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.