Hiding in Plain Sight

The story behind Megilat Esther

By Rabbi David Shabtai MD

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 208

ISBN: 978-1-56871-675-6


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We all know the Purim story, but when was the last time you actually read the Megilah? Not just listened to it on Purim, but read through the story? There’s a lot more there than we were taught back in grade school. 

What is the point of the Megilah’s opening scene of excessive feasting and partying?

Why did Achashverosh agree so quickly to Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews? 

What was Esther’s actual plan to save the Jews? 

Where is God and why doesn’t the Megilah ever talk about Him?

While superficially a simple children’s story with fairytale-like qualities, a close reading of Megilat Esther reveals a complicated tapestry of political drama, palace romance, and personal ambition. In peeling back the various layers of the story, Hiding in Plain Sight reveals this hidden world. Far from just a brilliantly crafted saga, Megilat Esther emerges as a foundational text of Emunah with a clear message to the Jews in Exile, as relevant in ancient Persia as it is today.


“If our mission when reading Megillas Esther is to be megaleh the nistar, to reveal that which is hidden, Rabbi Dr. Shabtai provides us with the tools, the vocabulary, the evidence and, most importantly, the inspiration needed to accomplish this task.” — Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Boca Raton Synagogue