Biblical Women Speak: Hearing Their Voices Through New and Ancient Midrash

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What were biblical women thinking and doing when the men around them received all the attention and glory? How did Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids negotiate the complicated family dynamics of four women vying for Jacob's affections? What compelled Potiphar's wife to risk her high station to seduce Joseph, an enslaved foreigner? How did the midwives and Pharoah's daughter conspire to rescue baby Moses, right under Pharoah's nose?

Biblical Women Speak employs midrash (interpretative techniques) to discover ten biblical women's stories from a female point of view and provide insights beyond how ancient male scholars viewed them. Each chapter brings alive a different biblical woman, including non-Israelite characters and others who are neglected in classical rabbinic texts, such as Keturah (Abraham's last wife), Bat Shuah (Judah's wife), Shelomith (the infamous blasphemer's mother), and Noah (one of Zelophehad's brave daughters who demanded inheritance rights). After each featured text we hear a creative retelling of the woman's story in her own voice, followed by traditional midrash and medieval commentaries and the author's reflections on how these tales and interpretations are relevant for today.

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman's book is an engaging invitation to enter biblical narratives, challenge conventional wisdom, and recalibrate the stories and lessons through the lens of our own lives.

Author: Marla J. Feldman
Binding Type: Paperback
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
Published: 07/01/2023
Pages: 242
Weight: 0.75lbs
Size: 8.90h x 5.91w x 0.71d
ISBN: 9780827615144

About the Author
Rabbi Marla J. Feldman is the executive director of Women of Reform Judaism. She has published numerous articles about the role of women in Jewish life and social justice issues, and her modern midrashim have appeared in several collections. She is the author of Reform Movement action manuals, including Speak Truth to Power.