From Library Journal
Weisberg, a dean and Torah teacher in Toronto, provides portraits of biblical women Eve, Sara, Rebecca, Ruth, and Esther and of Fraida and Devora Leah, the self-sacrificing daughters of Rabbi Shneur Zalman. Throughout her study, Weisberg attempts to show that the strength of the Jewish woman resides in quiet, self-effacing action and total selflessness. She claims that men are more conflicted while women concentrate more on their calling: for this reason, women are exempt from many of the commands (mitzvoth) men must fulfill, such as wearing phylacteries at times of prayer. What many contemporary Jewish feminists regard as signs of traditional devaluing become for Weisberg signs of superiority. Orthodox Jewish women may find that this book increases their self-esteem.?Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Going beyond mere biographical data, Weisberg places her biblical women into the broader context of Jewish tradition, thought, and philosophy. By doing this the author demonstrates the central role of women in Jewish life, stressing that this role is active--and often primary--in every stage of Jewish history. Weisberg begins with Eve, insisting that insights into her life will better equip women to face today's challenges and struggles. The author continues with such illustrious biblical women as Sara, Rebecca, Ruth, and Esther. This is not an easy book to read; Weisberg draws on such complex sources as the Talmud, midrashic writings, and the cabala. (There are 312 detailed endnotes.) But for today's Jewish woman, the book offers valuable insights and understanding. George Cohen