Pagan Theophory In Jewish Anthroponyms

Esther No one really knows whether the Biblical name Esther is related to the Assyro-Babylonian goddess(es) Ishtar. As per the Wikipedia Talk page for Ishtar: “Anunit, Atarsamain and Esther are alternative names for Ishtar.” I have removed the sentence from the article lead; article Atarsamain makes no mention of the goddess being a counterpart of […]

Looking Unto the Rock Whence We Are Hewn and To the Hole Of the Pit Whence We Are Digged

From a recent post to the Seforim blog by Prof. Marc Shapiro: However, as far as I know, no one prior to Hirschensohn claimed that prophets could make errors in basic theological points. Yet Hirschensohn’s argument is very strong, for his proof is from Cain. Cain must be regarded as a prophet, as God spoke […]

Angels and Demons, Crime and Punishment

For my father, whose mention of this bit of Abravanel is always a favorite part of our Seder tradition. Angels and Demons Artscroll’s הגדה זבח פסח – Abarbanel Haggadah was lying on a table in my Shul, so I picked it up to see if and how it would present the passage in question, Rabbi […]