Sarah Laughed: Modern Lessons from the Wisdom and Stories of Biblical Women

Sarah Laughed: Modern Lessons from the Wisdom and Stories of Biblical Women

by Vanessa Ochs
     
 

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In this vivid collection, religious scholar Vanessa Ochs brings the legends of the biblical matriarchs to new life using her own form of midrash, a creative but scholarly reinterpretation of sacred works that puts flesh and bones on the original. Finding her own, distinctly female voice in this traditional art, Ochs retells the incredible stories of the biblical

Overview

In this vivid collection, religious scholar Vanessa Ochs brings the legends of the biblical matriarchs to new life using her own form of midrash, a creative but scholarly reinterpretation of sacred works that puts flesh and bones on the original. Finding her own, distinctly female voice in this traditional art, Ochs retells the incredible stories of the biblical matriarchs, filling in the gaps and answering some of the key questions left behind by the original text.

By learning about the gifts of these ancient women, you'll discover exhilarating ways to embrace your own personal gifts and gain fresh insight into:

  • Finding your inner wisdom
  • Speaking your true self
  • Being a good friend
  • Maintaining romantic partnerships
  • Raising a family
  • Letting go of children
  • Feeling blessed with a life well lived
  • And much more

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With warmth, erudition and a very contemporary sensibility, Ochs offers reflections on the lives of Old Testament matriarchs that should appeal to women across religious lines. Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia, Ochs uses her own research with unobtrusive grace to shed light on gaps in the biblical stories. While focused on the narratives, she chooses to combine an inspirational self-help message with Jewish lore and the testimony of modern female friends. Most often, she is successful, as when she discusses well-known figures like Sarah, laughing in reaction to the news that she will bear a child in her old age. "Sarah's laughter gives us perspective on our yearning. We can hear her laughter when we hold on to our dreams and when we decide it's time to relinquish them." Even when she grapples with enigmatic or tragic women, like Jephthah's daughter, Ochs finds parallels between their stories and the dilemmas of her modern readers. Divided thematically by topics such as friendship, parenting and healing, the chapters include translations from the Hebrew, a "midrash-like" commentary on the story and practical rituals designed to bring home the diverse lessons of this appealing book. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Ochs (Jewish & religious studies, Univ. of Virginia) has written an ardently and unstoppably upbeat reconsideration of some of the women who appear in Hebrew Scripture. Her approach blends semi-fictionalized retellings with her own contemporary reflections on the meanings of the "stories" she retells or elaborates from Scriptural sources. More traditionally minded Jews and Christians alike may be surprised to find, for instance, Jephthah's daughter celebrated for her self-sacrifice for her friends' sake, but Ochs's point has more to do with reshaping old interpretations to find uplifting models for contemporary women than pleasing conservative authorities. For most collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780071402903
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
09/16/2004
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.04(d)

Meet the Author

Vanessa L. Ochs, Ph.D., is the Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia. The recipient of a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she has written several books, including Words on Fire, and dozens of articles for national newspapers and magazines. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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