Monday, December 15, 2014

A Bride for One Night

Ruth Calderon’s “A Bride for One Night” was titled  Market, House, Heart in Hebrew, which is probably a better title than the English translation.  Overall, Calderon takes extremely short stories from the Talmud which present gender and sex in some sort of problematic light, she translates the passage, then writes a sort of modern Midrash or expansion of the passage, and finally, examines it from a variety of interpretive angles.

For anyone familiar with some of the Talmud’s more provocative tales, Calderon’s book presents these stories in a new and fresh light.  They are about men, women, and their complex interactions. That is why Market, House,  Heart, is such a great title.  These are the three arenas in which men and women in traditional societies would meet, fall in love, fall into conflict, and resolve or live with those conflicts.
Calderon’s work is a refreshing read on some old stories.  She also abides by Jewish tradition by the very Jewish act of questioning it.

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