Hamlet, Shakespeare’s most peculiar tragedy, echoes one of the most peculiar books in the Hebrew Bible, Ecclesiastes. It also helps us understand its wisdom.
The poet Heinrich Heine imagined the merchant of Venice attending Neilah, the final service of Yom Kippur, but I find him earlier in the day, at Mincha, and we are listening together to the story of another Jew among Gentiles, bitter at being compelled to show mercy.
What happens when the hidden is revealed? Reading Megillat Esther alongside one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” shows that question to be at the heart of Purim’s paradox.
How Shakespeare helps us think about the akedah, and vice versa.