Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

The Particulars of Rapture

The Particulars of Rapture Cover

The Particulars of Rapture

Reflections on Exodus

By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

Image, Paperback, 9780385491532, 592pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2002


Avivah Zornberg grew up in a world of rabbinic tradition and scholarship and received a Ph.D. in English literature from Cambridge University. The Particulars of Rapture, the sequel to her award-winning study of the Book of Genesis, takes its title from a line by the American poet Wallace Stevens about the interdependence of opposite things, such as male and female, and conscious and unconscious. To her reading of the familiar story of the Israelites and their flight from slavery in Egypt, Avivah Zornberg has brought a vast range of classical Jewish interpretations and Midrashic sources, literary allusions, and ideas from philosophy and psychology. Her quest in this book, as she writes in the introduction, is "to find those who will hear with me a particular idiom of redemption," who will hear "within the particulars of rapture . . . what cannot be expressed."

Zornberg's previous book, The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis, won the National Jewish Book Award for nonfiction in 1995 and has become a classic among readers of all religions. The Particulars of Rapture will enhance Zornberg's reputation as one of today's most original and compelling interpreters of the biblical and rabbinic traditions.

About the Author
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg earned a Ph.D. in English literature from Cambridge University, and worked as a lecturer in the English Department at Hebrew University before turning to the teaching of religion. She has conducted classes in Torah for thousands of students at several different institutions in Israel. She also lectures widely in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and holds a visiting lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies, an affiliate of the University of London. "From the Hardcover edition."

Praise For The Particulars of Rapture

Praise for Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg's The Beginning of Desire:

"A sinewy, powerful, and hauntingly beautiful reanimation of the ancient texts of early Israel and of their heroes and heroines."
-Publishers Weekly

"A wonderful book."

"We should not believe that it is no longer possible to create sacred literature. As evidence, may I present The Beginning of Desire. This is not only a stimulating work. It is a holy book."
-Jewish Spectator

"More than a book. It is a genre unto itself, brilliantly overcoming the deficiencies of other approaches. There is simply no doubt that Zornberg's work deserves to be the most widely read book on [the] Bible in years."
-Jewish Exponent

"A wonderfully erudite debut"
-Kirkus Reviews

"Here, under... Zornberg's ministrations, Genesis looks different, startling different."

"Spectacular readings...A beautiful and arresting exercise in biblical literary criticism: highly recommended."
-Library Journal

"Avivah Zornberg brings a brilliant mastery of psychology, literature and Judaism to bear on the Bible...This is an extraordinary book."
-Jerusalem Report

"Zornberg demonstrates magnificently the way the Bible and contemporary concerns and sensibilities can interact with each other. In her hands, Genesis is a living book."
-Catholic New Times

"I await the sequel(s) to this scholarly and inspiring book."
-Jewish Quarterly