ESTHER by Lisl Weil


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A good story, always; but with its bloodthirsty aspects played down, not quite the way it emerges in the Bible. Here, Ahasuerus duly marries the beautiful Esther, not knowing she's ""a Hebrew""; her foster-father Mordecai warns of the plot to kill Ahasuerus; and his nefarious ""advisor"" Haman, angered by Mordecai's refusal to bow down to him, induces Ahasuerus to condemn the Jews. Then the tables are neatly turned on Haman (on the basis of Mordecai's earlier good deed) and Ahasuerus, implored by Esther, decrees that the Jews may defend themselves. But the Jews' wholesale slaughter of their enemies is mooted, and the connection of this deliverance with the feast of Purim is blurred (in part because the meaning of the word Put--or, ""lot""--isn't explained). One is also left wondering why the term ""Hebrews"" is used throughout, instead of ""Jews."" But since the story itself is not particularly religious in nature, there's no harm in this sprightly, amusingly illustrated version--if no great benefit either.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1980
Publisher: Atheneum