The Vanishing Jew: A Wake Up Call From the Book of Esther
Michael Eisenberg '89
Translation from the original hebrew.
Just in time for Purim! Please share!
"I would like to thank my Editor Elli Fischer who did a yeoman's job to get it out in time for Purim and calls my book a "Provocative interpretation." I would like to also thank my incredible translator Rena Siev and publisher Rotem Sella. Rabbi Benny Lau said "The book connects the Megilla to real life and wakes Jews from their slumber." The book is available only on Amazon for now. I look forward to your feedback."
For Jews, life can be comfortable in the Diaspora. However, it comes with a big price, which is not always immediately apparent but slowly eats at their Jewishness. In a highly textual new/old reading of the Bible's Book of Esther, the author examines what happened to Mordechai and his people - a people who chose to stay in Shushan, Persia, the capital city of the first multicultural empire. By looking at the text, classical commentators, and historical writings, the author examines the Persian Kingdom's recovery from its defeat by the Greeks and the parallel emigration of a handful of its Jewish residents who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the new Temple and restore their homeland, religion, and identity. Mordechai, meanwhile, had another plan. The Persian King Ahasuerus conducted a beauty contest to choose his new wife, and Mordechai recognized his opportunity to get closer to the throne. He would help make his beautiful cousin Esther the new Queen. Mordechai gained significant influence but he and the Jews of Persia ultimately lost everything. Michael Eisenberg reveals the untold story of Purim's superstar Mordechai, an assimilated Jew, descended from four generations of immigrants, whose progeny lost their Jewish identity in pursuit of Persian power and wealth. Mordechai worked to use Esther's beauty, his Jewish brothers, and political savvy to become the deputy to the King of Persia. Although he achieved his goal in the end, the story remains a lasting Jewish tragedy, masked by drunken celebrations on Purim. This book is a must read for every Jew to whom Jewish identity is important and who is willing to honestly confront uncomfortable truths. With political instability and assimilation on the rise, the book's message has taken on a new urgency.
An important voice in contemporary Jewish discourse." -- MK Ruth Calderon "A reading that connects the Megillah to life and awakens Jews from their numbness. " -- Binyamin Lau