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Names of the Book

ESTHER BEFORE AHASUERUS- Giovanni Andrea Sirani

English:  Esther
Hebrew:  אסתר
Transliterated:  Ester
Other names:  

 

whoWho

Wrote the book:  unknown, possibly Mordecai
Are the key people:  Esther, Mordecai, King Zerxes I, Haman
Is it written to:  The people of Israel

 

whatWhat

Esther is chosen and becomes queen (Esther 1:1-2:23)
The Jews are threatened and fear extinction (Esther 3:1-4:17)
Esther intercedes and seeks the king's favor (Esther 5:1-8:17)
The Jews are delivered and overcome their enemies (Esther 9:1-10:3)

 

whenWhen

Was it written:  c 520 BCE
Did the events occur:  c 532-521 BCE
Was it canonized: c 499-100 BCE
(see the Timeline of the Tanakh)

 

whereWhere

Was it written:  Persia
Did the events occur:  Susa

 

whyWhy

Esther was written to inform us that: 
G-d is sovereign over all of history.
The enemies of G-d seek the destruction of the Jews.
G-d provides deliverance for the Jews.
G-d expects us to act where He places us.
G-d provides wisdom.

 

whyIntroduction

The book of Esther never mentions G-d's name, yet G-d clearly orchestrates all of the events in it. In this historical narrative, Esther, a Jew living among the exiles in Persia, becomes queen of the empire. Haman, a Persian official, seeks to annihilate all the Jews in the kingdom (Esther 3:12), but God had prepared Esther "for such a time as this" to save his chosen people. The book documents the origins of the Jewish observance of Purim, which celebrates the events of the book: Israel's survival and God's faithfulness.

 

 

Torah Portion

ויצא (Vayetze)

 

 

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Today is

Yom Shabbat, 9 Kislev, 5779

Saturday, November 17, 2018

 

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