False assertions of anti-semitism in The Book of Esther

Decided to post this discussion with a Michael Safyan from Quora who made an audacious statement regarding anti-semitism where it did not occur in the book of Esther.  This is very important because anti-semitism has become a buzz word to promote the zionist agenda.  In this particular discussion Michael Safyan presented undeniable evidence that the decision to destroy the Jews in the book of Esther was not anti-Semitic in nature and rooted in the personal vendetta that Haman had for Mordecai.  You can read the posts yourself and would you encourage you to ask Michael Safyan why someone who is a grandfather of notable Rabbi would hide and promote a misinterpretation of The Word of God.

Michael Safyan’s comment below can be found in this link on Quora:

https://www.quora.com/What-does-The-Book-of-Esther-represent/answer/Michael-Safyan

“It represents the long, long history of anti-Semitism as well as the hope and fortitude to survive and prosper in a post-Temple era.”

Beginning of comments between Michael Idarecis and Michael Safyan.  All comments were copied and pasted without making any corrections.  Bold comments that were used by me did not copy properly and were added back as best as can remember without changing the integrity of the comments in any way.

Michael Idarecis
Sunday
Your last sentence about the book of Esther
“representing the long history of anti-Semitism”
is not a faithful account of why Haman had persuaded the King to make the law to destroy the Jews. It was only because Mordecai did not bow to Haman. Haman saw it fit to kill all of the Jews because if he just killed Mordecai it would look bad for him. Also Haman did not tell the king the people were Jewish it is easy to see this. It would be a falsehood to state The King was aware that the Jews were in view. That is also in chapter 3 of Esther.

After the law went forth it was greed that persuaded the people to take from The Jews.

You can find this all in chapter 3 of Esther.

Also would persuade you to edit your post if you can’t refute my statements with The Bible. We don’t need to wave flags of anti-Semitism when they are in fact about a personal grudge in The Bible.

Praise I AM,
Michael Idarecis

Michael Safyan
Sunday · 1 upvote
That is your interpretation. However, I would argue that this interpretation does not make sense because he could easily have punished just Mordecai for violating the law requiring the public to bow to Haman. The fact that Haman sought to commit genocide against the Jewish people and generalized his dislike of Mordecai to the entire Jewish people of practically a text book case of what it means to be anti-Semitic. Rabbinic commentators also go further in explaining that Haman was a descendant of Amalek (a nation that, without provocation, sought to destroy the Jewish people as they were fleeing from Egypt, attacking from behind where the children and elderly were located) and that Mordecai refused to bow because of the idol hanging around his neck (he sought not just to satiate his own ego but to compel Jews to violate Judaism and commit idolatry).

In Judaism, the Book of Esther is read every year on the holiday of Purim. During this time, we also often read and discuss various commentaries in addition to the entirety of the text. In Judaism, there is a significant amount of history and discussion that is propagated through rabbinic commentary as well as through the teaching and passing down of tradition. As this text is a Jewish work and coming from a religious background (as well as having attended a religious day school, having rabbis in the family, etc.) I believe I am well qualified to explain the text from a Jewish point of view. From the Jewish perspective, anti-Semitism certainly is an element of the story. While you may read it differently, coming from a Christian background, I do not think it is fair or right for you to claim that this other perspective is wrong.

Michael Idarecis
Sunday
This is not my interpretation this is in Esther chapter 3 you are using conjecture without reading the passage for yourself. Trusting in commentators that would be in direct opposition to what is written in Esther.

It wasn’t about Mordecai being Jewish it was about Mordecai not giving obeisance towards Haman. The Bible doesn’t say there was something around Haman’s neck that is conjecture and outside The Old Testament. It would be nothing for a narcissist like Haman to have everyone die just so one man can be killed. In fact that is what The Bible says.

You are not doing your position any good because The Old testament does not share your position. You are calling God a liar to justify a commentator. You need to read the words for yourself and present the words as your evidence. If you can’t fulfill with the words yourself will take this conversation and add a line by line exposition of Esther 3.

