Ancient Texts

Articles



This Book Can Change Lives

by RUBY NAMDAR If I were the one in charge of pairing ancient texts and Jewish holidays, I would have chosen the book of Kohelet (otherwise known by Greek name Ecclesiastes) as the perfect reading for Rosh HaShana – or better yet, for Yom Kippur. It is the ultimate book...


Tamar: mother against all odds

Ruby Namdar on the bible’s black widow harlot The name Tamar, in Hebrew, means a date or a date tree. In a world without processed sugar, where fruits are the rare and precious sweets the name reads as “a sweet thing”, “a tasty morsel” or simply as “candy”. And it...

THE STORY OF TAMAR

Genesis Chapter 38  Judah and Tamar. School of Rembrandt. 1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was...

THE BITTERSWEET TALE OF HANNAH AND HER CHILD OF PRAYER

Ruby Namdar on the much-ignored tragic elements of Hannah’s story “Tear” by  Gideon van der Stelt Tradition reads the tale of Hannah, which includes her struggle with rival-wife Peninah and the miraculous birth of her son Samuel, as a victorious tale, celebrating the triumph of piety and faith. Few commentators,...

MY WRONG BE UPON THEE

Ruby Namdar on how motherhood exalted and destroyed the women of Genesis  Adriaen van der Werff: “Sarah Presenting Hagar” Motherhood, especially with the first child, is an extremely tender, and hence vulnerable, state. But this extreme state of fragility is also a time in which the visible and invisible structures...

SEX, DEATH AND, WHAT ELSE, MOTHERHOOD

Ruby Namdar on Why We Hate Thinking About Our Mothers Having Sex      “Maternal Affection” by Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1861) Share  How ironic is it that Eve, mother of all living things, is also associated with death and mortality? In the book of Genesis, Eve is portrayed as the...