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Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the…
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Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible

by Gregg Drinkwater

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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 spectrum of writers: rabbis and academics and activists; gay and straight and transgender; Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. Some essays directly tackle the problematic pieces of the Hebrew Bible (particularly the ones that have been used as excuses to condemn homosexual behavior as ungodly and immoral), while others use the Torah portions as jumping-off points for discussing the modern-day movement for equality and inclusion. There are a few pieces that I didn't connect with (mostly because overly Freudian and/or deconstructionist angles make me roll my eyes), but overall I am so glad to have found this wonderful collection, and can see myself turning to it again and again -- just as with its focus, the Torah itself. ( )
  bostonian71 | Jul 25, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0814720129, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:52 -0400)

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