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Anne Lapidus Lerner

Jewish Theological Seminary

Telephone: 212-678-8069

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A pioneer in Jewish Women’s Studies, Anne Lapidus Lerner is an expert on Eve. Her recent book “Eternally Eve: Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash and Modern Jewish Poetry” has been well reviewed. Anne's distinguished career at Jewish Theological Seminary encompasses teaching Jewish Literature and administrative posts including Vice Chancellor. Her degrees are from Harvard and Hebrew College.

Rereading the Creation of Woman

Is Gender Hierarchy Part of the Divine Plan?

Text & Thought

For millennia the mythic biblical accounts of the creation of woman have served as a barrier to women, often defining them as secondary, inferior, an afterthought, subservient to men. Through a close reading of the biblical text itself, stripped of the weight of interpretation, and an examination of classic rabbinic midrash and modern poetic counterpart, we will endeavor to understand the multi-faceted reading of these texts from Genesis 1 and 2.

The Fruit Uneaten

Fresh Approaches to the Knowledge of Good and Bad

College/University Student Recommended, Text & Thought

The terse telling of what happened in the Garden of Eden is more a conundrum than a straightforward description. We will carefully examine the biblical texts focusing on what they say, as well as on what they do not, using both classical rabbinic and modern poetic midrash (commentary) as means to expand our understandings of the story. Traditional readings often vilify the woman as a seductress and death-bringer, but we will explore many different readings of these texts.

Eve in the Real World

From Expulsion to Celebration to Eradication

Text & Thought

The entrance of the first humans into the world outside Eden brings in its wake, not the end of human life, but its beginning. The apogee of Eve’s trajectory takes place outside the Garden when she births and names Cain. Women’s roles as namers and birthers signify their importance in biblical narratives. Although this first natural birth represents Eve’s crowning achievement, it also heralds her slide from prominence in the biblical text.

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