Esther’s story is exciting, romantic, and disturbing. Set in the lavish court of the Persian king 2,400 years ago, this tale takes readers through the dramatic ups and downs of our heroine. It also provides an early example of the anti-Semitism that has threatened the Jewish People ever since. But is there actual history in this story? And why did many ancient Jews and Christians oppose its addition to the Biblical Canon? Our richly illustrated course will travel through the text in English translation and also explore the world of Esther during the Persian Empire. We’ll sample some ancient alternative additions to the text and even take a look at Esther’s ‘movie midrash’: how Hollywood has interpreted the story over the decades. And we’ll delve into rabbinic opinion (and debate) about the text through the centuries.