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The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis + The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodos + The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious
Price for all three: $44.19

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Deserves to be the most widely read book on the Bible in years, perhaps decades.”
Jewish Exponent
 
“Not only is Zornberg’s book leagues removed from popular trivializations, it also does what all successful midrash is meant to do: open up new perspectives on ancient texts.”
 —Commonweal
 
“A sinewy, powerful, and hauntingly beautiful reanimation of the ancient text of early Israel and of their heroes and heroines.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“Spectacular readings . . . A beautiful and arresting exercise in biblical literary criticism; highly recommended.”
Library Journal
 
“Zornberg brings a brilliant mastery of psychology, literature, and Judaismto bear on the Bible . . . This is an extraordinary book.”
The Jerusalem Report

About the Author

AVIVAH GOTTLIEB ZORNBERG is the author of The Begginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis (and winner of the National Jewish Book Award), The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus, and The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious. She lectures widely in Israel, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She lives in Jerusalem.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805212396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805212396
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. H. Esty on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a recommendation by a rabbi through an ecumenical reading group studying Genesis. Two of us worked together to read it discussing it section by section. We both learned a lot about midrash and how bits of Genesis have been evaluated over the centuries and found ourselves led to new appreciations of some of the major themes. Not for the faint of heart but worth the work. Academic in nature and psychological--reading it opens up new lines of thought about familiar material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Austreng on August 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We are reading this in a prayer/study group I attend and finding it to be challenging, but very good. The introduction helps understand the style and intent of the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Weil on November 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the primary texts for the new literary approach to biblical interpretation. Essential reading as are all Zornberg's writings.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the definitive contemporary exegesis of Genesis. Zornberg is unique in her ability to integrate the insights of Rabbinic Midrash, critical literary analysis, and psychoanalytic Research. For me the result has been a plethora of 'I can't believe I never understood before' insights, that have blessed me with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Genesis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Avivah Gottleib Zornberg opened my eyes to the scholarly literature on contemporary thought about the Torah and the rich rewards discussing its meanings can bring even to one who, like me, is fully non-religious.

Douglas Uzzell, Author of From Meaning to Desire
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