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Biblical Women Unbound


Authored by Norma Rosen

Publication Year: 2010

Rosen gives a new voice to more than a dozen women of the Bible. She imagines and writes the missing chapters of these women's lives in a witty and engaging collection of stories. In addition, she introduces the book with a lively essay about classical Midrash, its relationship to fiction and the imagination, and the possibilities for new midrashim written for and about women.

Published by: Jewish Publication Society

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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A Personal Note

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pp. ix-xiv

I am a woman whose immediate family left religious concerns, beUefs, and affiliations behind. By good fortune, grandparents were part of my growing up,. still speaking Yiddish, still, in my grandmother's case, observant. called...

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pp. xv

I would like to acknowledge here at least some small measure of my gratitude to the following people: Dr. Ellen Frankel, Editor-In-Chief at The Jewish Publication Society, who held fast to our vision of the book. Dr. Anna Rosen, my daughter, who was my first reader...


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pp. 2


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pp. 3-28

Mothers and Sisters

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pp. 29-30

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pp. 31-34

God said, lSee I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything that creeps on earth, in..

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All about Eve: The Eternal Female through the Ages

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pp. 35-41

First she had to find language for loss. God hadn't given that. "This is good," God said. II And this is good. And over there is forbidden." That was all. None of the animals died. Nothing disappeared. Nothing was lost. Adam came back to their nest in the grass every...

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pp. 42-45

And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, HNow that I am withered, am I to have

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The Unbinding of Sarah .:.

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pp. 46-60

It is not generally talked about, but on that dark journey up to Mount Moriah where Abraham was to sacrifice his son to God, Sarah also went along. Naturally, she would go. In the night she heard the voice in Abraham's tent saying, "Take your son and sacrifice him." It was a voice she recognized. That voice and Sarah had laughed...

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pp. 61-67

When Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, "My son." He answered, "Here I am." And he said, " I am old now, and I do not know how soon I may die. Take your quiver and...

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Rebekah and Isaac: AMarriage Made in Heaven

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pp. 68-77

After the excitement at the well, drawing water for the messenger, his camels; after gifts of gold, arm-bangle, noseringi after Isaac's lovemaking in his mother's tent, Sarah, who had died, I began to look about, amazed, at marriage. I asked my maids to tell about this bridegroom...

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pp. 78-80

When he had stayed with him a month's time, Laban said to Jacob, "Just because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?" Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older...

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Rachel and Leah:A Thousand andOne Nights of Love

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pp. 81-92

On the thousand-and-first night of lovemaking, Jacob the Patriarch bathed his body in a stream. His servant stood on the bank, holding Jacob's clothing and looking over certain tokens he kept to jog memory...

Sisters and Daughters

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pp. 93-94

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pp. 95-98

Suddenly the Lord called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. "Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting. " So the three of them went out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, stopped at the entrance of the Tent, and called out, Aaron and Miriam...

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The Seven Days of Miriam

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pp. 99-110

ON THE FIRST DAY, her mother and father came to see her in that shameful place. Not until she saw them could she weep. Until that moment she had lain on the ground without tears, without prayer, without hope or knowing...

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pp. 111-115

Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, "Join with your brother's wife and do your duty by her as a brother-In-law,...

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Tamar: The Widow's Wager

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pp. 116-124

Men pass and whisper. "Tamar!" "Look out!" "Husband klllerl" They tell their sons: "Don't start with that one!" They say no one knows how, exactly. Couch corruptions. Lively in bed is one thing, but this went too far...

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pp. 125-128

As the sun rose upon the earth and Lot entered Zoor, the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulfurous fire from the Lord out of heaven. He annihilated those cities and the entire Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and...

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Daughter-Wives of Lot: All Glorious Is the King's Daughter Within (but that shouldn't stop you from thrusting her out-of doors when necessary):A Children's Play

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pp. 129-136

A scene of desolation-smoke, fire below; cries, groans in the distance; ear-splitting cracks as ancient trees and building-stones explode; a dreadful creaking as if great chains have burst apart. Gonerll and Cordella, in singed rags, stand over the sleeping...

Daughters, Wives, Warriors

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pp. 137-138

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pp. 139-140

Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetes; she led Israel at that time. She used to sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim,...

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Deborah: A Prophet of Air

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pp. 141-149

In the country of Ephraim, between Ramah and Bethel, lived a couple named Deborah and Michael, in the candle business. Deborah made the wicks and dipped the wax, and her husband carried the candles to the synagogue. Her name...


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pp. 150-152

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Bitiah: Memoir of a Tyrant's Daughter (as interviewed in the Jewish Press)

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pp. 153-167

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the Nile, while her maidens walked along the Nile. She spied the basket among the reeds, and sent her slave girl to fetch it. When she opened it, she saw that it was a child, a boy...

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pp. 168-172

On the second day, the king again asked Esther at the wine feast, What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall be fulfilled. " Queen Esther replied:" If Your Majesty will...

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After Esther

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pp. 173-182

Haman and his sons are dead, hurrah! The Jews are under the protection of King Ahasuerus, who encouraged them to punish the anti-Semites of Shushan. Now people respect the Jews because of their surprising blows. And all this Is the...

ContemporaryWomen Look at Biblical Women

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pp. 183-184

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pp. 185-188

Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was lett with her two sons. Ther married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth, and they lived there about ten years. Then those two-Mahlon and ChUion-also died; so the woman...

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Dialogues on Devotion

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pp. 189-221

Five women, their ages spanning the decades from late twenties to fifties, are meeting in a Manhattan living room of one of their number. It is early evening; they have carried coffee to chairs and sofa. Comfortable with one another,...

E-ISBN-13: 9780827609884
Print-ISBN-13: 9780827607149

Publication Year: 2010