Tiptoe Through Genesis Book
Nancy Reuben Greenfield’s Tiptoe Through Genesis, as its title suggests, is a careful and quiet journey through humanity’s greatest trove of wisdom, the first book of the Bible.
Rather than give her opinion on what the Book of Genesis wishes to express, Greenfield offers a refreshing alternative to the abundance of biblical commentaries published each year.
There are no answers in Tiptoe Through Genesis, only questions: a set of prompts presented at the bottom of each page for exploring personal truths. Paired questions such as, “On earth, is it ‘your purpose’ or ‘God’s purpose for you’? How do you feel about places of worship?’” bring us into contemplation of the sublime and the structures we build to grasp it.
Other questions such as, “How do you understand ‘time’? or “Describe yourself when you are waiting” call us to observe our character traits and their murky underlying beliefs. We’re prodded, ever so gently, to explore the desires, dilemmas and desperation that come alongside a full life.
From the specific (“How loyal are you to your family? What do you justify?”) to the broad (“How do you feel about power? What have you grasped for?”), Greenfield shines a light on the range of internal dark matter many of us would rather avoid, but that the Torah insists we face with a challenge to see ourselves in its story.
The brevity of the personal queries enables a substantive contemplation of the human condition, but with ease and instantaneous reflection that offers to immediately bring meaning to one’s day.
Greenfield has translated the original text into a heartfelt adaptation that will open insightful new vistas for anyone in search of genuine Torah reading but intimidated by venturing into more commonplace biblical scholarship.
For scholars and those who have studied the text, it will be refreshingly simple, poetic and a new way of seeing this first book of the Bible as a treasure.
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