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Joheved (Rashi’s Daughters #1)
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Joheved (Rashi’s Daughters #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,122 Ratings  ·  280 Reviews
Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish scholars who ever lived, had no sons, only three daughters. Much has been written about Rashi and his grandsons, the Tosafot, but almost nothing of his daughters. Legend has it that they were learned in a time when women were forbidden to study the sacred texts. Rashi's Daughters tells the story of these forgotten women.
Paperback, 386 pages
Published June 15th 2005 by Banot Press
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Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jewish-folklore

I wanted to like this book, I really did.

Anton seeks to bring to life a place, time and people who have been overlooked. She obviously did a lot of research, and boy does it show! The book is crammed full of information on things like 11th century agriculture, French politics, and Jewish law, and tries to faithfully render to the most minute detail (moss used for toilet paper! how to prune grape vines! a demon for every cough and bad thought! ) what it would have been like to grow up the daught
I read this whole series multiple times before joining GoodReads. Added for posterity.
This is as much a book about medieval Jewish scholarship as it is about Rashi's family; his family members seem to circle the Talmud, supporting characters to its central theme(s).

This is not to say that it wasn't incredibly fascinating to read regardless! I learned so much about Ashkenazi Jewry as well as general life in France during the High Middle Ages. Some of the rituals and tradtions presented I actually remembered from reading a more contemporary story (The Ritual Bath) - it's amazing th
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This book about the eldest daughter of the great Talmudic sage Rashi had such great reviews, I expected more. It was enjoyable and had interesting, even fascinating, information on medieval Jewish life; but it was, I thought, clumsily written. And what was with the sex scenes? I mean, I like a good reasonably explicit sex scene as much as the next person, and I'm sure that medieval Jewish folks liked their sex, but those scenes felt really out of place, as though they were dropped in just for th ...more
Rachel Pollock
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't been a reader of traditional romance novels since I was in high school, and a certain percentage of this book is in fact that. It conforms to a lot of your expected tropes of that genre.

I am, however, a reader these days of Jewish cultural history, and this book is also that. Specifically, it concerns the lives of women in France a thousand years ago, and the circumstances surrounding what it was like to be an educated daughter of a scholar at that time.

I found it fascinating and wel
From a historical perspective, this book (as well as Anton's second book in this series) is fascinating. Anton has obviously done a great deal of research, and she has focused on making the world of medieval French Judaism come to life. However, there are two aspects that I want to focus on that detract significantly from this book, which had so much potential. One aspect is Anton's exposition, which is often very heavy-handed. I would have loved to have gotten lost in the world that Anton descr ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-copy
This book was an amazing read. I learned so much, which is what I love about good historical fiction. There were so many times in this book that I thought to myself, so that's why we do that (in terms of Jewish traditions). I did find myself wondering as I was reading if a non-Jewish reader would have difficulty understanding it. The author is a female Talmud scholar herself, which I find so impressive, and it lends credence to the series. I can't wait to read the next book. In fact, I think I m ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very sensitive story of a far from ordinary Jewish father and daughter. For those who want to understand why Jews study Talmud, this is a great place to begin.
Maayan K
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
I really liked the idea of this book. Unfortunately, it's deplorably excecuted and the narrative totaly fails.

For starters, each character has an identical personality - the same one as the ploddingly matter-of-fact narrator. Each incosequential conflict is promptly resolved with predicatble regularity. As for an actual plot to draw the story forward, there is none. The prose is brittle and earnest - it's just, eugh, awkward to read this. The only parts that actually work narratively are the se
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was an odd book. The author clearly has researched the family and the era very well, but the end result isn't really a novel. There was no narrative arc – just lots of info about daily life (some things, like the making of parchment, appeared to be thrown in simply because the author had learned about it). Joheved didn’t seem like a real person (nor did Rashi, nor anyone else) and her motivation to study Torah like the men was never made clear – and the repercussions of her doing so seemed ...more
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People just reading this book now 4 22 Dec 07, 2013 06:50PM  
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Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual ...more
More about Maggie Anton...

Other Books in the Series

Rashi’s Daughters (3 books)
  • Miriam (Rashi’s Daughters #2)
  • Rachel: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France (Rashi’s Daughters #3)