ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens

Overview

What does it mean to re-vision Torah?

"I use the title ReVisions for this book because I want readers both to revise—in the classic definition of reexamine and alter—and to see the text anew, to have a new vision, a 'revision,' of Torah.... It begins with the notion that women see the text differently than men do, ask different questions and bring different answers.... This book is not about rewriting the ...

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Overview

What does it mean to re-vision Torah?

"I use the title ReVisions for this book because I want readers both to revise—in the classic definition of reexamine and alter—and to see the text anew, to have a new vision, a 'revision,' of Torah.... It begins with the notion that women see the text differently than men do, ask different questions and bring different answers.... This book is not about rewriting the Torah. It is about rereading it."
—from the Introduction

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein—woman, rabbi, scholar, and feminist—challenges and defends, rereads and reinterprets the ancient text, revealing to modern readers a way to see Judaism anew, for a new vision—a "revision"—of the Torah. Goldstein boldly brings the Torah into a contemporary context at the same time she honestly reconciles its past.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One focus of feminist discussion of Hebrew scripture is how little we know about biblical women. Traditionally, biblical commentary was an arena reserved for male scholars. Goldstein's thesis is that women are central to discussions of the Bible. In his introduction, Irving Greenberg discusses how the Reform and Orthodox communities will react to his endorsement of a book, written by a female Reform rabbi. What is more important is that feminists and traditionalists are coming to terms and accepting each other. Goldstein divides her work into three sections: women, menstruation, and the vestiges of ancient goddess-worship. She juxtaposes biblical quotations with personal musings, and supports her discussion with the work of contemporary scholars, providing ways for readers to understand biblical women, taboo issues, and the connections between women and the deity. Recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries with holdings in Judaica and feminism.--Naomi E. Hafter, Broward Cty. P.L., Lauderhill, FL
Landy
The awakening of the voices of ancient Jewish women in Revisions allows us to reconnect to a tradition that has often felt exclusive. I know that I will share these stories, ideas, and reinterpretations with the women I have been blessed to teach and learn from. I look forward to the day when our teenage girls will be studying Goldstein's commentary as classic text.
Sojourner
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580231176
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, one of the leading rabbis of a new generation, is director of Kolel: The Adult Center for Liberal Jewish Learning, a full-time progressive adult Jewish learning center. Goldstein lectures frequently throughout North America. She is also editor of The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions; and The Women's Haftarah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Haftarah Portions, the 5 Megillot and Special Shabbatot; and author of the award-winning New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future and ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Women and Judaism
  • Reform Judaism
  • Jewish Parenting
  • General Judaica
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Foreword by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg Introduction PART I. WOMEN IN THE TORAH Introduction Power and Powerlessness Male and Female Were They Created: Eve, Lilith and the Snake Leah and Rachel: A Study in Relationships The Women of the Exodus Story: A Study in Community The Daughters of Tzelophehad PART II. BLOOD AND WATER: THE STUFF OF LIFE Introduction Blood and Its Symbolism in the Torah Menstruation and the Laws of Niddah A Jewish Feminist Reexamination of Menstruation Blood and Men: A Feminist Look at Brit Milah Women and Water in the Torah A Feminist Reexamination of Mikveh PART III. GOD, GODDESS, GENDER AND THE TORAH Introduction Searching for the Female Spirit in the Torah Female Imagery and Paganism The Place of the Goddess and Shekhinah in Judaism God-Language Epilogue Glossary Notes Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading Index About Jewish Lights

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