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Megillat Esther

Tisha B'Av with Queen Esther

Dr. Rabbi

Laura Lieber

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A More Religious Megillah: The Jewish-Greek Version of Esther

The Jewish-Greek Version of the Book of Esther and what it tells us about Jewish Identity in Ancient Times.

Prof.

Aaron Koller

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Haman's Antisemitism: What Did He Not Like About the Jews?

The book of Esther is a study in antisemitism. It is the only biblical book that portrays antisemitism, and itself has been the subject of criticism with antisemitic overtones. 

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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The Enduring Value of "These Days of Purim"

The megillah emphasizes the ongoing obligation to observe Purim, and Maimonides asserts that it will endure even into the messianic age. Yet many modern Jewish thinkers have questioned this holiday’s continued relevance. What value does Purim continue to hold?

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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Survival and Revival: Megillat Esther and Ezra-Nehemiah

Jews in the Persian Period dealt with the reality of the destruction of Judah in two different ways. Megillat Esther emphasized the diaspora while Ezra-Nehemiah emphasized the rebuilding. For most of Jewish history the Ezra-Nehemiah model was all but non-existent, but this changed with the emergence of Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Prof.

Sara Japhet

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Why Does Mordechai not report the Assassination Plot Directly to Ahasuerus?

Insight into the Danger of Reporting a Conspiracy in the Ancient Near East from Arda-Mullisi’s assassination of Sennacherib.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Ahasuerus, the Son of a Stable-Master

Vashti insults Ahasuerus by calling him “the son of my father’s stable master” (b. Megillah 12b). Persian sources, including the story of King Ardashir I, shed light on the origin and significance of this calumny.[1]

Dr.

Geoffrey Herman

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Megillat Esther: A Godless and Assimilated Diaspora

Dr.

Elsie R. Stern

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

How 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 Zeiger Simkovich

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Rabbi

David D. Steinberg

The 220-Year History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

An overview of Persian history starting from Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Media (549 B.C.E.) until Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia (334-329 B.C.E.), including related biblical references and Jewish texts.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Comparing Purims

Karaite Jews question Mordechai’s authority to create an obligatory new holiday. Nevertheless, they join their Rabbinic Jewish brethren in celebrating the two days of Purim, in keeping with their understanding of Mordechai’s instructions.

Shawn Joe Lichaa

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Megillat Esther: Reversing the Legacy of King Saul

One of the main themes in Megillat Esther is the death of Haman, the descendent of Agag, last king of Amalek, at the hands of Mordecai and Esther, Benjaminites from the family of King Saul. Is this just a coincidence?

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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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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The Megillat Esther Massacre

Confronting the description in Megillat Esther of the Jews killing 75,000 including women and children

Prof.

Meylekh (PV) Viswanath

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