The Beginning of Desire
Reflections on Genesis
By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
(Schocken, Paperback, 9780805212396, 480pp.)
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
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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.
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.
“Deserves to be the most widely read book on the Bible in years, perhaps decades.”
“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.”
“Spectacular readings . . . A beautiful and arresting exercise in biblical literary criticism; highly recommended.”
“Zornberg brings a brilliant mastery of psychology, literature, and Judaismto bear on the Bible . . . This is an extraordinary book.”
—The Jerusalem Report