Beginnings: Reflections on the Bible's Intriguing Firsts

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Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, Mar 1, 2011 - Religion - 304 pages
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The bestselling and prize-winning Israeli author Meir Shalev describes the many "firsts" of the Bible – the first love and the first death, to the first laugh and the first dream – providing a fresh, secular and surprising look at the stories we think we know.
 
The first kiss in the Bible is not a kiss of love. The first love in the Bible is not the love of a man and a woman. The first hatred in the Bible is the hatred of a man toward his wife. The first laugh in the Bible is also the last. In Beginnings, Meir Shalev reintroduces us to the heroes and heroines of the Old Testament, exploring these and many more of the Bible’s unexpected "firsts." Combining penetrating wit, deep empathy, and impressive knowledge of the Bible, he probes each episode to uncover nuances and implications that a lesser writer would overlook, and his nontraditional, nonreligious interpretations of the famous stories of the Bible take them beyond platitudes and assumptions to the love, fear, tragedy, and inspiration at their heart. Literary, inquisitive, and honest, Shalev makes these stories come alive in all their complicated beauty, and though these stories are ancient, their resonance remains intensely contemporary.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Contents

The First Dream
27
The First King
49
The First Weeping
94
The First Spies
112
The First Animal 157
137
The First Loving Woman V161
161
The First Prophet
188
The First Laugh
232
The First Hate
248
The First Law
278
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About the author (2011)

MEIR SHALEV (b. 1948) is one of Israel's most celebrated writers. Author of six novels, most recently A Pigeon and a Boy, and five works of non-fiction, his writing has been translated into over 20 languages. A columnist for the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Shalev lives in Jerusalem and in the north of Israel with his wife and children. He has received the Brenner Prize, Israel's highest literary honor, the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and numerous international honors.


From the Hardcover edition.

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