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Esther

Esther, Queen of the Conversas

Esther is the most beloved biblical figure among the crypto-Jews of the Spanish Inquisition—the conversos (fem. conversas)who publicly converted to Catholicism but lived secretly as Jews. Remarkably, she was also upheld as a heroine among the Catholic-majority communities of early modern Iberia (Spain and Portugal), but for very different reasons.

Prof.

Emily Colbert Cairns

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“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” — Jesus or Esther?

A midrash imagines Queen Esther reciting Psalm 22 the moment she was about to enter Ahasuerus' inner court. Are the rabbis responding to the Passion Narrative, in which Jesus, in his final moments, recites this lament on the cross?

Dr.

Abraham J. Berkovitz

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Tisha B'Av with Queen Esther

Prof. Rabbi

Laura Lieber

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Jewish Queens: From the Story of Esther to the History of Shelamzion

Dr.

Mika Ahuvia

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The Women in Esther

Prof. Rabbi

Michael V. Fox

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Judith: A Chanukah Heroine?

Judith is a beautiful, clever, and righteous Jewish woman who saves her people by enticing and then beheading the enemy commander who threatens Jerusalem and its Temple. What is her connection to Chanukah?

Prof.

Deborah Levine Gera

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Ahasuerus and Vashti: The Story Megillat Esther Does Not Tell You

Why the rabbis came to imagine Ahasuerus as a usurper who halted the rebuilding of the Temple and his wife Vashti as a wicked and grotesque Babylonian princess, who lived as a libertine and persecuted Jews.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Rabbi

David D. Steinberg

If Achashverosh Is Xerxes, Is Esther His Wife Amestris?

How do the names in Megillat Esther correlate with those we know from Persian history? Do some of them refer to the historical personages described in the Greek sources of Herodotus and Ctesias?[1]

Mitchell First

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Unraveling Megillat Esther: How the Story was Developed

A close literary reading reveals the seams of two independent stories: the Harem Intrigue (Esther) and the Court Intrigue (Mordechai) and how they were connected to the festival of Purim.[1]

Prof.

Sara Japhet

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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