Lilith's Ark Teenage Tales Of Biblical Women

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Not long after the world was created, Lilith, the first woman, was expelled from the Garden of Eden. She built an ark, a magic box, in which future biblical women could hide their most prized possessions. And so, Lilith’s Ark became a place for women to share their own experiences of adolescence with future generations of girls...

The women of Torah grew up at a time when gender roles were rigidly defined and girls were considered women at an early age. Still, the Torah hints ...

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Not long after the world was created, Lilith, the first woman, was expelled from the Garden of Eden. She built an ark, a magic box, in which future biblical women could hide their most prized possessions. And so, Lilith’s Ark became a place for women to share their own experiences of adolescence with future generations of girls...

The women of Torah grew up at a time when gender roles were rigidly defined and girls were considered women at an early age. Still, the Torah hints that young biblical women faced challenges similar to those that teenagers encounter today: first loves, burgeoning identities, developing sexualities, and blossoming spirituality. Building on textual sources, Deborah Bodin Cohen has created a collection of midrashim about the teen years of 10 women in Genesis that will resonate with 21st-century readers.

Lilith’s Ark melds text, biblical commentaries, and historic details about the ancient world with the experiences of modern girls and women and the author’s own imagination. A discussion guide for each story enriches the reading experience. This is a book that will speak across time to the anxieties and aspirations of today’s growing girls.

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Editorial Reviews


"Cohen's book is thus ideally suited for book clubs, religious classes, mother-daughter Rosh Hodesh groups, or any other discussion forum."—Lilith
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"A compilation of imaginative stories that provide new perspectives on the lives of the nine women in Genesis and on Eve’s midrashic precursor, Lilith . . . After all this time, Lilith’s Ark is giving voice to those ancient women who paid the price and reaped the benefits."—Ottawa Jewish Bulletin
Deborah Stone

"The midrashim are faithful in style and beautifully written, with enough poetry to lift them and enough common sense to keep them grounded."—Deborah Stone
Mindy Shapiro

"Lilith's Ark: Teenage Tales of Biblical Women is an engaging and refreshing book filled with midrashic stories about the teenage years of ten biblical heroines. Recommended for all adolescents, Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen skillfully brings the reader into the inner world of these young women. The book is filled with teenage power and heroism."—Mindy Shapiro, Director, Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! a program of Moving Traditions
Penina Adelman

"Teen girls today especially need role models who have lasted for more than a single season. I am impressed by Deborah Bodin Cohen's novel and original approach to biblical women. She portrays our female ancestors in their teen years: anguishing over relationships, rebelling against parental authority, searching for identity. This is a wonderful context in which women and girls can engage in meaningful dialogue around these crucial issues."—Penina Adelman, author of Miriam's Well, editor of the JPS book Praise Her Works, and co-author of The JGirl's Guide: The Young Jewish Woman's Handbook for Coming of Age
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Continuing the rabbinic tradition of midrashim, the author, a rabbi, elaborates on possible untold stories in the Torah. The unnamed woman in the first creation story she names Lilith. In the second creation story the woman named Eve is subjected to Adam, while Lilith remains a free spirit. Lilith creates a box into which each subsequent character places a symbolic item for remembrance. Stories told of Hagar, Sarah, Rachel, Leah, Dinah, Tamar, and others emphasize their strong, indomitable spirits, which may inspire young women today. A discussion guide is included with suggested themes for each character. The themes for Leah are: "Coping with a Disability," "Types of Love," and "Reconciliation." Themes for Dinah are "Acquaintance Rape," "Meeting Parental Expectations," and "Cycle of Violence." This book may be helpful for young Jewish women and those seeking dialogue with them.
KLIATT - Maureen Griffin
The author believes young Jewish women today face many of the same challenges the young women of the Torah did. She created midrashim, using the biblical text, ancient history, varied commentaries on Genesis, and her own feminine experience and creativity. We read about Eve and her symbolic apple, Sarah and a map, Hagar and a blanket, Rebekah and a water jug, and Rachel and the idols. Then there is Leah and a mandrake root, Dinah and a painted jacket, Tamar and a copper mirror, Asenath and a golden necklace. Finally, in Lilith's brief poetry, the reader is asked to think of her own symbol and gift. There is a comprehensive yet readable Discussion Guide that includes an invitation to mother-daughter dialog. This beautifully written collection is useful for young women of varied religious affiliations and the adults who mentor them. It speaks of heroism and creative spirit in a way that is attractive and encouraging.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827608337
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 0.38 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    A Powerful Work of Creative Art

    With Lilith¿s Ark: Teenage Tales of Biblical Women, Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen has created voices for the teenage young women of the Torah. Not unlike, The Red Tent, Lilith¿s Ark, brings us back to our ancient past, melding Torah text, Midrashic Commentary and modern psychology. The ten women represented in the book, and connected by Lilith¿s Ark passed from generation to generation, teach lessons of self confidence, strength, passion, following dreams and journeying to the unexpected. Each of the lessons is important to the young women of today who are growing up in a intimate world of tremendous expectation and pressure and a global world where terrorism trumps rationalism. Rabbi Bodin Cohen teaches that our ancestors, Lilith, Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Dina, Tamar and Asenath, encountered the same fears and dreams of every woman. The Torah is not a relic of the past, rather stories of our lives and the lives of our daughters. Lilith¿s Ark is a wonderful resource for teenage Rosh Hodesh Classes, Bar and Bat Mitzvah Divrei Torah writing and sermons. I have used it in teaching parents and children alike and it always creates an atmosphere for interesting, provocative discussion. The stories are written with beauty and the heroine¿s with strength and honesty. It is a unique and powerful work of creative art.

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