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The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesisby Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Synopses & Reviews
Turn the Scriptures over to Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and what do you get? A unique blend of brilliant literary insights and theological wisdom, derived from a lifelong immersion in rabbinic traditions and lore. With amazing literary sensitivity, Zornberg ingeniously breathes new life into Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Rachel, and Joseph. The author's vibrant spirit, charming personality, and infectious enthusiasm for the Bible draw the reader into the search for meaning where real life and the biblical story intersect. The Beginning Of Desire imaginatively interweaves biblical, rabbinic, and literary sources into a colorful tapestry that is both intellectually stimulating and personally uplifting.
One of the Jewish biblical scholars scheduled to appear on the Bill Moyers PBS special on Genesis, Avivah Zornberg employs an amazing repertoire of literary sources to engage the audience and illuminate the text. Delivering her erudition in a pleasantly lyrical style, the author shares her experience of God with the world. It is an intimate, personal, and revealing encounter no one should miss.
Originally published: Genesis. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, c1995.
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award
Since its publication in 1995, The Beginning of Desire has opened new pathways in the reading of the Bible. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s innovative use of midrash, literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis draws deeply upon the familiar biblical narratives to produce interpretations that are at once startlingly beautiful and completely authentic. Illuminating the tensions that grip human beings as they search for an encounter with God, Zornberg gives us a brilliant analysis of the stories of Adam and Eve; Noah; Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob, Rachel, and Leah; and Joseph and his brothers.
Dr. Zornberg breathes new life into the ancient characters of the Bible through her lyrical prose and modern sensibilities. She brings biblical, midrashic, and literary sources together, weaving them into a seamless tapestry and illuminating the tensions that grip human beings as they search for an encounter with God. Zornberg's vibrant spirit and infectious enthusiasm for the Bible draw the reader more deeply into the search for meaning and the ways in which biblical tales intersect with our own lives. The Beginning of Desire is a unique blend of brilliant literary insights and theological wisdom, derived from a lifelong immersion in rabbinic traditions and lore.
About the Author
AVIVAH GOTTLIEB ZORNBERG is the author of The Begginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis (and winner of the National Jewish Book Award), The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus, and The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious. She lectures widely in Israel, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She lives in Jerusalem.
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