web site hit counter God and Politics in Esther - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

God and Politics in Esther

Availability: Ready to download

A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the bol A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the boldness and belief of each woman and man. Esther takes radical action to win friends and allies, reverse terrifying decrees, and bring God's justice into the world with her own hands. Hazony's The Dawn has long been a cult classic, read at Purim each year the world over. Twenty years on, this revised edition brings the book to much wider attention. Three controversial new chapters address the astonishingly radical theology that emerges from amid the political intrigues of the book.


Compare

A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the bol A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the boldness and belief of each woman and man. Esther takes radical action to win friends and allies, reverse terrifying decrees, and bring God's justice into the world with her own hands. Hazony's The Dawn has long been a cult classic, read at Purim each year the world over. Twenty years on, this revised edition brings the book to much wider attention. Three controversial new chapters address the astonishingly radical theology that emerges from amid the political intrigues of the book.

53 review for God and Politics in Esther

  1. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I am used to reading commentary on the Book of Esther from a religious Jewish perspective, and while Yoram Hazony certainly includes dozens of religious sources for his commentary, his take focuses on the political aspects of Esther and Mordechai, and I was fascinated by these new and provocative views. He also links political motivations and perspectives to major Jewish figures that pre-date Esther and Mordechai, pointing out the common thread of suspicion against government authority giving ex I am used to reading commentary on the Book of Esther from a religious Jewish perspective, and while Yoram Hazony certainly includes dozens of religious sources for his commentary, his take focuses on the political aspects of Esther and Mordechai, and I was fascinated by these new and provocative views. He also links political motivations and perspectives to major Jewish figures that pre-date Esther and Mordechai, pointing out the common thread of suspicion against government authority giving examples from the time of Jacob and the Ten Tribes, as well as the push-back against authority of Moses and the midwives, who refuse to follow Pharoah's decree to kill newborn Jewish baby boys. I was fascinated by Hazony's many new insights about Esther and Mordechai, including how he provided the angle that so much of their actions were motivated by political self-interest. I believe he didn't give as much credit as he should have to the faith I believe they both had that God would deliver the Jews from Haman's genocidal decree, but I loved his take that when Esther doesn't ask for anything special to beautify herself before being taken to the king other than what the women's chamberlain recommends, it isn't passivity but a strategic statement: "I know that you understand the king's likes and dislikes better than anyone. I defer to your better judgment on this to get the job done." The writing is superb; intellectual without being dense. This book added to my depth of appreciation and understanding of the always fascinating Book of Esther.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eric Chevlen

    The story told in the Book of Esther often reads like a fairy tale. A beautiful queen, an evil villain, a surprising turn of events, and a happy ending--who could ask for more? Yet it is MUCH more than that. The Book of Esther, as described by Yoram Hazony in "God and Politics in Esther" is an insightful story of political struggle in the shadow of an all-powerful dictatorship. Hazony analyzes the story as would a political scientist or political philosopher. Since ultimate power is invested in o The story told in the Book of Esther often reads like a fairy tale. A beautiful queen, an evil villain, a surprising turn of events, and a happy ending--who could ask for more? Yet it is MUCH more than that. The Book of Esther, as described by Yoram Hazony in "God and Politics in Esther" is an insightful story of political struggle in the shadow of an all-powerful dictatorship. Hazony analyzes the story as would a political scientist or political philosopher. Since ultimate power is invested in one person, perforce Hazony also analyzes the story as would a psychologist. As any commentator on Esther would have to do, Hazony addresses the anomalous absence of the explicit mention of God in a book which has been incorporated into the Biblical canon. Hazony's thesis is that the story of Esther is not that of a miraculous series of coincidences, but rather the unfolding of the consequences of many conscious acts of Mordechai and Esther. Hazony emphasizes that this does not reflect an absence of divine guidance, but rather a mechanism of it. I found this book one that offers unanticipated insights into a text I thought I already knew well (but did not). It reminded me, both in contrast and comparison, of the Malbim commentary on Esther, as translated by Jonathan Taub. The Malbim also carefully analyzes the text to unveil the political intrigue behind the surface, but does so more in the traditional fashion of Torah commentators. The two books are complementary, and I recommend both.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Lee

