TREASURES OF THE HEART: Holiday Stories That Reveal the Soul of Judaism

Diane Wolkstein, Author . Schocken $27 (360p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4144-0

Eight years in the making, this story collection by Wolkstein, a professional storyteller, invites readers to participate in the "soul" of nine Jewish holidays. A story, she says, is both "history and mystery," and her retellings of the classic biblical and traditional stories associated with each holiday aim to capture both elements. Wolkstein also adds (or recovers) feminist themes to the stories, restoring a male-female balance that she believes has been suppressed: her Passover Exodus gives place to Shechinah, "God's feminine presence," and her Rosh Hashanah stories make Sarah a truly central character and a priestess. Wolkstein's imaginative scenarios and intimate style help readers to become listeners, as the oral rhythms of Haggadah are passed from teacher to student. (Sept. 16)

Reviewed on: 09/22/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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