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Publisher's Summary

Aviya Kushner grew up in a Hebrew-speaking family, reading the Bible in the original Hebrew and debating its meaning over the dinner table. She knew much of it by heart - and was therefore surprised when, while getting her MFA at the University of Iowa, she took the novelist Marilynne Robinson's class on the Old Testament and discovered she barely recognized the text she thought she knew so well. Kushner began discussing the experience with Robinson, who became a mentor, and her interest in the differences between the ancient language and the modern one gradually became an obsession.

In this eye-opening chronicle, Kushner tells the story of her vibrant relationship to the Bible and along the way illustrates how the differences in translation affect our understanding of our culture's most important written work.

©2015 Aviya Kushner (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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a sobering read

I liked this book. it reminded me not to be too dogmatic about my views of scripture since my English reading of the text might be far removed from the Hebrew writing of the text.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Conversational and warm/personal

Conversational narration that is realistic and warm and really makes the text a personal journey from the author to the listener. Important information about Bible meaning and translation and about the Holocaust.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily
  • Jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 04-23-18

Fascinating and Magnetic!

This book is an outstanding exploration of the Bible's themes, cultures, and language. Each chapter weaves Biblical knowledge with cultural knowledge, grammatical understanding, and personal history to create a work that is utterly mesmerizing. I finished this book over the course of three days because I simply could not put it down!

The chapters each handle a particular element of Biblical storytelling — Song, Memory, Man, etc. The narrator's performance is moving and expressive, and I especially love the way she handled the Hebrew and Yiddish elements of the book. I have no experience with these languages, but her delivery was powerful and thoughtful.

This is a book that will haunt you and make you weep. It is also a book that will make you laugh out loud and clap for joy. It's an absolutely fascinating experience for anyone remotely interested in the Bible's message.