Mordechai vs. the Empire: Anti-Semitism, Leadership and the Dilemma of Power

Posted by Elliott Malamet on March 5, 2017
Topics: Pardes Live, Esther, Purim

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This podcast is a live recording of a class given during the Pardes Executive Learning Seminar by Dr. Elliott Malamet.

Megillat Esther, which offers a perplexing contradiction around which everything revolves: why does Mordechai urge Esther to conceal her Jewish identity in the first two chapters of the text, and then seemingly go out of his way to let everyone know he is Jewish by refusing to bow down to Haman? Does Mordechai miscalculate when Haman plans genocide, or is this part of Mordechai’s carefully prepared strategy of leadership? And ultimately, what does the text tell us about the use of Jewish power, then and today, in its violent conclusion?

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About Elliott Malamet

Dr. Elliott Malamet is the co-founder and program director of Torah in Motion, whose mission is to explore the interface between Judaism and modernity. Dr. Malamet currently teaches Jewish Philosophy at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat and will be teaching English Literature at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University this coming year.

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