Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible

Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible


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In the Jewish tradition, reading of the Torah follows a calendar cycle, with a specific portion assigned each week. 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.” 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 charts 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814769775
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 08/22/2012
Pages: 349
Sales rank: 190,839
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Judith Plaskow
Introduction: Interpreting the Bible through a Bent Lens
David Shneer
Part I Bereshit, The Book of Genesis
Part II Shemot, The Book of Exodus
Part III Vayikra, The Book of Leviticus
Part IV Bemidbar, The Book of Numbers
Part V Devarim, The Book of Deuteronomy
Part VI Holiday Portions
The New Rabbis: A Postscript
Benay Lappe

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The point of all these essays is to make us question ourselves and our assumptions and in this purpose, they succeed. . .these authors offer insights into the Torah text that can speak to everyone, regardless of their gender identity.”
-The Reporter


“With Torah Queeries, no longer is the LGBT community an outsider in the Bible...[This volume is] a must for the Jewish bookshelf.”

-The Jerusalem Post


Torah Queeries attempts to be a broader study of the Five Books of Moses, with discussion of every Torah portion, rather than just those that might be particularly difficult or inspiring to LGBT Jews.”
-Jewish Exponent


“While the CJM invites artists to interpret the week's Torah portions, Torah Queeries invites LGBT individuals and allies to do so. Both should be celebrated and embraced for their creativity, innovation, and depth.”
-Jewish News Weekly of Northern California


"The Rabbinic oft-name for Torah (Learning) is miqra' (Reading) which carries the root qr' (call), thus seeding the scriputural charge, darshani (interpret me). Sixty briskly written, argumentative, apologetic, slightly political commentaries successfully do so in the spirit of religious freedom and equalitarian (sic)tolerance."-CHOICE

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