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Whatever Happened to Vashti?: Unraveling Mysteries in the Book of Esther

Hosted By: My Jewish Learning

In this special Purim program for My Jewish Learning, teacher and author Sandra E. Rapoport will present her original lecture and reading, “Whatever Happened to Vashti?: Unraveling Mysteries in the Book of Esther.”

When Queen Vashti famously refused to dance at the king’s wine party, she precipitated a scandal in the royal court of Persia. Yet the text of the Megillah — the Book of Esther — does not tell us her fate. Was she executed for her audacity? Or did she escape? Millennia of opinions differ. Even the two Talmuds—the towering treatises on Jewish law and lore—discuss Vashti and her fate, and their conclusions differ diametrically.

Join us for an exciting and dramatic lecture and reading exploring Vashti, the other queen in the Book of Esther.


Sandra E. Rapoport

Sandra E. Rapoport is an attorney, Bible teacher and award-winning author, whose books give voice to the women of the Hebrew Bible. Sandra was Resident Scholar in Law and Bible at Harvard University. Her third book, Biblical Seductions, won a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist Prize, and was a Boston Globe Top-Ten Bestseller. Sandra taught a popular class on Women in the Bible at the Manhattan JCC for eleven years, she has taught Tanach at the Drisha Institute, and she lectures widely, nowadays via Zoom as well as in-person. Sandra has written on the subjects of Bible, sexual harassment, and terrorism for, variously, The Wall Street JournalCommentaryJofa Journal, Amit and 929 English. Her essays on the weekly Torah portion appeared in New York’s The Jewish Week for ten years. Sandra’s newest book, The Queen & The Spymaster, is a historical novel based on the story of Esther.
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