You are not well qualified by your words that you state that you are qualified. Your answers must be presented with the scripture. If you can’t do that then will have to do it for you and demonstrate that it is easy for people that claim to be qualified to in reality be in error.

Your prospective is meaningless if you are taking it from a predisposed point of reference. My reference is only The Bible no outside contribution just the words As God Breathed them.

Demonstrate from The Scripture not a commentary and if you can’t then will be forced to add the scripture line by line and it is easy to see that Haman just didn’t like Mordecai because he didn’t bow and used the killing of all the Jews just to kill one man. This is the very nature of a narcissist and mind you this was also chapter 3 the same chapter where the serpent deceived Eve. That is not an accident.

Praise I AM,
Michael Idarecis

Michael Safyan
Sunday
I don’t think you have a basis to criticize here when you are claiming that Ahashverosh was God and Mordecai was Jesus. That is an even greater extrapolation of the text and one which is ahistorical to boot; the story of the Book of Esther took place between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple. The authors of the text (who were Jewish) certainly would not have had these Christian beliefs. Also, in the story, Ahashverosh’s character is one of a frivolous, bumbling idiot (who holds lavish parties and entrusts all important details to his advisors to the point that he signs a warrant to murder all the Jews in the kingdom without thought), which really undermines that analogy with God. You are free to your interpretation, but at least recognize that this book is one that are appropriating from Judaism and respect that the religion from which these books originate should have a say in how the books are interpreted and that, though you may have other interpretations, the Jewish interpretation of the texts are valid, too.

Michael Idarecis
Sunday
Demonstrate from the text line by line on what was presented to YOU. Do not side shift unto me and other items that are not in view with our discussion. Stay on point and bring me your verses…

Even your position on the king mirrors Isaac who blessed Jacob thinking he was Esau. Would you call Isaac bumbling idiot? Really Isaac blessed the wrong son right? Under your thought process it would be bumbling idiot. There was an intercession on the part of Rebekah that didn’t allow the evil to reproduce with the blessing.

Now regarding my interpretation of Esther it is very sound especially when consider the language it is about Genesis to Revelation in one story. Magnificent and you can’t see it which begs me to question how you can be qualified to argue your points especially when you can’t give a straight answer on what was said to you.

Demonstrate from the scripture! Why are you scared to include scripture instead of me wanting to give glory to Judaism when in fact Judaism also holds the Talmud in high esteem and those writings are not HOLY! Therefore there is nothing for me to glorify because outside of The Holy writings is a teaching of man which is similar to most of the Christian church teachings as well.

Praise I AM,
Michael Idarecis

Michael Safyan
13h ago
Michael, you need to accept that Judaism and Christianity have very different sources. You may read the text (or rather, translations of the text) from a strictly literal standpoint and ignore Talmudic and rabbinic sources (I understand, the Talmud lacks authority in Christianity), but in Judaism, the texts are interpreted through the lens of rabbinic commentary, and the Talmud does matter.

Now, given that we do not even agree on the basic mode of reasoning and what counts as authoritative, there is very little purpose in arguing. What you consider necessary and/or sufficient for proof is different than what I consider necessary and/or sufficient, and thus there can be no reasonable argument or debate here, only a mutual agreement to agree to disagree

That being said, while the statement about Haman being from Amalek comes from rabbinic sources (which — I know, I know — are not relevant to you), the fact that Haman was anti-Semitic is self evident from the text; there is no extrapolation required for this.