    “The book of Esther sticks close to the gritty functioning of the common political world –in which no one stood to defend Vashti when the king was poised to destroy her, in which no one stood to defend Esther or the other women when they were to be forced into the harem, in which no one joined Mordechai in refusing to bow to Haman, in which no man stood with Mordechai to openly oppose the extermination of the Jews at the word of the king. Indeed, not one among the mighty and the many of the empi “The book of Esther sticks close to the gritty functioning of the common political world –in which no one stood to defend Vashti when the king was poised to destroy her, in which no one stood to defend Esther or the other women when they were to be forced into the harem, in which no one joined Mordechai in refusing to bow to Haman, in which no man stood with Mordechai to openly oppose the extermination of the Jews at the word of the king. Indeed, not one among the mighty and the many of the empire dares to stand up against Haman in anything so long as he is strong, and Harvona, the first to break ranks and openly turn against him, does so only after “the king had determined ill against him” (7.7) –that is, not until after it is clear that Haman is already doomed.” “It is the curse of politics that in certain cases such monstrous acts of impurity may be considered the most moral option given the paucity of alternatives.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andy Oram

    Sometimes inspired, sometimes merely clever, but always demanding and provocative, this book operates on two levels: as exegesis and as sermon. On level of exegesis, the book methodically dissects the characters, motivations, and political ploys in Esther. The book of Esther is disjointed in parts, and scholars recognize that some of the text is corrupt, but it's the text we have and Hazony makes impressive sense of it. On the level of sermon, Hazony offers several discourses on morality, using ex Sometimes inspired, sometimes merely clever, but always demanding and provocative, this book operates on two levels: as exegesis and as sermon. On level of exegesis, the book methodically dissects the characters, motivations, and political ploys in Esther. The book of Esther is disjointed in parts, and scholars recognize that some of the text is corrupt, but it's the text we have and Hazony makes impressive sense of it. On the level of sermon, Hazony offers several discourses on morality, using examples throughout the Jewish Bible from Cain and Abel to the Book of Daniel to lay out how Jewish legend has dealt with power, control issues, desire, and freedom. There are certainly multiple conflicting interpretations of the Bible, and Hazony's is just one. I find it intriguing and compelling, and it's worth reading even if you decide it's not your cup of tea. For example, the author points out the similarity between the powerless of the women in Ahasuerus's haem and of the Jews in his autocratic empire. He defines idolatry as the rejection of universal truths that dictate decent treatment of human beings, and weaves that into the conflict between Mordechai and Haman. He finds both similarities and key differences between Mordechai and Machiavelli. His central historical argument is that Esther defines the role a Jew can play after being expelled from the land of Israel, after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and after the voices of the prophets are silenced.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard the story of Esther, in private devotions or Sunday School classes. But this presentation by Mr. Hazony opened up to me new dimensions and themes of the story, especially including its ties to other biblical themes and figures. The author distinguishes what's derived from the scriptural text from the underlying historical arguments and insightful rabbinic interpretations. Much of what is presented in the lessons on morality and the skillful use I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard the story of Esther, in private devotions or Sunday School classes. But this presentation by Mr. Hazony opened up to me new dimensions and themes of the story, especially including its ties to other biblical themes and figures. The author distinguishes what's derived from the scriptural text from the underlying historical arguments and insightful rabbinic interpretations. Much of what is presented in the lessons on morality and the skillful use of political power for a greater good, particularly in preserving the Jewish identity, was eye-opening to this Gentile Christian and Bible student, even if every conclusion was not fully persuasive. Any thoughtful person serious about their faith, anyone who wants to unwrap some uncanny arguments about how to make wise and moral use of politics, or (to a lesser extent) anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Judaism and/or the Persian Empire will find this book an essential, enjoyable read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Nagy

    This was a special reading. I cannot liken this book to anything I've ever read before. I learned SO much from this author concerning politics, human nature, power, anti-Semitism, Judaism, the nation of Israel, etc. Not to mention that he analyzed my favorite book in the Bible in such a way that was completely new and challenging to me, and oh how grateful I am for his contribution! It's not an easy reading, but it's the most intellectually satisfying book I've ever read. Yoram Hazony has become This was a special reading. I cannot liken this book to anything I've ever read before. I learned SO much from this author concerning politics, human nature, power, anti-Semitism, Judaism, the nation of Israel, etc. Not to mention that he analyzed my favorite book in the Bible in such a way that was completely new and challenging to me, and oh how grateful I am for his contribution! It's not an easy reading, but it's the most intellectually satisfying book I've ever read. Yoram Hazony has become a favorite author of mine, and I will definitely read his other works as well!

