The story of Purim is thrilling and exciting. As the textbook lesson in G-d's constant, though unobtrusive vigilance and protection of His people, the miracle of Purim is the Jew's wellspring of faith in times of exile and danger. Let us not forget that it was the first exile after more than eight centuries in Eretz Yisrael, and bewildered Jews wondered if Hashem had cast them off for good! Then came the climax -- the proof that miracles take place beneath the surface and that the bonds connecting G-d and His people can never be cut. Megillas Esther tells only part of the story. The rest is in the Talmud, Midrash, and the classic commentators. If we could only pull all the disparate sources together into one flowing, coherent whole, we would have not only an absorbing and inspiring lesson in faith, we would enter the spine-tingling world of Mordechai and Esther ? the intrigues of the royal court, the Machiavellian swamp of Haman's conspiracy, the thousands of talents of silver tumbling from Haman's hands to purchase the rights to history's first genocide, the bravery of Jewish children unafraid of death. We would exult with Mordechai on the royal steed, led through the streets of Shushan by his arch-enemy. Our hearts would pound as the uninvited Esther risks her life to plead with Ahasuerus ?- and succeeds! Yosef Deutsch puts us on the scene. He has accomplished the very impressive feat of canvassing all the sources and retelling the Purim story like a spellbinding novel ? except that every word is true! In his narrative, the events come alive for us as never before. Every reader on every level will enjoy this book as a fascinating story and as a great learning experience. For the scholar, the author provides copious sources. For the rest of us, he gives the story of the Megillah with a sweep and level of interest that we have never experienced before. Read this book. You'll enjoy. You'll learn. You'll love it!
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