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Esther in America Videos

Esther in America
Edited by Stuart W. Halpern

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

Available on Amazon, Koren and wherever Jewish books are sold

Lincoln & Esther: A Study in Statesmanship

The Straus Center presents "Lincoln & Esther: A Study in Statesmanship," a video essay based on Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik’s chapter in Esther in America.

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Haman in the American Revolution

The Straus Center presents "Haman in the American Revolution," a video essay based on Dr. Eran Shalev’s chapter in Esther in America.

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From the Palace of Shushan to Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Straus Center presents "From the Palace of Shushan to Uncle Tom's Cabin," a video essay based on Dr. Ariel Clark Silver's chapter in Esther in America

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The Esther Chronicles and Shakespeare's Henry VIII

Stern College for Women Adjunct Professor of English Dr. Shaina Trapedo

The biblical story of Esther, Jewish orphan turned Persian queen, permeated Renaissance material culture from poetry to paintings to tapestries. Esther’s position as both foreigner and sovereign—and her eponymous text's focus on performed identity, the relationships between hospitality and politics, and the importance of chronicling history—finds favor in Shakespeare’s eyes when he writes Henry VIII (1613) in collaboration with John Fletcher. Through verbal echoes and narrative parallels, Shakespeare seasons his portrayal of Henry's court and queen consorts with the Esther paradigm and uses the Megillah as a touchstone for examining the standards of political conduct ascribed to a country that hosts a racially and religiously diverse population.

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A Letter in a Scroll: Sacred Text and the Esther Exception

Straus Center Resident Scholar Rabbi Dov Lerner 

While Greeks privilege speech, Jews invest text with a sense of excellence, and yet the presentation of Esther on Purim seems to be an exception. Why is this the case? We will explore a Socratic dialogue and a prophetic analog in search of an answer.

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