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The Women's Haftarah Commentary

New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Haftarah Portions, the 5 Megillot & Special Shabbatot

Edited by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

6 x 9, 560 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-371-2

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Women rabbis are changing the face of Judaism.
Discover how their interpretations of the Prophets, Writings,
and Megillot can enrich your perspective.
The Haftarah is a potent tool for understanding the values, ethics, and moral lessons contained in the Torah readings. In this first-of-its-kind volume, more than eighty women rabbis from the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements offer fresh perspectives on the beloved texts that make up the Haftarah—the Prophets and Writings—and the Five Megillot.
Based on readings that are rich in imagery—some poetic, some narrative, some dark and brooding—their commentaries include surprising insights on the stories of Deborah and Yael, David and Goliath, David and Bathsheva, and the witch of Endor, among many others. Themes such as Jerusalem as woman, the story of Jonah and the fish, and other prophetic images are informed and challenged by this groundbreaking work.
A rich resource, a major contribution to modern biblical commentary, and the ideal companion to The Women’s Torah Commentary, The Women’s Haftarah Commentary will inspire all of us to gain deeper meaning from the Hebrew scriptures and a heightened appreciation of Judaism.
Contributors include:
Judith Z. Abrams • Analia Bortz • Sharon Brous • Sue Levi Elwell • Susan P. Fendrick • Karen L. Fox • Shoshana Boyd Gelfand • Laura Geller • Rachel Sabath-Beit • Halachmi • Jill Hammer • Karyn D. Kedar • Valerie Lieber • Sheryl Nosan-Blank • Debra Orenstein • Barbara Rosman Penzner • Hara E. Person • Geela Rayzel Raphael • Laura M. Rappaport • Ilene Schneider • Rona Shapiro • Shira Stern • Pamela Wax • Nancy Wechsler-Azen
“This companion to The Women’s Torah Commentary will be welcomed by all those committed to the incorporation of women’s voices into the ongoing process of Jewish textual interpretation. The volume is also an excellent pre-bat mitzvah present, providing girls with exciting new tools with which to prepare for that event.”
Judith Plaskow, author, Standing Again at Sinai:
Judaism from a Feminist Perspective
“Here is a treasure trove of thoughtful and skillfully written commentaries to the Haftarah tradition of Judaism. Combining the diversity of authors’ views with their encounter of traditional interpretations makes sparks fly and new insights leap off the pages.”
Rabbi Harvey J. Fields, author, A Torah Commentary for Our Times
“Brimming with insight and versatility.... Male and female readers across a spectrum of religious affiliations can find not only explanation, but hope and renewal within these pages.”
Publishers Weekly
“The essays in this book expanded my mind and my heart. The references to women in the weekly haftarah readings are greater in number than anyone might have imagined and keener in insight into women’s psyches and life experiences. The writers’ provocative comments will linger in your mind for days, forcing you to rethink what the prophets were saying to their own audience and to men and women today.”
Judith Hauptman, author, Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voice;  
professor of Talmud, The Jewish Theological Seminary
“These commentaries on our sacred prophetic readings are a great gift to men and women alike. Readers will find many to be positively luminous. All of them resonate with deep human wisdom and fine interpretive skill.”
Gordon Tucker, rabbi, Temple Israel Center, White Plains, New York; adjunct assistant professor of Jewish philosophy,
The Jewish Theological Seminary
“This book of thought-provoking commentary is fascinating reading that belongs in all Judaica collections.”
 —Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletterr
“Elucidate[s] the [Haftarah] text for today’s girls and women…. A beginning point for further study and discussion.”
Jewish Book World
“Offers diverse and thoughtful reflection on Jewish piety, practice, and history, evidencing concerns for social justice, violence, gender equity, and peace in the context of religious contemplation…. Very accessible and quite enjoyable.”
Library Journal


Related Item(s)
Code Name Image
978-1-58023-018-6 Lifecycles, Vol. 1
978-1-58023-117-6 ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens
978-1-58023-359-0 New Jewish Feminism (HC)
978-1-58023-370-5 Women's Torah Commentary (PB)


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