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Furcht vor Vernichtung und der ewige Bund: Das Buch Ester im Judentum und in jüdischer Theologie

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image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

Although for some reasons the book of Esther is missing from among the biblical manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it has a unique place in Judaism and Jewish theology and thought. A large number of exegetes, ballads, poems, essays, arts, etc. have been composed on it, in all times and places, alongside the Jewish history and culture. Esther expresses one of the worst fears of the Jewish people: fear for complete annihilation, which is also well documented in the Hebrew Bible as well as in some extra-biblical sources (e.g., "Israel Stele", Moabite Stone). Esther replies to that fear, and forwards the theological message that God never leaves Israel. He is the faithful God "who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments". Yet, the historical reality of the Jewish Diaspora shows differently. The article discusses, therefore, also this theology, history and us, as post-Sho'ah readers of Esther.


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