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Minster

    Simultaneously brings the book of Esther to life while also offering thoughtful analysis of its political and theological underpinnings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarede Switzer

    Nothing crazy revolutionary but I liked it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Harvill

    The Old Testament book of Esther has produced controversy over the years for one specific reason. There is not a single mention of God in the Hebrew text in this account of the deliverance of the Jews from the threat of annihilation during the reign of Xerxes. Theologians, both Jewish and Christian, have attributed this to God working via the actions and decisions of people rather than through overt supernatural acts such as miracles. Joram Hazony, an Israeli Jew, holds this view, and I, a Chris The Old Testament book of Esther has produced controversy over the years for one specific reason. There is not a single mention of God in the Hebrew text in this account of the deliverance of the Jews from the threat of annihilation during the reign of Xerxes. Theologians, both Jewish and Christian, have attributed this to God working via the actions and decisions of people rather than through overt supernatural acts such as miracles. Joram Hazony, an Israeli Jew, holds this view, and I, a Christian, completely agree with him. One aspect of the Bible that many people fail to realize is that miracles were never the norm in biblical times. God used miracles at specific times for specific reasons. Over most biblical history, he worked out His will through the choices and actions of people, not by spectacular miraculous intervention in history. When I read commentaries on different books of the Bible, I am accustomed to seeing the works of other theologians cited. It is the same with Dr. Hazony’s work here with one notable difference. He cites rabbinic tradition rather than Christian theology, but interestingly enough, I didn’t see any significant difference between his applications and the applications of Christian commentators regarding Esther. That said, I rarely get to see the Jewish perspective on the Old Testament and found it intriguing. One of Dr. Hazony’s applications that I found particularly memorable was in the afterword. He describes an incident in a war between Israel and Gaza. Missiles fired from Gaza into Tel Aviv were being intercepted by a missile battery, but at one point, the battery was overwhelmed, and a missile managed to penetrate the defenses. A sudden strong gust of wind blew the missile into the sea and away from a building it was sure to hit. An officer at the missile battery attributed this to the hand of God. Dr. Hazony does not appear to disagree that this was the hand of God, but he also points out that the work of the engineers and technicians who designed and built those missile defenses was equally the hand of God. He is not wrong. As a Christian, I have heard the question, “What size is your God?” I worship a big “G” God, and Dr. Hazony may well worship a little “g” god, but I benefited from reading his assessment of the book of Esther. I read the Kindle version of this book, and there was an aspect of its format that I didn’t particularly like. Normally, when I read Kindle books, the lines are wrapped to accommodate my Fire HD8’s screen size. The Kindle format of this book places on the screen what looks like a scan of a full page of the book, with fairly wide margins. This produces a fairly small font size that is hard for me to read without stronger reading glasses. I can use the touch screen to resize the view, but why should I have to do that when almost none of my other Kindle books require that? That said, although the book looks like a scan, an image only, it is fully text searchable, allowing for highlighting, etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Jewish Book Council

    Review by Barbara Andrews for the Jewish Book Council. Review by Barbara Andrews for the Jewish Book Council.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothyemmalee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scirsw

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gideon

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam Glantz

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Vincent

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cambridge Press

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah W.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Néstor Maíz Borrelí

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adria

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scriptor Ignotus

  23. 4 out of 5

    J

  24. 4 out of 5

    Raphael

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ariella Naumburger

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lester

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  28. 5 out of 5

    Reena

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

  30. 5 out of 5

    Faye Fischman

  31. 4 out of 5

    Sle1784853

  32. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Cassileth

  33. 4 out of 5

    Malachi

  34. 5 out of 5

    Gina Peterson

  35. 5 out of 5

    Dana Walker

  36. 4 out of 5

    Fran

  37. 5 out of 5

    Helyn

  38. 5 out of 5

    Dena

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  40. 4 out of 5

    Ari Lapin

  41. 4 out of 5

    K

  42. 5 out of 5

    Melle

  43. 4 out of 5

    T

  44. 5 out of 5

    Yair

  45. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas

  46. 4 out of 5

    Bullcitybob

  47. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  48. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  49. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

  50. 5 out of 5

    Michael Tuggle

  51. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  52. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Loomis-Torvi

  53. 4 out of 5

    Merline White

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.