Eternally Eve: Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, and Modern Jewish Poetry

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Overview

The biblical accounts of Eve's life are central to Western culture. For both Judaism and Christianity, these texts are entangled with the religious and social construction of gender. Eternally Eve takes as its subject the many ways Eve's stories can be read, interpreting the biblical narratives as well as their iteration by rabbinic midrashists and modern poets. Putting the biblical texts in conversation with later sources, Anne Lapidus Lerner argues that we must set aside, or at least rethink, a series of assumptions about Eve that have long been dominant in Jewish thought. By tracing the imagined character of Eve from ancient times to the present, Eternally Eve opens a window on the transmission and persistence of cultural and social values. Linking sacred texts to works of the classical and modern imagination, Lerner restores to her sources meanings suppressed or neglected over many years and demonstrates their power to speak to us today.

About the Author:
Anne Lapidus Lerner is Assistant Professor of Jewish Literature and Director of the Program in Jewish Women's Studies at Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this wide-ranging work, Lapidus Lerner shows how the typical depiction of Eve as a subservient, and as an evil temptress is wrong. Through a close reading of biblical and rabbinic texts, as well as modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and English poems, she shows a much more complex and interesting Eve. Her method, which allows each text to speak for itself, and to gain more depth through juxtaposition to other texts, yields significant insights into a wide variety of compositions, and offers an important addition to the growing body of Jewish scholarly feminist literature.”—Marc Z. Brettler, Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies, Chair of Near Eastern and Judail Studies, Brandeis University

“An erudite exercise in comparative literature, feminist inquiry, and biblical exegesis . . . this work will benefit not only students of Jewish literature but also anyone who seeks to understand Eve as textual figure and cultural appropriation.”—Choice

“Ample glossaries and indexes contribute a great deal to the accessibility of Dr. Lerner’s work, but the book is indispensable simply because Eve’s story is our story.”—CJ: Voices of Conservative Judaism

“Throughout time Eve as an icon of female sexuality has served as a touchstone for the erotic in women's lives. Readers of Eternally Eve will find their conception of male/female relationships transformed.”—Dr. Ruth Westheimer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584655534
  • Publisher: Brandeis University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: HBI Series on Jewish Women
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ANNE LAPIDUS LERNER is Assistant Professor of Jewish Literature and Director of the Program in Jewish Women's Studies at Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City. She is a co-editor of Gender and Text: Feminist Perspectives on Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literatures (1992).
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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
A Note on Translation, Texts, and Transliteration     xi
Introduction: The Significance of Eve     1
The Creation of Woman     15
Life in the Garden of Eden     77
Eve Beyond the Garden     142
Conclusion: Eve Framed: Invisibility and Visibility     167
Notes     171
Works Cited     217
Index of Sources     225
Subject Index     231
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