Chapter 3, verse 6 (“…Haman sought to destroy all the Jews…”) alone should be a sufficient basis for concluding that Haman was anti-Semitic. That you don’t think this is sufficient makes me wonder if we need to have a longer discussion about what anti-Semitism is. On top of this, in chapter 3, verse 8 (“Haman said to King Ahashverosh, …”), Haman appeals to the oft-repeated dual loyalty canard, justifying the genocide of the Jewish people on the basis that they allegedly do not follow the country’s laws. That this statement is oblique and does not reference Jews by name makes it no less anti-Semitism; today, when people leverage conspiracy theories or refer to “globalists”, “banksters”, “zios”, or any other term to suggest that Jews do not belong, have dual loyalties, or should be persecuted, etc. it doesn’t matter whether Jews are referenced by name or through dog references, innuendo, or anything else; that is still anti-Semitism.

In addition to these verses, chapter 3 verse 10 describes Haman as the enemy of the Jewish people (as an aside, I’d have to double-check, but I suspect this is the verse from which the rabbis derive that Haman was from Amalek). And in chapter 5 verse 13, Haman complains to his wife about Mordechai “the Jew” (not “the guy who wouldn’t bow to me”, but “the Jew”), making it quite clear that his hatred was about Mordechai’s Jewish identity, not Mordechai as an individual or his lack of obeisance.

In a prior comment, you asserted that Haman went after the entire Jewish people so as to avoid being seen to go after Mordechai specifically. I believe you are getting this from a misreading or mistranslation of chapter 3 verse 6 (some translations try to be overly literal in the translation, leading to confusing word order in English that misleadingly reads as “Mordechai was known” rather than “Mordechai’s nationality was known”). The assertion that Haman targeted the entire Jewish people so at to avoid being seen to go after Mordechai specifically is undermined by chapter 5 verse 14 in which Haman builds a gallows specifically for hanging Mordechai. While I disagree with the assertion regarding Haman’s reasoning (and the other verses support him being an anti-Semite), it would be no less anti-Semitic even if his motive was to kill Mordechai without being seen as targeting Mordechai specifically for several reasons: 1.) it still is an act of anti-Jewish prejudice (to understate it) and 2.) it is really inconceivable that someone would go to the length of genocide just to kill one person (surely there were other, simpler ways to kill Mordechai without being seen as targeting him specifically that did not require genocide) and thus, per Occam’s razor, we can reasonably conclude (given that he chose genocide rather than simpler, smaller, less prejudicial options available) that he must have been deeply prejudiced (again to understate it significantly) to have selected the genocide route.

Regarding the comparison between Ahashverosh and Yitzkhak, the analogy just doesn’t fly. While Yitzkhak was deceived, he is suspicious (he notes that the voice is of Yaakov even though the hair is like Esav) and he demonstrates none of the frivolity of Ahashverosh. Yitzkhak, after all, spend a life of quiet contemplation and engages in the very serious business of going along with Avraham even though he knows that he is to be sacrificed; Ahashverosh engages in days of partying, murders his wife Vashti for the petty reason of her not agreeing to show up at his party naked on demand when he calls for her like some sort of object, and readily delegates the serious business of running his country to his advisors without supervision or questioning to the point that he allows his advisor to, for his own petty personal prejudices, enact a policy of genocide. I’m sorry, but I don’t see the parallels here between them at all. And the bar is even further for a comparison with God.

I think that the only reasonable counter argument to using the term anti-Semitism in relation to Haman is simply that the term is an anachronism in this context; the term anti-Semitism was coined and popularized much later (in the 1870s) as a pseudo-intellectual euphemism for Jew hatred. In that sense, I will concede that the term may not apply. However, the essence of that term — i.e., anti-Jewish hatred — certainly does apply; regardless of the term you use, anti-Jewish hatred and prejudice on the part of Haman is a core piece of the story. And this prejudice does not require a rabbinic reading of the text (though rabbinic interpretation is important and relevant from a Jewish perspective); that Haman was an anti-Jewish bigot is self-evident and can be plainly seen from a literal, non-rabbinic reading of the text.

Michael Idarecis
20h ago
If you can’t provide the verses requested to prove that anti-semitism was in view and exposition by this evening will have to take your position as incapable of answering.

Therefore you had said:

“Thus saith The Lord”

However The Lord did not say!

