This compilation of material related to the women who surrounded Moses is an ambitious project. The authors maintain that though Exodus is mostly about Moses, there are women in the story who have important roles in his life, such as his mother, Yocheved; his sister, Miriam; the midwives Shifra and Puah; Batya, the Egyptian Princess; and Moses’ wife, Zipporah. Moses’ Women is a study tool meant to be read alongside the Torah. Each chapter correlates to a specific verse. The authors’ goal is to provide more dimensionality to these women than a reading of the biblical text alone would allow. Through the use of commentary and midrash from such traditional sources such as Yalkut Shimoni, Rashbam, Rambam, Rashi, Bechor Shor, Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer, and Midrash Rabbah, as well as contemporary scholars such as Adin Steinsaltz and Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg, the women of Exodus are brought into the foreground. The sources used are rich with fascinating material and the authors put the material to good use. The perspective of this book is definitively traditional; the book would have been even richer if contemporary feminist bible commentary had been used as well. Nevertheless, the authors have provided a valuable resource for Torah study. Includes Moses’ family tree; extensive endnotes in Hebrew and Aramaic; glossary; index.
Hara E. Person was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a writer and editor.