Moses’ Women

Shera Ara­noff Tuch­man and San­dra E. Rapoport
  • Review
By – January 30, 2012
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.

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