Politics in the Book of Esther

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Takeaways From the Historical and Political Context of the Classic Purim Story

The Book of Esther stands out from the Biblical canon in one important way: the name of God isn’t mentioned anywhere in the sefer. This is understood by many commentators as a hint at God’s behind-the-scenes role in the miracles of the Purim holiday. But as Dr. Aaron Koller, associate professor of near Eastern and Jewish studies and chair of the Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva College, argues in Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press 2013), it also provides a window into the historical and political world of Esther that can help us better understand Jewish experience at that time.

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