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Self, Struggle & Change

Family Conflict Stories in Genesis and Their Healing Insights for Our Lives

Norman J. Cohen

6 x 9, 224 pp, Paperback, 978-1-879045-66-8

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How do I find greater wholeness in my life and in my family’s life?
"To appreciate the importance of the Bible and gain insight about ourselves from it, both Jews and Christians can use the process of midrash: The attempt to find contemporary meaning in the biblical text. The term midrash comes from the Hebrew root darash which means to seek, search, or demand (meaning from the biblical text). The starting point of our search for personal meaning is the Bible itself.… Each generation, each reader, can approach the text anew and draw meaning from it."  —from Self, Struggle & Change
The stress of late-20th-century living only brings new variations to timeless personal struggles.  The people described by the biblical writers of Genesis were in situations and relationships very much like our own, and their stories still speak to us because they are about the same basic problems we deal with every day.
Learning from Adam and Eve, can we find the courage not only to face our other side, but to draw strength from it? Learning from Leah and Rachel, can we stop competing with our loved ones, and begin to accept them and find ourselves? Sarah, Hagar, Lot, Ishmael and Isaac, Rebekkah, Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Esau…this vibrant cast of characters offers us new ways of understanding ourselves and our families and healing our lives.
A modern master of biblical interpretation brings us greater understanding of the ancient biblical text, and of the insights its characters give us about ourselves and our families today.
By bringing the people in Genesis to life—husbands and wives, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters—Self, Struggle & Change shows us how to find wholeness in our lives.
“In his delightfully written book of commentary on commentaries, Norman Cohen shares with his readers what, for many years, he has been giving his students: rare erudition, sensitivity, and insight.”
Elie Wiesel
“Offers the reader the benefit of his years of study into the nuances of Rabbinical interpretation.... A spiritual guide as much as a tool for biblical study.”
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
“Cohen’s commentaries cut to the quick—his Torah is alive and we are the protagnists.… The midrash he teaches us is therapeutic, it results in our growth.”
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky,  Appleman Chair of Midrash and Interreligious
Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
“Illuminating.... Offers fresh, insightful interpretations of the [Genesis] stories.”
Reform Judaism
“Not just an important book, a gift to everyone who has sensed that Genesis was holy but couldn’t explain why.”
Lawrence Kushner, author of Invisible Lines of Connection and other books
“Presents places where biblical paradigms meet modern complexities. His conclusions will provoke and challenge the modern reader.”  
Dr. Deirdre Good, ThD, professor of New Testament, The General Theological Seminary
“Engaging and insightful midrashim on the stories of key families from the book of GenesisÂ…. Delightful and instructive.”
Library Journal
“An intriguing search for meaning in the Genesis stories.... Will be of value to many people who use the Bible as a guidebook for their daily lives.”  —Publishers Weekly


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978-1-58023-118-3 Voices from Genesis: Guiding Us through the Stages of Life
978-1-58023-274-6 Hineini in Our Lives: Learning How to Respond to Others through 14 Biblical Texts & Personal Stories
978-1-58023-364-4 Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible: Ancient Role Models for Sacred Relationships
978-1-58023-461-0 Masking and Unmasking Ourselves


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