THE WOMEN'S HAFTARAH COMMENTARY: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Haftarah Portions, the 5 Megillot & Special Shabbatot

Elyse M. Goldstein, Editor . Jewish Lights $39.95 (544p) ISBN 978-1-58023-133-6

Brava: this commentary is brimming with insight and versatility. Read straight through as a whole, it exudes the atmosphere of an intense retreat. Read piecemeal, it acts not only as a reference tool or study guide, but also as a weekly devotional. As in the first volume (The Women's Torah Commentary ), there are as many viewpoints as there are parishot . The rabbis come from a diversity of religious affiliations—reform, conservative, reconstructionist—and an equally diverse array of backgrounds: as well as being rabbis, they are also doctors, lawyers, social workers and even a Pulitzer Prize winner. And while they are daughters of rabbis, Holocaust survivors and Russian refugees, they are first and foremost, like all women, daughters of God. Continuing in the age-old tradition of Torah study, this volume draws from centuries of interpretation and adds a woman's touch, but with no axe to grind and no agenda to promote. For example, one need not be a feminist or even a woman to take up the charge offered in reference to Haftarat Pikudei (I Kings 7:51-8:21) by Rabbi Y.L. Bat Joseph that "each generation has the obligation to pick up where Solomon left off and dedicate our homes anew as sanctuaries of Jewish learning, Jewish ritual and Jewish continuity." Male and female readers across a spectrum of religious affiliations can find not only explanation, but hope and renewal within these pages. Those building libraries of Judaica should consider this volume and its predecessor as the contemporary companions to the Hertz Chomash and the recently published Etz Hayim . (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 499 pages - 978-1-58023-371-2
Open Ebook - 978-1-58023-698-0
Hardcover - 530 pages - 978-1-68336-456-6
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