Megillas Esther (The Scroll of Esther) was written by Mordechai, Esther and the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah (The Men of the Great Assembly) about events in the Jewish year 3404 (356 BCE). This was during the Babylonian Exile, around 75 years into the period of The Men of the Great Assembly, just prior to the construction of the Second Temple.
This Megillah relates events in Shushan (Susa), amidst a backdrop of change in power-structure, where the king (probably Xerxes I) seeks a new wife. A Hebrew woman born in the Persian Achaemenid empire, as Hadassah, later known as Esther, becomes queen. She thwarts a calculated, secretly planned, multi-staged, policy driven genocide of her people.
The Megillah of Esther is core to the Jewish festival of Purim (Lots). It relates how the loyalty and courage of both Esther and Mordechai were key to offsetting disaster, and how G-d hides His Providence via seemingly natural political manipulations.
Unusually for scripture, G-d’s Name doesn’t appear throughout the entire work. The Divinely influenced twists and coincidences reveal G-d’s hidden involvement in life.
In this course, Rabbi Mordechai Goodman, of Jewish Education in Manchester (JEM), provides historic and cultural placement of related events, chapter overviews and deep verse-by-verse analysis. This course also explores some of the essential themes running through Megillas Esther.
We hope this will provide you deep insight into, and appreciation of, the messages of this profound Megillah.