The Lost Matriarch (Paperback)

Finding Leah in the Bible and Midrash

By Jerry Rabow

The Jewish Publication Society, 9780827612075, 264pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2014

List Price: 22.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The Lost Matriarch offers a unique response to the sparse and puzzling biblical treatment of the matriarch Leah. Although Leah is a major figure in the book of Genesis, the biblical text allows her only a single word of physical description and two lines of direct dialogue. The Bible tells us little about the effects of her lifelong struggles in an apparently loveless marriage to Jacob, the husband she shares with three other wives, including her beautiful younger sister, Rachel. Fortunately, two thousand years of traditional and modern commentators have produced many fascinating interpretations (midrash) that reveal the far richer story of Leah hidden within the text.

Through Jerry Rabow’s weaving of biblical text and midrash, readers learn the lessons of the remarkable Leah, who triumphed over adversity and hardship by living a life of moral heroism. The Lost Matriarch reveals Leah’s full story and invites readers into the delightful, provocative world of creative rabbinic and literary commentary. By experiencing these midrashic insights and techniques for reading “between the lines,” readers are introduced to what for many will be an exciting new method of personal Bible interpretation.

About the Author

Jerry Rabow is the author of A Guide to Jewish Mourning and Condolence and Fifty Jewish Messiahs.


Praise For The Lost Matriarch: Finding Leah in the Bible and Midrash

"This new treatment of the Biblical matriarch Leah is a well researched and a refreshing new look at an old story."—Barbara Andrews, Jewish Book Council

— Barbara Andrews

"The Lost Matriarch is a thorough examination of the story of Leah."—Fred Reiss, San Diego Jewish World

— Fred Reiss

“With imaginative insight, Jerry Rabow has placed a human face and heart onto the persona of this biblical drama of love, loyalty, and intrigue. The author endows this ancient romance with empathic contemporary relevance.”—Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author of Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey and founder of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous and Jewish World Watch

— Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis