The Sis­ters Z

  • Review
By – July 8, 2024

The Sis­ters Z is an illus­trat­ed adap­ta­tion of the bib­li­cal sto­ry of the daugh­ters of Zelophe­had. Their father dies while the Jews are trav­el­ing through the desert on the way to the Promised Land, and they choose to stay with one anoth­er and make a life togeth­er. In those days, prop­er­ty was award­ed only to male mem­bers of a fam­i­ly. The sis­ters approach Moses and demand a por­tion of land on which to build a house; no women have ever made such a demand before. They elo­quent­ly per­suade Moses of the jus­tice of their cause; and in the gen­er­a­tions since, they have become role mod­els for women who want to rely on them­selves rather than on the bene­fac­tion of men.

The book is ded­i­cat­ed to Rab­bi Regi­na Jonas (1902 – 1944), the first woman to become a rab­bi. An author’s note adds that the sto­ry of Zelophehad’s daugh­ters may be the first sto­ry of wom­en’s rights in bib­li­cal literature.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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