Reck­less Rites: Purim and the Lega­cy of Jew­ish Violence

Elliot Horowitz
  • Review
By – June 15, 2012

The bib­li­cal sto­ry of Purim, as relat­ed in the Book of Esther, has long puz­zled schol­ars, rab­bis and read­ers. The name of God isn’t men­tioned any­where in the sto­ry, which tells a tale of palace intrigue, prin­ci­pled defi­ance of mega­lo­ma­nia and Jew­ish reluc­tance to stand tough until it was almost too late. 

Reck­less Rites is a well-honed dis­til­la­tion of Pro­fes­sor Horowitz’s pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished work (most­ly in Hebrew) on the top­ic, which exam­ines the his­to­ry of Jewish/​non-Jew­ish rela­tions care­ful­ly and thor­ough­ly mulls over the issue of how the need for rea­son­able Jew­ish tough­ness has helped pre­serve Jew­ish life in many try­ing times and cir­cum­stances. The author is co-edi­tor of the Jew­ish Quar­ter­ly Review and asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish his­to­ry at Israel’s Bar Ilan Uni­ver­si­ty. Abbre­vi­a­tions, bib­lio., index. 


Mor­ton Merowitz holds degrees from Yeshi­va Uni­ver­si­ty, the Drop­sie Col­lege for Hebrew and Cog­nate Learn­ing, and the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York at Buf­fa­lo. He was involved in Jew­ish edu­ca­tion for some ten years and cur­rent­ly reviews non-fic­tion lit­er­a­ture which may be of inter­est and rel­e­vance to stu­dents and teach­ers of Jew­ish studies.

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