And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women's Writing
By Wendy Zierler, Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies
Published by Wayne State University Press
Pointing to an early instance in Hebrew literary history, And Rachel Stole
the Idols takes its title from a biblical episode in which a daughter seizes
control of a paternal spiritual legacy and makes it her own.
This episode is the thematic key to Wendy I. Zierler's in-depth research of
the ways modern Hebrew women writers -- after centuries of silence -- took
control of the language of Hebrew literary culture, laying claim to icons
of femininity and recasting them for their own purposes. Zierler picks up
where other Hebrew scholars have left off, offering original analysis that
brings feminist theory to bear on the study of modern Hebrew women writers.
In recognition that there is no single feminist approach, nor a universally
accepted definition of gender, this book incorporates a broad range of
feminist reading strategies including Anglo-American gynocriticism, French
feminist theory, and feminist critical methods in anthropology, biblical
studies, and geography. The chapters examine the translated work of women
who made early and significant contributions to 19th- and early 20th-century
Hebrew literature, ranging from prose writers Sarah Feige Meinkin Foner, Hava
Shapiro, Nechama Pukhachevsky, and Devorah Baron to poets Rachel Morpurgo,
Rachel Bluwstein, Yokheved Bat-Miriam, Esther Raab, Anda Pinkerfeld-Amir,
Shulamit Kalugai, and Leah Goldberg.
Along with its provocative scholarship and large number of original
translations, And Rachel Stole the Idols makes a vital contribution to
Jewish women's studies and Hebrew literary studies as the first book-length
English-language study of its kind.
And Rachel Stole the Idols is available through the HUC-JIR College
Bookstore, 513-221-4651; or through Wayne State University Press,
800-978-7323 or Wayne State University Press.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish history, identity, art, and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.