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Praise Her Works: Conversations with Biblical Women Paperback – August 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While preparing for her daughter's Bat Mitzvah, Adelman stumbled across a 13th-century Yemenite text called Midrash ha-Gadol (The Great Commentary), which referred to 22 righteous biblical women. Here Adelman, a women's studies professor at Brandeis, and several other writers offer meditations and musings on those 22 women, who include Sarah, Naomi and Ruth, as well as some unnamed women, like the wife of Noah and the Shunammite woman. (Adelman also includes Queen Vashti, who was not mentioned in the original Midrash ha-Gadol.) Each figure stars in her own chapter, which opens with the relevant passages from the original text. But the heart of each chapter is Adelman's and her colleagues' imaginings of what these women would say to us today. Miriam, for example, recalls how she felt when she crossed the Red Sea, and urges readers to "find God in all the people who surround you." Naomi encourages women to name and experience their grief and sorrows. Michal, one of the wives of King David, advises today's readers to "question the assumptions you make about what is valuable in women's lives." Adelman is to be congratulated for recovering a little-known medieval text and simultaneously creating a remarkable work of modern midrash.
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Review

"Adelman is to be congratulated for recovering a little-known medieval text and simultaneously creating a remarkable work of modern midrash."—Religion Bookline
(Religion Bookline)

"High praise to Adelman for this new collection. For general collections, high school collections, havurot and study groups, Rosh Chodesh groups."—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
(Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827608233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827608238
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Portraits of 23 women from the Hebrew Bible (The Old Testament) are woven into the tapestry of the Eishet Hayil, The Woman of Valor poem from Proverbs.The characteristics of each of the women are linked to a verse from the Woman of Valor poem. Some of these women are so obscure they were not even given names; they're identified by their places of origin or their husbands. The stories are midrashim, Biblical stories that are elaborated upon in the Talmud/the Oral Torah or by writers or historians. At the end of each story the Biblical woman is given a voice of her own. I especially liked the story of Vashti who is often treated negatively. In this case she is given the chance to defend herself. Even though this book is written by Orthodox Jewish women it has feminist overtones.
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By Maryjane on September 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very thoughtful read. Enjoyed the perspective.
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