Praise I AM,
Michael Idarecis

Michael Idarecis
Just now
**No** to accept that the “sources” are different would be enabling a lie.  To say there are different sources would also mean that there are different God.  Why would you say something like that?  Both the Young’s Literal Translation of The Bible  and the Tanakh use the same original Hebrew & Aramaic texts to translate into english which are God Breathed or Holy.  If there are some translational errors in view that can be discussed however that has to present itself, if that does occur.  What you should agree upon is that the Talmud is not holy.  It might be important to you however it is not God Breathed to the  Prophets of God.  Similarly for me to use a commentary on The Bible in my argument would be discrediting The Word of God.  That you should be able to agree to.  If not state your reason.

The proof requested was very simple and straight to the point which mind you in your lengthy answer you did not provide:

*“Demonstrate from the text line by line on what was presented to YOU.”*

Instead you used so little of The Holy Writings in your answer at best parts of 4 verses.  Then you stretch that out with commentary…

**For starters to use anti-semitic these days has become more propaganda of zionists than actual anti-semitism.  To even tie that into The Bible is in a sense using God’s words to propagate a political agenda since zionism exists ap****art from God.  You can teach me about anti-semitism after you learn from me how to present The Holy writings without cherry picking bits and pieces and building a case around an agenda.**

Your first verse to promote anti-semitism or parts of the first verse to be more accurate is Esther 3:6 which reads in the YLT Bible:

Esther 3:6 “6 and it is contemptible in his eyes to put forth a hand on Mordecai by himself, for they have declared to him the people of Mordecai, and Haman seeketh to destroy all the Jews who are in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus–the people of Mordecai.”

This is where am at odds with your position and your supposed understanding of The Holy Scriptures.  In that very verse you cherry picked the one part that can be used as your defense for anti-semitism.  However that is also the fraudulent part of using that one part of the verse because you did not include verse 5 which is the culmination of the personal hatred towards Mordecai.  Also by not including the earlier verses that demonstrate how the emphases was the personal hatred towards Mordecai and the “destroy all the Jews” was the means to get to Mordecai.  In other words destroying Mordecai is the meat of the statement and destroy all the Jews was the gravy.

Therefore am going to present that and other statements that demonstrate that there was no “hatred of Jews” by The King or by the people at large.

Let us begin with a few foundational pieces of information.

No where in Esther is the word God mentioned.

Mordecai is not a Hebrew name.  Esther’s Jewish name is Hadassah:

Esther 2:7 “7 and he is supporting Hadassah–she is Esther–daughter of his uncle, for she hath neither father nor mother, and the young woman is of fair form, and of good appearance, and at the death of her father and her mother hath Mordecai taken her to him for a daughter.”

Also Mordecai had instructed Esther not to use her Jewish name:

Esther 2:10 “10 Esther hath not declared her people, and her kindred, for Mordecai hath laid a charge on her that she doth not declare it;”

**Now for Esther 3 **we find Haman is enjoying a moment of glory that King Ahasuerus had bestowed upon Human:

Esther 3:1 “1 After these things hath the king Ahasuerus exalted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and lifteth him up, and setteth his throne above all the heads who are with him,”

This is the beginning of the hatred of Mordecai because he did not bow to Haman.  This we will conclude was the moment that Haman gets angry which is evident in verse 5.

Esther 3:2 “2 and all servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, are bowing and doing obeisance to Haman, for so hath the king commanded for him; and Mordecai doth not bow nor do obeisance.”

Mordecai now is being spoken to about his not bowing at the command of the king.

Esther 3:3 “3 And the servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, say to Mordecai, ‘Wherefore art thou transgressing the command of the king?’”

This verse 4 as the servants of the king talk to Mordecai it is revealed to Haman that Mordecai is Jewish.  This is an important point.

Esther 3:4 “4 And it cometh to pass, in their speaking unto him, day by day, and he hath not hearkened unto them, that they declare it to Haman, to see whether the words of Mordecai do stand, for he hath declared to them that he is a Jew.”

