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"And He Advanced Her To The Best" — Identity and Interpretation in Rabbinic Literature / "וישנה... לטוב" (אס' ב 9): על פרשנות וזהות במגילת אסתר

ארנון עצמון and Arnon Atzmon
Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World / בית מקרא: כתב-עת לחקר המקרא ועולמו
כרך נז‎, חוברת א‎ (תשע"ב / 2012), pp. 107-123
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23512031
Page Count: 17
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"And He Advanced Her To The Best" — Identity and Interpretation in Rabbinic Literature / "וישנה... לטוב" (אס' ב 9): על פרשנות וזהות במגילת אסתר
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Abstract

As has been often commented upon, the Esther scroll departs from the standard biblical genre in many ways. The story told in the scroll contains no religious motifs and does not even mention God's name once. Furthermore, parts of the narrative contradict normative Jewish law, as it is conceived in the rest of the Bible. This paper focuses on the interpretive positions adopted by the rabbis in attempting to bring the scroll into conformity with the biblical cannon and the normative, halakhic tradition. I have chosen to focus on targums and midrashim on the Esther scroll that address Queen Esther's conduct, for her character both gives the greatest expression to the problematics of identity in the scroll and is intrinsically interwoven with the scroll's primary foci of identity, marital or sexual relations and forbidden foods.

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