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15 November 2007

Rashi's Daughters, Book One: Joheved

Maggie Anton writes books that not only read like historical fiction, they teach the reader Torah and Talmud. The first book - Rashi's Daughters, Book I: Joheved - is an informative and engaging read.

Salomon ben Isaac, known as Rashi, is one of the most studied Talmud scholars of all time. His commentary changed the way Talmud is studied.

In the year 1068, Salomon had to return to Troyes, France to take over the family winemaking business. He was heartbroken to be away from the yeshiva and his students and teachers. So he began to teach Torah and Talmud to his daughters - secretly. Women were not taught Talmud in those days (and even now in many places). It was thought to be dangerous knowledge.

His oldest daughter, Joheved proves to be a dutiful and serious student. She keeps her knowledge a secret to save her father's reputation. He is starting a yeshiva in Troyes. She doesn't even tell her betrothed, Meir ben Samuel, until the young couple faces it first crisis and she must decide between marital happiness and her true self.

Anton, Maggie. (2005). Rashi's Daughter, Book I: Joheved. Glendale, CA: Benot Press.

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