Now were are at verse 5 the most important verse and at this point can say without a shadow of a doubt that the destroying of the Jews has nothing to do with anti-semitism.  It is here that Haman has full knowledge of Mordecai being Jewish most likely only finding out at verse 4 and what does GOD ALMIGHTY record for us in verse 5?  That the only thing Haman is thinking about is Mordecai is not bowing and doing obedience to him.  **Not one word about hatred of the Jews. ** To go on even further God includes Haman is “full of fury” and that too is tied to Mordecai not bowing and doing obedience to Haman.  This fury is not recorded anywhere in the book of Esther towards the Jews.  **Also God so amazing that verse 5 makes your assertion of verse 6 totally a fabrication to promote your agenda**

Esther 3:5 “5 And Haman seeth that Mordecai is not bowing and doing obeisance to him, and Haman is full of fury,”

You can’t say Thus saith The Lord when The Lord did not say.

God had verses 2–4 build up  to verse 5 the build up of the fury that Haman had for Mordecai and in verse 6 you neglected to include the important part of verse 6 that demonstrates that Haman didn’t want to kill Mordecai by himself because it would be difficult to carry this forth which is not fully evident here but definitely when you consider that in verse 8 Haman never informs King Ahsuerus that his plan was to destroy Jews.  This is the one point now when Haman wanted to destroy all the Jews.  Also you can make an inference that his hatred of Mordecai was imputed towards all the people of Mordecai when you read verses 2 to 6.  The Jews again were not the reason to kill them it was MORDECAI we know this without a shadow of a doubt because Haman could have tried to destroy all the Jews that were there long before being in fury over Mordecai.  So to say anti-semitism was the reason or motivation to destroy all the Jews again is dishonoring the integrity of God’s word for a political agenda.

Esther 3:6 “6 and it is contemptible in his eyes to put forth a hand on Mordecai by himself, for they have declared to him the people of Mordecai, and Haman seeketh to destroy all the Jews who are in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus–the people of Mordecai.”

**To be clear Haman knew there were Jews in the Shushan The Palace and the provinces long before Esther verses 2–6.  Your representation of an anti-semitic as a basis is dishonest in light of the aforementioned evidence**.

The point is that this lengthy answer is necessary because Quora is information for other people that could be mislead when people are cherry picking parts of verses without context from The HOLY WRITINGS.

Why did’t Haman tell The King Ahserus that the “people” were Jewish?  The reason being that King Ahsuerus does not have a personal grudge with the Jews.  Again even King Ahsuerus could have destroyed the Jews before the moment Haman has this conversation in verse 8.

Esther 3:8 “8 And Haman saith to the king Ahasuerus, ‘There is one people scattered and separated among the peoples, in all provinces of thy kingdom, and their laws are diverse from all people, and the laws of the king they are not doing, and for the king it is not profitable to suffer them;”

In this verse we see that the King Ahasuerus gives the signet to Haman but in no place does it state that the King was aware they were Jews in this verse .  It is stated the lineage and people of which Haman is and the statement “adversary of the Jews” is stated however there is no evidence that this is the motivation to set forth the destroying of the Jews outside of destroying Mordecai and the bonus is killing all the Jews which will be even more evident in the coming verses

Esther 3:10 “10 And the king turneth aside his signet from off his hand, and giveth it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, adversary of the Jews;”

In verses Esther 3:11–14 there is not one place where  King Ahasuerus is made aware that the Jews are the people who are to be destroyed.  Mind you this is a Persian king which if anything should be anti-Semitic with the current view about Persia.

