After an intensive month of crowdfunding and writing, the first edition of The Book of Esther Unmasked was published on Purim 5775 (February 2015), in Hebrew only. The English edition was published in February 2016 and was partially funded through a campaign on Indiegogo.
The book features a reading of the biblical Book of Esther from an Iranologist’s point of view. Drawing directly on the original ancient Mesopotamian, Persian and Greek sources, it provides linguistic, cultural and historical insights on the Book of Esther, showing how it reflects intimate knowledge of the culture and language of the time and comparing it to other stories and festivals in the ancient Near East and around the world — all in a perfectly accessible, enjoyable manner.
The author, Thamar E. Gindin, PhD, is a specialist on everything Iran, from Xerxes and the Achaemenid Empire to Rouhani and the Islamic Republic. She gives popular lectures and makes frequent appearances on the media in Hebrew, English and Persian. Educated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she is currently a core faculty member at Shalem College of Liberal Arts in Jerusalem and a researcher at the Ezri Centre for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Haifa University.
Praise for the Hebrew edition
‘A refreshing and readable blend of erudite scholarship and humour, which Gindin does masterfully.’
~ Ady Manory, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
‘The book is so much fun to read! Who knew that a book about Indo-Iranian philology could be so much fun?! Well done, really. Truly amazing.’
~ Prof. Adam Silverstein, Shalem College and Bar Ilan University, Israel
‘This is a book you will not want to take with you to the synagogue, because it’s too interesting, and you won’t be able to listen to the reading and fulfil the commandment.’
~ Netanel Chlafo Brandl, Hodayot, Israel
‘Your book is so absolutely wonderful! I know nothing about etymology, but you’ve created a composition that is elegant and beautiful and profound, and the light it sheds on the Book of Esther — I wonder how it hadn’t been shed before.’
~ Shai Gillis, Mevo Beitar, Israel