Biblical Seductions: Six Stories Retold Based on Talmud and Midrash

Sandra E. Rapoport. KTAV, $49.50 (540p) ISBN 978-1-60280-154-7; $29.50 trade paper ISBN 978-1-60280-170-7
In this well-researched and thorough tome, Rapoport, an attorney and author, examines the narratives relating to six women in the Bible who either seduced or were violated, and explores the history, culture, and rabbinic literature to find logical resolutions to readers' questions. Among the characters Rapoport investigates are Judah and Tamar, the Davidic patriarch and the daughter-in-law who becomes his lover; Dinah and Shechem, daughter of the patriarch Jacob who is abducted by the city's prince; and Ruth and Boaz, the righteous widow who seduces the powerful leader. In assessing the motives, emotions, and reactions to these couplings, Rapoport gleans evidence from modern and medieval biblical commentators, discussions in the Talmud, and stories in the Midrash, all of whom, like the author, were bothered by ambiguities and gaps in the text. She also offers her own thoughts and does a fine job of weighing every angle of the story to provide readable in-depth analyses, and she grips readers with a continued storyline of the protagonists after the biblical text concludes. This lengthy and exhaustive work is certain to please and become a source for students of biblical women's studies. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Religion
Hardcover - 638 pages - 978-1-60280-170-7
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