Eter­nal­ly Eve: Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, and Mod­ern Jew­ish Poetry

Anne Lapidus Lerner
  • Review
By – March 9, 2012
In this mas­ter­ful col­lec­tion focused on the bib­li­cal char­ac­ter Eve, Anne Lapidus Lern­er has pro­vid­ed schol­ars, stu­dents of Torah, and fem­i­nists with a trea­sure trove of mate­r­i­al. Her ener­getic exam­i­na­tion uses the bib­li­cal text along­side clas­si­cal rab­binic texts, mod­ern bible schol­ar­ship, and con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish poet­ry to do a close study of Eve. In doing so, she has cre­at­ed a cross-tex­tu­al con­ver­sa­tion about Eve that opens up new ways to view this arche­typ­al female char­ac­ter. Lern­er argues that Eve has been the prism through which West­ern soci­ety has viewed women and thus deter­mined their roles and rights. She brings her back­ground as a schol­ar of com­par­a­tive lit­er­a­ture, a Con­ser­v­a­tive Jew, and a fem­i­nist to the study of these texts, look­ing for ways in which to reassess long-held beliefs about what the texts in fact say about Eve and thus all women. The author’s com­bi­na­tion of the work of such poets as Lin­da Pas­tan, Itzik Manger, and Kim Chernin with rab­binic mate­r­i­al presents a refresh­ing­ly cre­ative way to study bib­li­cal text. Her texts are well-cho­sen and her re-read­ings of famil­iar pas­sages are deft­ly argued. Eter­nal­ly Eve is a unique resource that adds new and chal­leng­ing per­spec­tives to the study of Eve specif­i­cal­ly and gen­der in gen­er­al. Includes exten­sive bib­li­og­ra­phy, notes, index of sources, and sub­ject index.
Hara E. Per­son was ordained by Hebrew Union Col­lege-Jew­ish Insti­tute of Reli­gion. She is a writer and editor.

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