What does it mean to re-vision Torah?
"I use the title ReVisions for this book because I want readers both to revisein the classic definition of reexamine and alterand 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 Goldsteinwoman, rabbi, scholar, and feministchallenges and defends, rereads and reinterprets the ancient text, revealing to modern readers a way to see Judaism anew, for a new visiona "revision"of the Torah. Goldstein boldly brings the Torah into a contemporary context at the same time she honestly reconciles its past.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Product dimensions:||2.17(w) x 3.35(h) x 0.62(d)|
About 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
Table of Contents
AcknowledgmentsForeword by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) GreenbergIntroduction
PART I. Women in the TorahIntroductionPower and PowerlessnessMale and Female Were They Created: Eve, Lilith and the SnakeLeah and Rachel: A Study in RelationshipsThe Women of the Exodus Story: A Study in CommunityThe Daughters of Tzelophehad
PART II. Blood and Water: The Stuff of LifeIntroductionBlood and Its Symbolism in the TorahMenstruation and the Laws of NiddahA Jewish Feminist Reexamination of MenstruationBlood and Men: A Feminist Look at Brit MilahWomen and Water in the TorahA Feminist Reexamination of Mikveh
PART III. God, Goddess, Gender and the TorahIntroductionSearching for the Female Spirit in the TorahFemale Imagery and PaganismThe Place of the Goddess and Shekhinah in JudaismGod-Language
EpilogueGlossaryNotesBibliography and Suggested Further ReadingIndex
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thought Revisions: Seeing Torah Through a Feminist Lens by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein a very interesting book! In it she is seeking authentic ways for women to read Torah as an integral part of their lives. She succeeds on many levels for me, a Protestant Christian. Briefly, her commentaries on several women in the Old Testament (Eve, Leah and Rachel, Miriam and the other women of the Exodus including Moses¿ wife Tzippora, and the daughters of Tzelophehad) are fresh and insightful. (Well, ¿ anything about the daughters of Tzelophehad would have been fresh for me.) Her next excursion into the symbolism and rituals of blood and water are less compelling to me, but still interesting. She advocates a repossession of the mikveh, the pool for cleansing, as a ritual for celebrating the renewal and blessing of menses as well as other important events in women¿s lives. Finally, she discusses gender language and the feminine attributes of God. Here, at the heart of her argument, I begin to feel some discomfort.I have no problem at all with her position that ¿Women of today need a meaningful religious vocabulary around our biology as well as around our concerns¿¿ (136). I have more problems with a quotation from Carol Christ, ¿As women struggle to create a new culture in which women¿s power, body, will, and bonds are celebrated, it seems natural that the Goddess would reemerge as symbol of the newfound beauty, strength, and power of women¿ (166). Goldstein pretty clearly is committed to discovering and interpreting the feminine element present in the God of the Torah. Christ seems to me to come from a different place, and (after all this), the question that interests me at the moment is how we attempt to create God in our own image. On the one hand, I have certainly encountered Christian leaders who claim that women are lesser beings than men - the whole ¿He for God; she for God in him¿ notion. I don¿t have to think very long to throw that out as unthinking traditionalism. I hope that leaves me with a transcendent and immanent being, larger than identity by gender while not discounting gender.What I wonder is how anybody deals with his god as he finds the traditional concepts too small, no longer addressing the reality of life as he lives it. Not to trivialize the question, but I¿m thinking now of science fiction writers like Neil Gaimon in *American Gods* or Scarlett Thomas in *The End of Mr.Y* where a god¿s power is limited by the number of people who still worship him. How does that address reality as we live it? I don¿t believe that the God of the Bible stands outside this conversation.