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Esther in America

Esther in America

Available Wherever Jewish Books Are Sold



Featuring contributions by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Erica Brown, Dara Horn, Liel Leibovitz, Tevi Troy and more 

The Book of Esther has inspired and impacted the American project since its very inception. Rabbis and ethicists, abolitionists and artists, preachers and presidents, have understood the text to speak to their moment. It has offered solace to immigrants, forged solidarity, impacted politics, and, in the spirit of Esther 4:14, roused individuals to realize that deliverance was not to come from some other place, but from their own heroic actions on behalf of their people. As we Americans once again find ourselves navigating antisemitism and bigotry, questioning the limits and purposes of power, reassessing gender dynamics, and grappling with how to keep an ethnically diverse empire from imploding, it is once again to Esther we must turn, to the timeless scroll that continues to urge us to find strength and redemptive possibility in the least expected of places.

From the Palace of Shushan to Uncle Tom's Cabin

Watch the book trailer below

Esther in America books


Ruth R. Wisse, professor emerita, Harvard University, and author of Jews and Power

"This invaluable collection of essays on Esther’s prominence in the political history of America fans out into a compendium of modern Jewish thought."

Bari Weiss, journalist and author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism

"In a moment when so many Americans appear to be waiting for salvation to come from another quarter, this illuminating volume reminds us that each of us has the ability to be like Esther. What would the Jewish people and America look like if we had the courage to emulate hers?"

Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and author of American Judaism: A History

"Esther in America restores the Book of Esther to its rightful place within American culture. Ranging in time from Cotton Mather to the coronavirus, the book shows how the plot, characters, and language of this beloved biblical narrative left a lasting impression upon American history and civilization, and how that impression, in turn, offers new insights into the Book of Esther’s meaning."

A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

"This wonderful book takes one of the most underappreciated stories in the Bible and shows how remarkably relevant it is to our lives. Dr. Stuart Halpern has collected a scroll’s-worth of essays on how Esther’s plight and triumph shed light on everything from medical ethics to beauty contests, from presidential politics to romantic comedies. I'm delighted Queen Esther is finally getting her due."

Esther in America books

In the Media

Book Launch With the Museum of the Bible | YU News

Esther in America contributors Dr. Erica Brown, Tevi Troy and Liel Leibovitz discussed the volume at its official launch, hosted by the Straus Center and the Museum of the Bible.

We the People (of the Book) | The Koren Podcast

Esther in America contributors Rabbi Ari Lamm, Dara Horn, Tevi Troy and Shaina Trapedo joined The Koren Podcast to discuss how Tanakh has shaped America and Americans.

Reading Esther in Today's America | Newsweek

Esther in America editor Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern reflects on Esther's legacy, reminding us in these troubled times that it only takes one decent and committed person to save the day.

Esther in the White House | The Algemeiner

In an excerpt from Esther in America, contributor Dr. Tevi Troy explores how comparisons between the story of Esther and modern-day politics became a common motif for presidential political commentators.

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