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The Beginning of Desire

The Beginning of Desire Cover

The Beginning of Desire

Reflections on Genesis

By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

Schocken Books Inc, Paperback, 9780805212396, 456pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2011


"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.

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.

Praise For The Beginning of Desire

“Deserves to be the most widely read book on the Bible in years, perhaps decades.”
Jewish Exponent
“Not only is Zornberg’s book leagues removed from popular trivializations, it also does what all successful midrash is meant to do: open up new perspectives on ancient texts.”
“A sinewy, powerful, and hauntingly beautiful reanimation of the ancient text of early Israel and of their heroes and heroines.”
Publishers Weekly
“Spectacular readings . . . A beautiful and arresting exercise in biblical literary criticism; highly recommended.”
Library Journal
“Zornberg brings a brilliant mastery of psychology, literature, and Judaismto bear on the Bible . . . This is an extraordinary book.”
The Jerusalem Report