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Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France
     

Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France

3.8 12
by Maggie Anton
 

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The second novel in a dramatic trilogy set in eleventh-century France about the lives and loves of three daughters of the great Talmud scholar 

The engrossing historical series of three sisters living in eleventh-century Troyes, France, continues with the tale of Miriam, the lively and daring middle child of Salomon ben Isaac, the great Talmudic

Overview

The second novel in a dramatic trilogy set in eleventh-century France about the lives and loves of three daughters of the great Talmud scholar 

The engrossing historical series of three sisters living in eleventh-century Troyes, France, continues with the tale of Miriam, the lively and daring middle child of Salomon ben Isaac, the great Talmudic authority. Having no sons, he teaches his daughters the intricacies of Mishnah and Gemara in an era when educating women in Jewish scholarship was unheard of. His middle daughter, Miriam, is determined to bring new life safely into the Troyes Jewish community and becomes a midwife. As devoted as she is to her chosen path, she cannot foresee the ways in which she will be tested and how heavily she will need to rely on her faith. With Rashi's Daughters, author Maggie Anton brings the Talmud and eleventh-century France to vivid life and poignantly captures the struggles and triumphs of strong Jewish women.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Anton delivers a tour de force . . . [Readers] will fly through the pages and come away wishing for more.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A compelling combination of drama, suspense, and romance.”—Lilith magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452288638
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/31/2007
Series:
Rashi's Daughters Series
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
491,963
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

Eva Etzioni-Halevy
[Anton] has surpassed herself. She offers Talmudic insights, true to life yet colorful characters and a riveting plot, which together make for a most informative and enjoyable read. Not to be missed! (Eva Etzioni-Halevy, Author of The Song of Hannah and The Garden of Ruth)
Elyse Goldstein
Miriam gives us a fascinating glimpse into the world of Jewish women long ago. A wonderful read! (Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, author ReVisions: Seeing Torah through A Feminist Lens )
David Shneer
Who knew that traditional Jewish life in medieval France could be so bound up in physical desire? In this compelling and well-researched historical novel, Anton shows us the love, family, sex and death that made up the daily lives of those surrounding the greatest rabbinic commentator in history. (David Shneer, Director, Center for Judaic Studies, Associate Professor, History, University of Denver)
Elliot N. Dorff
Rashi and his extended family become real people with very familiar challenges and triumphs.... Well researched and absolutely intriguing to read... what a wonderful story this is! (Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, American Jewish University [formerly the University of Judaism], Los Angeles.)
Jody Myers
Once again, Maggie Anton has delighted us with an engrossing story of the family and the circle of students around Rashi, the medieval commentator on the Bible and Talmud. [This] is a sensitive portrayal of a complex young woman, a conscientious midwife and healer, who strives for learning, love and inner contentment. (Jody Myers, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Coordinator, Jewish Studies Program California State University, Northridge)

Meet the Author

Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. In the early 1990's, Anton began studying Talmud in a class for women taught by Rachel Adler, now a professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She became intrigued with the idea that Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish scholars ever, had no sons, only three daughters. Slowly but surely, she began to research the family and the time in which they lived. Legend has it that Rashi's daughters were learned in a time when women were traditionally forbidden to study the sacred texts. These forgotten women seemed ripe for rediscovery, and the idea of a book about them was born.

