Interested in our post about her Purim celebration this weekend, Sex and the 405 did an interview with Dr. Susan Block about how she arrived at her interpretation of the Book of Esther. Here's a peek:
"It started percolating in my pre-adolescent brain," the Sunday school teacher-turned-sexologist told us over the phone tonight. "I loved dressing up as Esther and putting on Purim plays as a little kid in Hebrew school. Though nothing was ever said about the eroticism of the story - Esther is portrayed sometimes as a virgin even at the end of the story - I sensed she was a hot number and when I dressed as her, I felt like a hot number."
In adulthood, Block became disenchanted with Judaism and other religions and it wasn't until after she met her husband that she revisited the story.
"I married a man who was born Catholic," Block said. "He converted to Judaism, mainly because he loved Jewish women and he was very interested in my heritage, which I found very endearing. Most of the Jewish men I went out with had been very rejecting of it."
Her husband didn't know what Purim -- the holiday commemorating the events described in Esther -- was about.
"I hadn't celebrated in at least a decade," Block said of Purim. "But I told him, 'you know what? Let me read the story of Purim to you, let me read it right out of the Bible. It meant a lot to me when I was a little girl and I used to dress up and feel like a princess.'"
So she did.
"Let's just say before I could finish, we were having sex," she confessed. "The eroticism of it jumped off the page. It became clear to me that this is a story about sex. It's not a coincidence that Purim falls close to Saint Patrick's Day and Mardi Gras. It's a holiday of spring and renewal and getting drunk, so drunk, you don't know the good guys from the bad. The heroine is a woman who uses the power of her beauty, her charm and sensuality to seduce a king and save her people. In a time of such brutality and violence, it is a miracle."
Read the whole thing here.