Deuteronomy 32:47 says the Pentateuch should not be ‘an empty matter.’ This new anthology from Beth Kissileff fills Genesis with meaning, gathering intellectuals and thinkers who use their professional knowledge to illuminate the Biblical text. These writers use insights from psychology, law, political science, literature, and other scholarly fields, to create an original constellation of modern Biblical readings, and receptions of Genesis: A scientist of appetite on Eve’s eating behavior; law professors on contracts in Genesis, and on collective punishment; an anthropologist on the nature of human strife in the Cain and Abel story; political scientists on the nature of Biblical games, Abraham’s resistance, and collective action.
The highly distinguished contributors include Alan Dershowitz and Ruth Westheimer, the novelists Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Dara Horn, critics Ilan Stavans and Sander Gilman, historian Russell Jacoby, poets Alicia Suskin Ostriker and Jacqueline Osherow, and food writer Joan Nathan.
“A marvelous collection of insights, provocations and apercus on the founding book of the human family.”
—Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, LA, USA
“If you think you already understand the Book of Genesis, think again. Reading Genesis offers wondrous new approaches to this ancient text penned by some of the world’s most interesting minds. Sure to be a classic.”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University, USA
“This is a stimulating collection of essays on the Bible, bringing diverse fields of expertise to bear on the text. The results are often intriguing and eloquent, yielding fresh insights.”
Press Coverage and Reviews
- Questions in Genesis: A book of essays asks, is the Bible literature? How is a blessing like an oath? And what if Eve was just hungry? by Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen. The Christian Century may 4, 2017.
- Regents Park College in Oxford, UK Reviews. April 2017 8.2 ” there are some absolute gems in this collection” Rosa Hunt South Wales Baptist College.
- Mention in Horace Mann School newsletter about holiday traditions. (12/29/16)Horace Mann School.
- Review in San Francisco J Weekly http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/78812/off-the-shelf-from-abraham-to-jonah-new-books-offer-fresh-bible-insights/(11/3/2016)
- Reading Genesis: Scholar compiles views of Bible’s first book through many lenses. http://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/reading-genesis/ 10/27/2016
- Hadassah Magazine review http://www.hadassahmagazine.org/2016/09/22/review-reading-genesis-beginnings/ October 2016
- Featured book in “Book Marks,” Chicago Jewish Star, September 23-29, 2016
- Briefly noted- The Pennsylvania Gazette. http://thepenngazette.com/briefly-noted-17/. Posted June 21, 2016.
- Bible spotlighted as local author hosts book launch, The Jewish Chronicle, 2/18/2016
- ‘Reading Genesis: Beginnings’: a treasure trove of modern interpretations, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/21/2016
- Twenty-Three Ways (and Counting) of Looking at the Bible, Zeteo Journal, 6/28/2016
- “Reading Genesis: Beginnings” edited by Beth Kissileff— New Meanings and Interpretations, Reviews by Amos Lassen, 7/25/2016
- My First Book Vertigo (3/7/2016)
- Writing from Elsewhere (The Jewish Book Council, 3/4/2016)
- Bringing Bling to the Bible (The Jewish Book Council, 3/2/2016)
- In the Beginning, Dr. Ruth Read Genesis (The Jewish Book Council, 2/29/2016)
- Columbia University Seminar for teachers of Literature Humanities, session on Genesis (September 26, 2016)
- Skirball Center at Temple Emanu El, NY, NY (September 27, 2016)
- Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Teaneck, NJ (October 31, 2016)
- Jewish Theological Seminary Library, NY, NY (November 2, 2016)
- Beth David Synagogue, Toronto (TBA)
- Midtown Manhattan New York Public Library panel with other authors (December 28, 2016)
- Book Launch at the Jewish Community Center, Pittsburgh, PA (February 11, 2016)
- Current events group at Pittsburgh JCC (February 18, 2016)
- Sisterhood, New Light Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA (February 21, 2016)
- University of Pennsylvania Alumni club, Pittsburgh, PA (March 2, 2016)
- Two presentations at the Siegel Center for Lifelong Jewish Learning, Case Western Reserve University, Beachwood, OH (March 14, 2016)
- Congregation Shaarei Tzedek in Southfield, MI, (August 4, 2016)