Publisher: Schocken Books
Treasures of the Heart is a unique rendition of stories in the Hebrew Bible that are part of the foundation of Judaism and western literature. Renowned storyteller and mythologist Diane Wolkstein seamlessly weaves oral legends into the fabric of the ancient texts, creating new stories that remain true to the spirit of their original sources. Drawing on a lifetime of study of world myths and tribal cultures, the author chooses the legends that best illuminate the text and reveal its hidden wisdom. Biblical characters such as Moses, Ruth, and Solomon—their passions, ethical dilemmas, and changing relationships with God—are rendered with astonishing immediacy, achieved through careful research and a storyteller’s grace.
Structured according to the Jewish calendar, Treasures of the Heart retells the stories that are traditionally read on each holiday. In recounting the holiday stories, Wolkstein discovers a new narrative. As the Hebrew people journey from spring to winter, from Passover to Purim, they follow a path from youth to maturity. This holiday cycle also moves from Moses, a male messenger of God, to Esther and Mordecai, a woman and a man who work together to rescue their community. Wolkstein offers a modern perspective by highlighting the role of female characters in the stories and by introducing the Kabbalistic concept of the Shechinah, God’s feminine presence on earth.
The commentaries, often based on Kabbalistic thought, place each story in an historical and religious context.
Treasures of the Heart presents a wealth of scholarship in a form that makes compelling reading for all students of spiritual life. In our rapidly changing world, this innovative book invites.
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