Item description for Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story by Judith A. Kates, Gail Twersky Reimer & Diane Palley...
Overview Featuring works by Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsburn, and Nessa Rapoport, a collection of essays examines the book of the Old Testament most relevant to women
Publishers Description "The Book of Ruth is one of Western civilization's great narratives of women's relationships. This collection of modern-day interpretations brings together the wisdom, sensitivity, and spirituality of the biblical story with the struggles and insights of contemporary women. Readers will be moved and inspired by these essays." --Susannah Heschel Editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist With Reading Ruth, two creative scholars have brought together an amazingly eclectic group of Jewish novelists, essayists, poets, rabbis, psychologists, and scholars--including Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsbrun, and Nessa Rapoport--to explore one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. In lively essays, poetry, fiction, and personal narrative, the gamut of women's experience in the modern world is illuminated by this ancient story. Whether the essayists explore relationships between sisters, the complex bond between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, the place of the "other" in society, the heartache of loss, the limitations of loyalty, or the elaborate connections of family, they give voice to an exciting array of thought and interpretation that endows this sacred tale with new life. " A] rich, diverse, and thought-provoking collection." --Judith Plaskow Author of Standing Again at Sinai "Filled with passion, humor, insight, and just the right combination of irreverence and awe, Reading Ruth puts the Book of Ruth right where it belongs--in the hands of women. All of us are the richer for it." --Ari L. Goldman Author of The Search for God at Harvard "The book of Ruth is a gem in its own right. Through Reading Ruth the gem becomes a multifaceted diamond that reflects and refracts a multiplicity of images....Read this book." --The Rocky Mountain News
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Studio: Ballantine Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.66" Width: 5.59" Height: 1.03" Weight: 1.17 lbs.
Release Date Feb 6, 1996
Publisher Ballantine Books
ISBN 0345380320 ISBN13 9780345380326
Availability 0 units.
More About Judith A. Kates, Gail Twersky Reimer & Diane Palley
Reviews - What do customers think about Reading Ruth?
A Diverse Anthology of Views May 19, 2002
No book of the Bible so clearly calls for a women's commentary than the Book of Ruth. Not only are the two central characters both women, but their relationship is the engine which drives the plot and is what accounts for much of our affection for the book. Reading Ruth, edited by Judith Kates and Gail Twersky Reimer is so successful that no one wanting modern views of this book can ignore it. It begins with the Hebrew text of Ruth, plus the JPS translation, followed by a commentary on selected verses by Ruth Sohn, which sometimes focuses on midrash or spiritual implications of the verse Next is the heart of the book, 7 sections, each anchored to a single verse. Some are familiar ("For whereever you will go, I will go ....") And others puzzling ("A son is born to Naomi" --- when the son was actually born to Ruth). For each, there are 2-4 essays that deal, in some way, with that verse. These vary widely; there is no set of controlling parameters for this book. Aviva Zornberg is quite traditional, delving into midrash in a wide ranging attempt to fundamentally characterize the actions of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Rebecca Albert is utterly radical, presenting lesbian readings on the relationship of Ruth and Naomi and uses of the story ("less plausible midrashim have been accepted throughout the ages" she notes). Vanessa Ochs expresses her disappointment that Ruth seems to be almost erased: "Is this the Book of Ruth or is it the Book of Naomi?" Looking at the end, she decides it's neither --- the genealogy seems to obliterate all the women. Nehama Aschkenasy has a careful look at how women use language to create a form of power. Marianne Hirsch focuses on this rarity in western literature, such a strong bond between a woman and her mother-in law, bringing in her own positive relationship with mother-in-law. Patricia Karlin-Neumann draws a similarity between Job and Naomi, in how their suffering produces isolation. And if you were to sample just one essay, read Gail Twersky Reimer's "Her Mother's House". Working purely with the text --- no midrash --- she presents Ruth as establishing another model of "woman's relationship to motherhood" --- Ruth as a woman who doesn't particularly want children, but has one anyhow. Skillfully drawing both on things mentioned (Naomi becoming the foster mother) and things unsaid (there is no mention of Ruth suffering as a result of about 10 years of childless marriage), she makes a compelling case for this reading, contrasting Ruth with Naomi's intense preoccupation with children. Also included is a short and fairly intense play, based on a women's discussion group focussing on the Book of Ruth, six "poetic movements" and some lovely woodcuts (complete with explanations!). Alas, no index. This book sets an extraordinary standard for an anthology of commentary on a single book.
A variety of viewpoints on the Book of Ruth Nov 25, 2001
The Book of Ruth is familiar to most of us- we traditionally read it during Shavuot. On the surface Ruth is a pleasant story of a young woman who returns to Israel with her mother-in-law after the deaths of thier husbands. But the very simplicity of the story raises many questions. Until this collection of midrashim - interpertations and extentions of the story to fill in the gaps- that is where the matter lay. Now is it possible to read what contemporary well educated women think about this story and the questions raised. If you've never studied a Midrash, this is a good place to begin. If you have studied Midrashim, you will see how different the prespectives are in this book. Other writings on Ruth are both very old and written exclusively by men. This book is a must for anyone who enjoys studying and values a full perspective.
Women's modern midrash on the book of Ruth Mar 30, 2000
I have always found the book of Ruth interesting, and had read all the midrash (stories, commentaries, thoughts, lessons, etc.) written on it. All the traditional midrash, however, were written by men, and are hundreds of year old. This book was a refreshing change: Stories, poems, essays, and thoughts on the biblical book of Ruth all written recently by women. We read this book in my Jewish Women's Book Discussion Group, and it was the only book whose discussion had to be continued for a second session.