Study and Theory/
Purim

Book of Exile

Babylonian, Hulin, 39, 2:

Esther from the Torah – from whence? “And I will surely hide my face in that day” (Deut. 31:18)

 

Prof. Yechiel Kaufman:

Purim is a holiday of the diaspora, a late holiday. It is a holiday of the rescue of diaspora Jewry from the peril of destruction by decree of a pagan king, according to a tyrant’s slander.  Jewry was spared at the behest of a Jewish queen. It has no connection with the Land of Israel or Jerusalem.

 

The Book of Esther is a story of Jewish communities in exile under foreign rule. Some interpret it as fundamental criticism of the futility and risks involved in Jewish existence in the diaspora, and perhaps even as a warning for the future, that one should not rely on a Book of Esther style miraculous rescue.

 

Yoma, 29:

R. Asi said: Just as the dawn is the end of the whole night, so is the story of Esther the end of all the miracles.

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Chagim Center

Home for the Jewish Holidays

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