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Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had heard about these books from a lady that was reading another series that i absolutely loved. Seeing that she and I likely had similar taste in novels, and ran to the computer to look up Rashi's Daughters. As usual I read through the reviews in earnest to see if I wanted to invest the $40+ to purchase the trilogy. In reviews for the first book 7 out of 8 people sang it's praises. Anticipating similar praises for the next book I was very disappointed to see that 50% of the reviews were negative. How can this be I asked myself. It was the same author and in so many of books that I've read they tend to get better with each book as the characters develop more and I become more entrenched in the story. I reread the negative reviews again to see why these 8 reviewers were so split and discovered a disturbing pattern. Each of the reviewers who rated the book poorly mentioned the sex and more specifically homosexuality in their review. Interesting that none of the positive reviews even touched on it. It became clear to me that those who disliked the book clearly were not comfortable with the subject matter of sexuality and completely put off by the homosexuality that was revealed. I don't know if anyone else noticed what I noticed but I felt compelled point this out in case anyone reads their reviews and decides against buying them based on those reviewers blatant prejudice. Before anyone thinks that this review of my own is self serving I feel it important to mention that I am Jewish and Hetero but have many friends that have found beautiful love and partnership with someone of their same gender. In this time in our history when finding a life partner is more difficult than ever, regardless of your sexual preference it boggles my mind that some have such a strong aversion to same sex couples when the majority of them are not directly nor indirectly affected by them nor do they associate with them anywhere in their lives. So what do they care? I think that those reviews should be stricken simply because, while they attempt to point to other things like historical accuracy for their dislike of the book, it is obvious what their real discomfort was all about. But since we fought for free speech and those reviews will likely stay up I thought I should point out what they really thought wrong with the books in case anyone missed it. Now, I'm going to go purchase this trilogy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd in a series, and when I finished this, I couldn't wait for the 3rd (and final) book to come out. I found the book to be quite enlightening about life in the time depicted. The author did a lot of research prior to writing the series and does a wonderful job letting the reader know, at the end of the book, what is fact, what is based on fact, and what is totally conjectured for the sake of the story (not much). Each of the books has held my interest and I couldn't wait to get back to it at my next chance to grab some reading time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rashi¿s Daughters: Miriam Maggie Anton Review by Art Finkle This second historical novel of a trilogy continues with Rashi¿s 'a 10th century Jewish commentator on scared writings in what is now the Champaign region of France' second daughter, Miriam. The author brings realism of the 10th century social history, no small feat and places the emphasis on women in a patriarchal society. Although many may consider this book targeted to females, it should be read by all. Males should know that sacrifices their wives and mothers made for t heir education, a highly prized commodity during these times. That merchants, vineyard supervisors, jewelers and other what was thought to be traditionally male activities comes as a surprise. Moreover, not only is midwifery involved with the delivery of babies but they also had the very best of medical knowledge. Miriam, as the second daughter of the great thinker continues to involve herself in the study of Talmud, a Jewish process of learning insights 'from the Sages¿ writings from the 1st century onward', and making rulings on real-life situations. Such study was a male¿s role but since Rashi, a born teacher, only had daughters, he taught this arduous process to all of his daughters. There were also vignettes that bespoke the unique personality of Rashi, who collaborated with the Cardinal from the Christian community to interpret difficult passages from the original Hebrew the role of semi-annual Fairs that promoted commerce and communication of all kinds and the large role of superstition. Overall, this novel captures social history and the Talmudic process in an extraordinary way. Plus the book is a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read and reread this series, I am in love!
Susan Attili More than 1 year ago
Interesting book especially if you are Jewish or know something about it. I really found all of the scholarly discussions refreshing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marvin-K More than 1 year ago
This is the longest of the three books by Maggie Anton. I found it tedious to get through, because it was too much like a never-ending soap opera. Anton teaches us a lot about the role of women as midwives, about the known and mysterious medications that were universally in vogue in the 11th Century, about the practice of medicine by the physicians, and about the restricted role that Jewish women could play in performing some of the prescribed religious rituals. She spends a great deal of time dealing with the homosexual tendencies and practices among the Rabbis and their students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It gives a glimpse into a life that I know nothing about. Detailing the every day life of this time period and the use of real characters give the book life. I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a disappointment after the excellence of Anton's first book, Joheved! This book began like reading a mediocre romance novel and never elevated to more. (Nothing inherently wrong with reading romance novels, included among my reading selections over the years one would find a goodly number of romance novels.....it's just not what I expected from this book and this author.) Where the first book is like a dense, well-woven cloth, this book was like cheap material...Like the difference between 800 thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linens and a set of 180-count cotton/polyester blend. Still, I will most likely read Book 3: Rachel just to see how the author finishes the trilogy. Sadly, it is only intermittently that something new to learn/know about was included in the fabric of the story. And I wonder why the author choose to bring to light certain social issues regarding yeshiva students that many may never have stopped to consider, but, overall, cheap, cheap, cheap! What a disappointment! Redundant and wearing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Miriam is a wonderful continuation from Jehoved. Ms. Anton's writing style is captivating, as I read Miriam. . .I felt like I was right in the middle of the story. I would suggest this book for anyone to read. I learned, I laughed, I cried, I connected. Read this book, you will love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first book in this series, Johoved, was a wonderful historical fiction book full of lots of Jewish character of the period and a bit of romance spice. Instead of continuing in the same fashion, this second book is focused on homosexual tension between yeshivah students. There was just enough new historical background 'much less than the first book' to keep me reading it to the end, but I was very disappointed in the book. I wish I had stopped at Johoved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the writing style is engaging, the author uses sacred texts to drive a plot replete with graphic sexuality, misused superstition,Roman and Greek astrology and mythology and intense homosexuality. She had Rashi's daughter ingest a potion made from non-kosher beetles. Such chutzpah! This is definitely NOT for someone knowledgeable or someone who supports traditional family values. This is misinformation couched in research to create harmful fictional characters.