Ruth & Esther: Reading Biblical Women
women, for very different reasons, are singled out for biblical books of
their own. One is a queen and the other is a peasant whose descendants
will be the royal House of David. Together, their stories give us a
glimpse into Jewish culture and belief, and into the everyday life of
women in ancient times.
The Scroll of Esther establishes a new kind of norm for the Jews of the
Persian Diaspora and, by extension, for Jewish life in every Diaspora
since. It bristles with glamour and palace intrigue and asks some basic
questions about anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic danger. It recalls the
stories of Joseph and Moses, while telling a costume drama worthy of
Cleopatra. Through a colorful PowerPoint®
presentation, Rossel takes you into the intrigue and examines the
motivations of those who told the story and how it has maintained its
relevance through the ages.
The Scroll of Ruth is a simple tale. but a majestic counterpart to
the Scroll of Esther. Unlike the story of a lone woman's struggle for her people, Ruth
tells the story of the struggles of all womankind among the Israelites
in the days of the Judges. Each scene vividly illuminates a telling
aspect of village life and exposes some basic principle of everyday
beliefs and practices. It is likewise the story of Ruth's mother-in-law,
Naomi, and of her powerful kinsman, Boaz. Far from the elegance of
palaces and servants, perfumes and cosmetics, the Scroll of Ruth deals
with prejudice and gossip, love and loyalty. Told in colorful multimedia
detail, Rossel brings to the surface so much of the underlying detail of
the story of this indomitable woman of the people.
the ages, the scrolls of Esther and Ruth have inspired artists and
storytellers alike. As an adjunct to presenting their teachings, Rabbi
Rossel's PowerPoint® presentations
convey visual evidence of the artistry of masters and amateurs alike,
all devoted to portraying the essence of these two great biblical women.
||Available formats: • seminar •
scholar-in-residence weekend • lecture or series of lectures • individual