by Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum
Women at the Crossroads: A Woman’s Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion comprises 53 essays pertaining to women based on each of the weekly Torah Portions throughout the year. Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum discusses the characters and dilemmas of the women in the Torah that are relevant to the issues which women encounter today. The author explores the underlying values of laws and rituals that pertain to women by examining the inherent nature of women as presented in the Torah. Based on the intricacies of the Torah text, she shows the beauty and depth of the role of women as portrayed in the Torah and teaches the importance of women and their immense influence on society as prime movers of history. The book is divided into five chapters, corresponding to the five books of the Torah. Each chapter is divided into sections according to each Torah portion. In addition, it includes a comprehensive and useful compilation of biographies of the commentaries quoted in the book. Expounding the Torah text through methodical research of Midrash, Talmud and traditional commentators, such as Rashi and the Ramban, placed side-by-side with Chassidic masters like the Me’or v’Shemesh and modern commentators including Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum weaves together the strands that make up the tapestry of life for the contemporary woman. Rather than paying homage to the external, competitive, masculine world, the author demonstrates how Jewish women of today may look inwards to the women in the Torah for guidance in choosing their priorities in life.
Women at the Crossroads: A Woman’s Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion can serve as a complementary sourcebook assisting teachers in preparing classes for women, or as a textbook for women’s study groups. It is helpful to women in preparing words of Torah to share at the Shabbat-table, in addition to simply offering stimulating reading.
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