Esther 3:11-14 “11 and the king saith to Haman, ‘The silver is given to thee, and the people, to do with it as it is good in thine eyes.’ 12 And scribes of the king are called, on the first month, on the thirteenth day of it, and it is written according to all that Haman hath commanded, unto lieutenants of the king, and unto the governors who are over province and province, and unto the heads of people and people, province and province, according to its writing, and people and people according to its tongue, in the name of the king Ahasuerus it hath been written and sealed with the signet of the king, 13 and letters to be sent by the hand of the runners unto all provinces of the king, to cut off, to slay, and to destroy all the Jews, from young even unto old, infant and women, on one day, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month–it is the month of Adar–and their spoil to seize, 14 a copy of the writing to be made law in every province and province is revealed to all the peoples, to be ready for this day.”

Now another moment of great joy for Haman when he was invited to the banquet that Esther was having and in the moment of Haman we have another reference to the fury over Mordecai because Mordecai didn’t rise or moved for Haman.  Remember Haman is killing all the people of Mordecai and yet only fury towards Mordecai for not either giving obedience or some sort of mercy to his people.  This fury was not towards the Jews it was a personal matter:

Esther 5:9 “9 And Haman goeth forth on that day rejoicing and glad in heart, and at Haman’s seeing Mordecai in the gate of the king, and he hath not risen nor moved for him, then is Haman full of fury against Mordecai.”

Now Haman is home with his wife and brought his friends and recounts everything that happened.  Haman talks about:

The glory of his wealth

Abundance of his sons

the king made him great

King lifted him up above the heads and servants of the king

Esther the queen brought none in with the king,  unto the feast she made except myself

Am called for her to go with the king.

You would think that a matter as important as destroying all the Jews was of the upmost importance to tell Zeresh his wife and friends?  No?  That wasn’t important to tell to everyone?  Maybe it was the gravy to the real meal which is:

“… all this is not profitable to me, during all the time that I am seeing Mordecai the Jew sitting in the gate of the king…”

In other words the Jews that Haman was destroying is insignificant and only Mordecai that happens to be Jewish matters.  Your erroneous position that it was an emphases on Mordecai being Jewish is not supported in the text or behavior outlined in the text.

Esther 5:10-14 “10 And Haman forceth himself, and cometh in unto his house, and sendeth, and bringeth in his friends, and Zeresh his wife, 11 and Haman recounteth to them the glory of his wealth, and the abundance of his sons, and all that with which the king made him great, and with which he lifted him up above the heads and servants of the king. 12 And Haman saith, ‘Yea, Esther the queen brought none in with the king, unto the feast that she made, except myself, and also for to-morrow I am called to her, with the king, 13 and all this is not profitable to me, during all the time that I am seeing Mordecai the Jew sitting in the gate of the king.’ 14 And Zeresh his wife saith to him, and all his friends, ‘Let them prepare a tree, in height fifty cubits, and in the morning speak to the king, and they hang Mordecai on it, and go thou in with the king unto the banquet rejoicing;’ and the thing is good before Haman, and he prepareth the tree.”

This is all that is necessary to destroy any alleged anti-Semitism argument in that Haman doesn’t even consider killing the Jews however killing One man who happens to be a Jew is of the utmost importance and it isn’t even that Mordecai is a Jew that matters.

Have demonstrated that this was only a personal matter between Haman and the actions of Mordecai and the Jewish aspect of Mordecai is insignificant.  Especially when all the three times anger is always directed at Mordecai the person.  There was no anger towards the Jews.  The Jews were so insignificant that it wasn’t even expressed at the gathering of Zaresh and his friends.  Really now if you were going to wipe out a whole bunch of people wouldn’t you want to brag about it since Haman is always concerned with glory?

A word of advice use The Holy Scripture instead of commentary, without cherry picking the words.  It is deceitful to hide The Word of God.

Job 27:11 “11 I shew you by the hand of God, That which is with the Mighty I hide not.”

Praise I AM,
Michael Idarecis

End of comments between Michael Idarecis and Michael Safyan.  You can easily see what was deleted if you compare to the Quora link.  Also the deletion was a few hours after it was posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 approximately 3:00 PM EST.

Other evidence will be added below.