Hadassah: One Night With the King by Tommy Tenney

By Tommy Tenney

Bestselling writer Tommy Tenney expands the intense tale of Esther like no novelist has performed earlier than. either a mystery and a Jewish woman's memoir, Hadassah takes readers to historic Persia (now often called Iraq), into the interior sanctum of the palace and again out into the battle zones of conflict and political intrigue. This gripping drama of an easy peasant lady selected over many extra certified applicants to develop into Esther, Queen of Persia, captures the mind's eye and fires the sentiments of guys and ladies alike.

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62 Personal good fortune notwithstanding, Abarbanel must have recognized that some events swirling about him augured badly for Judaism’s future in the land of his ancestors. 63 At the same time, Spain saw a precipitous rise in the volume and intensity of anti-converso and anti-Jewish propaganda as the Inquisition implemented ever more brutal tactics culminating in the staged Santo Ni˜no de la Guardia trial of 1490–91. ”64 Yet if criticism of Abarbanel for failure to “grasp the developments of his time with a cold and piercing realistic view”65 is easily made in retrospect, it is readily countered if the perspective of hindsight is abandoned.

Beyond working to salvage some of his vast wealth, Abarbanel must have been concerned with the effects of a zealously mounted Christian missionizing effort,73 of which his family was made a special target. Judah Abarbanel, his eldest son, got wind of a planned kidnapping and forced baptism of his own firstborn (named Isaac, in accordance with family tradition, after Judah’s father). 75 Did the Abarbanels consider conversion? The curtain is drawn on their ruminations, but one may assume that Samuel Abarbanel’s example figured in any thoughts they had along these lines.

48 Despite such ups and downs, Abarbanel looked back upon his Portuguese years with favor throughout most of his life. And though he depicted them to Saul Hakohen as a long interval misspent in royal “courts and palaces,” these four and one-half decades conjured up much happier memories in their immediate aftermath and for decades to come. 50 Years later, as he wrote in Italy in the shadow of the calamity of the Spanish expulsion, auspicious images of Lisbon again filled Abarbanel’s head: wealth, honor, and Torah learning accrued; Passovers in the company of family, friends, and multitudinous guests; and, indeed, (divinely granted) elevated status in the “courts and palaces of kings and nobles”51 such as Abarbanel would rue in his letter to Saul Hakohen.

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