Book Review | Purim and the Persian Empire

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51b0FCfS-7LPurim is coming (less than a month away) and everyone is making their Purim preparations. I can think of no better way to prepare than to buy and read Purim and The Persian Empire – By Rabbi Yehuda Landy.

Last year I bought this book right after Purim and was so thoroughly impressed that I said to myself that when the time comes next year I will promote this book and urge everyone to read it.

I know the author, Rabbi Landy from an incredible summer experience where he was the chief tour guide. We spent 5 weeks traveling the Land of Israel. Rabbi Landy is an expert in Tanach and very educated on archeology as well as Jewish history from a religious and secular perspective. Rabbi Landy is the absolute best “technical” tour guide I have had the pleasure of meeting.

In The Persian Empire, Rabbi Landy shows off his extensive knowledge of Tanach, Talmudic and Midrashic sources, archeology and history. The book provides a historical backdrop for the Purim story and Purim story comes to life.

The most fabulous part of the book is the photos. Rabbi Landy has compiled gorgeous pictures of artifacts from ancient Persia. Further Rabbi Landy has connected many statements of Chazal with those photos. For example, the famous dictum of the sages that the Babylonians were foolish because they drank wine in golden goblets which ruin the taste is illustrated by the actual golden goblets that were used. It really is incredible.

The Persian Empire has tons of interesting facts and opinions. It really leaves you wanting more.

In the introduction, Rabbi Landy expresses his hope that this will be first of many books using archeological data to illustrate stories from Tanach. Rabbi Landy, I am waiting eagerly…

In short, run, don’t walk to purchase this book. Get it from Amazon by clicking here: Purim and The Persian Empire or try your local Jewish book store. If they don’t have it. Demand it. You’ll thank me later.

  • Holyhyrax

    I wasn’t aware there was historical evidence to support aspects of the Purim story. I mean, OK, so there was a Persian empire…but still

    • It assumes the story is true and uses real stuff to paint the picture of the story and deals honestly (or at least more honestly then I have ever seen in a frum book) with the issues.

  • Be Barton

    If gold ruins the taste of wine, why then are my silver goblets (from Israel) plated with gold inside? Gold is fairly inert.

  • Jake Turx

    Seems like Amazon is all sold out… 🙁