Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible

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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser
NYU Press, Oct 1, 2009 - Religion - 349 pages
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In the Jewish tradition, reading of the Torah follows a calendar cycle, with a specific portion assigned each week. These weekly portions, read aloud in synagogues around the world, have been subject to interpretation and commentary for centuries. Following on this ancient tradition, Torah Queeries brings together some of the world’s leading rabbis, scholars, and writers to interpret the Torah through a "bent lens". With commentaries on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and six major Jewish holidays, the concise yet substantive writings collected here open up stimulating new insights and highlight previously neglected perspectives.

This incredibly rich collection unites the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight-allied writers, including some of the most central figures in contemporary American Judaism. All bring to the table unique methods of reading and interpreting that allow the Torah to speak to modern concerns of sexuality, identity, gender, and LGBT life. Torah Queeries offers cultural critique, social commentary, and a vision of community transformation, all done through biblical interpretation. Written to engage readers, draw them in, and, at times, provoke them, Torah Queeries examines topics as divergent as the Levitical sexual prohibitions, the experience of the Exodus, the rape of Dinah, the life of Joseph, and the ritual practices of the ancient Israelites. Most powerfully, the commentaries here chart a future of inclusion and social justice deeply rooted in the Jewish textual tradition.

A labor of intellectual rigor, social justice, and personal passions, Torah Queeries is an exciting and important contribution to the project of democratizing Jewish communities, and an essential guide to understanding the intersection of queerness and Jewishness.

 

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User Review  - bostonian71 - LibraryThing

Powerful, engaging and intellectually rigorous anthology devoted to commentaries on the Torah, seen through a queer lens. There is a whole range of perspectives on the weekly portions, from a whole ... Read full review

Contents

Interpreting the Bible through a Bent Lens
1
Bereshit The Book of Genesis
9
Shemot The Book of Exodus
73
Vayikra The Book of Leviticus
121
Bemidbar The Book of Numbers
185
Devarim The Book of Deuteronomy
229
Holiday Portions
283
A Postscript
311
Contributors
315
Index
323
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Gregg Drinkwater is Director for Special Projects at Keshet, an organization working for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.

Joshua Lesser is the rabbi of Bet Haverim in Atlanta, Georgia, and the founder of the Rainbow Center: A Jewish Response to LGBT people and their families.

Judith Plaskow is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Manhattan College.

David Shneer is Director of the Program in Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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