Teachings of the Book of Esther,” The Dawn is one of the best commentaries written on the biblical book. Homiletical imaginative midrashic commentaries are legion, including a view that Esther was actually ugly but God caused King Ahashverosh to be fascinated and [...]