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January 24, 2010

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Jeff Lipshaw

Danny, the problem with the Esther analogy is that you have to take on faith that God is present in the story, just as you have to take on faith that there's much law involved in entrepreneurship.

And when you say God in the Esther story, do you mean Elohim or Adonai? Is the God of Esther all powerful, in the sense that God determines even that Haman will be evil (such a God might deliver earthquakes to punish evil people too), or is the God of Esther all good, in the sense that such a God inspires courage of the kind Esther and Mordecai display? The problem is that God that permits Haman to be evil can't be all good, and the one that only inspires Esther is obvious not all-powerful (or such a good God wouldn't have let Haman even exist).

As I've argued before, I suspect the reason that law doesn't show up much in the other entrepreneurship literature is because, unless you are a lawyer, it doesn't make much of a difference. It DOES make a difference to lawyers, who are just now getting around to it.

In any event, I've just put up a post that touches on this somewhat over at Legal Profession Blog:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2010/01/a-tale-of-two-karls.html

D. Daniel Sokol

Jeff,

Law shapes the contours of what you can and cannot do in terms of the organization of business. Lots of times org theory or finance scholars might code a contractual provision in their research but not have a good understanding of how the provision matters or the provision's relationship with the rest of the document. If law and entrepreneurship is the tail that wags the dog, I think we should be concerned that the law of contracts, corporate tax, corporate governance, etc. are also the tail that wags to dog.

In terms of the Book of Esther, you need to believe that God exists. Then, you need to wonder why God is not mentioned at all in any form. I am not a Rabbinic scholar but there was a nice summary that David Blumenthal (Emory-Judaic Studies) did http://www.js.emory.edu/BLUMENTHAL/EstherSong.html#fn0.

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