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The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 8, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 116 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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“The highest praise for a book, perhaps, is tucking it into a slot on your bookshelf where you’ll always be able to effortlessly slide it out, lay it across your lap and soak it up for a minute or a long afternoon’s absorption. The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible, Aviya Kushner’s poetic and powerful plumbing of both the Hebrew and English translations of the Bible, now rests in just such an easy-to-grab spot in my library. In a word, it’s brilliant. And beautiful.”—Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune

“Aviya Kushner has written a passionate, illuminating essay about meaning itself. The Grammar of God is also a unique personal narrative, a family story with the Bible and its languages as central characters.”—Robert Pinsky
 
“Kushner is principally interested in the meanings and translations of key Biblical passages, and she pursues this interest with a fierce passion. . . . A paean, in a way, to the rigors and frustrations—and ultimate joys—of trying to comprehend the unfathomable.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“A remarkable and passionately original book of meditation, exegesis, and memoir. The biblical passages are of a piece with stories of Kushner’s childhood, her quest to become a writer, and commemoration of her Israeli grandfather, the only one of his German family to escape extinction at the hands of the Nazis. In Kushner’s redemptive vision, the Bible in its many translations is a Noah’s ark, and her book, too, does a work of saving. When I put it down, I wept.”—Rosanna Warren, author of Stained Glass
 
“What a glorious book! From Sarah’s laughter to the idea of Jewish law being a dialogue and not a rigid set of rules, this is a book not only to learn from but to savor.”—Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love
 
“In this splendid book, each page is a wonder.”—Willis Barnstone, author of The Restored New Testament
 
“Kushner reminds us in The Grammar of God that in Hebrew beautiful things are also beautiful words. Her gift as a writer is to take us very near to the text, breathe into it, and give it a new life.”—Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus
 
“For the many readers who have encountered the Bible only in translation, Aviya Kushner’s compelling book will serve as an eye-opening introduction to the richness and nuance of the original Hebrew text. She has transformed what could have been yet another scholarly addition to the biblical canon into a new genre. Her book lies at the intersection of scholarship and memoir, territory rarely explored and a worthy model for future writers.”—Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart

About the Author

Aviya Kushner has worked as a travel columnist for The International Jerusalem Post, and her poems and essays have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Partisan Review, and The Wilson Quarterly. She teaches at Columbia College Chicago and is a contributing editor at A Public Space and a mentor for the National Yiddish Book Center.

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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars but my body experienced physical effects of happiness. It was like a portal to another world
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