But God Remembered: Stories of Women from Creation to the Promised Land


A lively collection of stories that gives voices and names to women from biblical and ancient times whom we seldom remember.

This lively collection of four stories is a modern reclaiming of the Bible, a celebration of courageous and wise women from ancient tradition. These stories invite children of all ages and all faiths to remember, and to bring their own faith to life.

With vivid prose and lush, full-color...

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But God Remembered: Stories of Women from Creation to the Promised Land

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A lively collection of stories that gives voices and names to women from biblical and ancient times whom we seldom remember.

This lively collection of four stories is a modern reclaiming of the Bible, a celebration of courageous and wise women from ancient tradition. These stories invite children of all ages and all faiths to remember, and to bring their own faith to life.

With vivid prose and lush, full-color illustrations, this storybook introduces:

  • Lillith, the first woman in the Garden of Eden, according to an ancient legend, shows her determination to have men and women treat each other as equals.
  • Serach the musician, who, with her song, reveals to her grandfather Jacob that his son Joseph is still alive, and whose courage to speak out heals the wrongs of another generation.
  • Bityah, who draws the baby Moses from the Nile and with a mother's bravery encourages him to become who he will be, proving that taking a risk to do what’s right can change the world.
  • Daughters of Z, who struggle against discrimination with great daring—and extraordinary results.

Here are stories that might have happened, about four women of biblical tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

InterFaithFamily.com - Cheryl F. Coon

Jewish Lights Publishing, a small press in Woodstock, Vt., knows something simple but important about books for kids. Combine good stories or interesting content with illustrations that captivate and hold kids' attention, and you've got a keeper. Jewish Lights is willing to go the extra mile to achieve attention-getting visuals, something readers cannot take for granted in a time of spiraling costs for color illustrations.

Review of But God Remembered, by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, illustrated by Bethanne Andersen (Jewish Lights, 1995).

But God Remembered is a feminist collection of stories about four fascinating women from the Old Testament: Lilith, Serach, Bityah and Zelophehad. I wish I had been able to read this fascinating collection as a child, when I often was interested in the women in the stories but unable to find any information about them. Lillith, tradition tells us, was Adam's first wife. In But God Remembered, Lillith's story involving her departure from the Garden of Eden is all about her quest for equality. Serach, the granddaughter of Jacob, has a musical talent that leads to the responsibility and honor of telling Jacob that Joseph is still alive. Perhaps the most unusual tale is of Zelophehad, whose five daughters, after the death of their father, ask Moses to inherit their father's land, since he left no sons. Because Moses cannot make the decision, the daughters speak directly to God, who grants them a place in the Promised Land. The illustrations for this intriguing collection of stories are dramatic and colorful and will appeal to all ages, although the stories are geared for ages 9 to 12.

Lutheran Woman Today

Adam & Eve's First Sunset by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; Illustrations by Joani Keller Rothenberg (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003).

Adam and Eve are far from bold as they approach the end of their first day and the setting sun. They bluster, cajole, argue, and pray, but they can't bring back the sun. However, God gives them fire to keep them through the night. Sasso writes the finest books of faith for children (including In God's Name , But God Remembered , and God's Paintbrush ) and this is another one, especially for those children who may be afraid of the dark.

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
But God Remembered is wonderful, but it isn't long enough! The author and illustrator have created a book about women in the Bible from Creation to the Promised Land. This is a book of tales dealing with Biblical women whom almost no one remembers ( Lilith, Serach, Bityah (sometimes spelled Batyah), and the Daughters of Z. They all did things that changed their worlds, and their deeds should be celebrated. Although one common view of Lilith, the first woman, portrays her as a demon, Sasso has her as a guardian of the night, the Hebrew "layla." Serach is Jacob's granddaughter, who can tell him of Joseph's being found when his sons are afraid to. Bityah is the name given by God to Pharaoh's daughter, who remains with her father when Moses leaves for the Promised Land. And the Daughters of Z. have no brother to inherit their father's land. They appeal to Moses for an exemption from the traditional "males only" law. These are wonderful, thought-provoking stories from a master storyteller.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Sasso has taken women from the Old Testament and written four midrash about them. The first selection is about Lilith, who is here said to be Adam's first wife, and relates how the couple fought and separated when Adam wanted to take control of naming the animals. Another story tells how Serach, Jacob's granddaughter, was chosen to tell Jacob that Joseph was alive in Egypt because of her gift of music. The third is about Meroe, the pharaoh's daughter who saved baby Moses. The last tells how the daughters of Zephaniah stood up to the tradition of giving only males the right to inherit and receive property in the promised land. The stories are competently told and fit well with the Biblical tradition. Each one is illustrated with a full-page portrait at the beginning and a smaller painting at the end. They are set in a frame of desertlike color that is also used to frame much of the text. Luminous colors and a realistic but dramatic style help create a mood that complements the text well. This is an attractive book that will be appreciated most by children who have some familiarity with Biblical stories.-Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Ilene Cooper
In a picture book for older children, Sasso, the second woman to be ordained a rabbi, reaches into the Bible and other sources and finds women whose voices have long been muted. Meet Lilith, who, tradition tells us, was Adam's first wife. There are many legends about Lilith, but in Sasso's story, her quarrel with Adam is over equality in the Garden. Serach, the granddaughter of Jacob, and Bityah, the woman who drew Moses from the water, are also brought to the forefront here. But it is the daughters of Z whose tale is, perhaps, the most remarkable. In a story based on an incident in Numbers 27:1, the five daughters of Zelophehad come to Moses after their father dies and ask to inherit their father's land, since he left no sons. Even Moses cannot make such a decision, so he directs them to God, and it is the Almighty who speaks to the daughters of Z and grants them their place in the Promised Land. Although part of the pleasure of the book lies in its strong feminist voice, Sasso also tells good stories; and these will have even more value for the discussions they can generate. Andersen's evocative paintings are beautiful additions to this carefully designed book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879045439
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 12.28 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, a parent, spiritual leader, and storyteller, is the awardwinning author of God's Paintbrush, In God's Name, God In Between and many other inspiring books for children of all faiths and backgrounds. The second woman to be ordained as a rabbi (1974) and the first rabbi to become a mother, she and her husband, Dennis, were the first rabbinical couple to jointly lead a congregation—Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis. They have two children, David and Debora, and three grandchildren. Sasso, who holds a doctorate in ministry, is active in the interfaith community, and has written and lectured on the renewal of spirituality and the discovery of the religious imagination in children of all faiths.
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Nurturing the Spiritual Imagination of Children
  • Tell Me a Story: Reading the Bible and the Religious Imagination of Children
  • Filling in the Blanks: How Women Read the Bible
  • Women and Judaism: A Personal Journey
  • Midrash as a Tool for Spiritual Reflection

Click here to contact the author.

Bethanne Andersen received her MFA from Brigham Young University, and has studied illustration in the Masters Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the illustrator of But God Remembered: Stories of Women from Creation to the Promised Land. Her work is in many museums and university private collections.

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Table of Contents

"God created man and woman in the Divine image.
In God's image they were created;
male and female God created them."
(GENESIS 1:27)

"These are the names of the Israelites,
Jacob and his descendants who came to Egypt. . . .
Asher's sons…
and their sister Serach."
(GENESIS 46:8-17)

“When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter who made him her son. She named him Moses,
explaining I drew him out of the water.”
(EXODUS 2:10)

”The daughters of Zelophehad…came forward.…
The names of the daughters were
Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.”
(NUMBERS 27:1)

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