This comprehensive history, the first to appear in English, gives a vivid portrayal of the Book of Esther's role in the intellectual and cultural life of Jews in the Middle Ages. Much of the study is based on material that exists only in manuscripts, and it introduces many exegetes hitherto unknown or unstudied.
"There is nothing like this for the Book of Esther, and little like it for any body of medieval Jewish exegesis. The author's research enables the reader to see specific connections between individual exegetes and the medieval settings in which they lived. One gets a wonderful picture of various medieval Jewish (and gentile) communities from this book. " — Edward L. Greenstein, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
"This work is an invaluable bibliographic resource, the most comprehensive account of Jewish medieval interpretation of any biblical book. Going beyond mere survey, Walfish offers insightful (and, in some cases, ground-breaking) discussions of three aspects of the commentaries under consideration: their value for biblical exegesis; their place in Jewish and general intellectual history; and their contribution to the study of the societies out of which they emerged. " — Alan Cooper, Hebrew Union College