For Goodness Sake: Textual and Ethical Illuminations in Megillat Esther

How Esther and Mordechai take the very values of the realm and transform them into a more 'Jewish' approach
Jennifer Raskas is the Director, Washington, DC at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she oversees the institute’s vision, strategy, programs, and partnerships in the Greater Washington area. Through this work, she leads the institute’s efforts to provide Washington-based Jewish leaders with thought leadership rooted in Jewish sources that help them tackle the biggest challenges facing the Jewish Community. She is also the Co-Director, with Imam Abdullah Antepli and Yossi Klein Halevi, of

“In Jewish tradition, the right side of our body is often the side that symbolizes strength. We honor our right side by performing rituals to that side first, such as washing our right hand before washing our left hand when we first wake up. Why then did God create our heart, our ultimate source of strength, on the left side of our body? Should not God have created our heart on our stronger right side? One answer might be that when I am facing you, my heart is on your right side; the purpose of my heart is to give you strength. The purpose of all of our hearts is to give strength to one another.” So I learned years ago, from a cousin, at a family celebration.

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