Friday, March 11, 2011

Purim Puzzles

The Queen You Thought You Knew:  Lawrence Grossman writes in Jewish Ideas Daily about a new book that explores the Story of Esther from new angles:
Purim, Judaism's strangest holiday (which this year falls on March 20), is prescribed by what may be the strangest book in the Hebrew Bible, the scroll (m'gilah) of Esther. Two public readings of the book, one at night and the other in the morning, tell a story of Persian palace intrigue in the fifth century B.C.E., a recitation accompanied by the holiday's decidedly unspiritual noisemaking, tippling, and masquerade.
 Grossman continues:
Now an impressive reading of the m'gilah with fresh eyes, free of midrash on the one hand and of scholarly/trendy categories on the other, has come from David Fohrman, a modern-Orthodox rabbi. Proprietor of a user-friendly website, Fohrman is a sought-after lecturer whose extensive Jewish knowledge is capped by rabbinic training and a Johns Hopkins-honed mastery of textual close reading. His combination of skills is deployed to good effect in The Queen You Thought You Knew.
Abq Jew has always thought that the Story of Esther was one of the best in the Bible.  Megillat Esther could easily go 13 weeks on TV - perhaps as a replacement for Two and a Half Men.

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