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16 November 2007

Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam

Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam by Maggie Anton is just as compelling as the first installment - Joheved. This book begins where the first book ended but changes focus to the second of Rashi's daughters.

Miriam is engaged to Benjamin and cannot wait to marry him and start a life together. His is going home for the holidays and will return for the wedding soon. Unfortunately, while he is away he has an accident and dies. Miraim is devastated and cannot imagine marrying someone else.

She focuses all of her attention on being a midwife as her aunt has been teaching her to do. But eventually she will have to start looking at suitors. She is too young to stay single.

Judah ben Natan is a scholar in Mayence - at the yeshiva that Rashi used to attend. He has never been interested in getting married. His only passion is the study of Torah. However, as time passes he starts becoming attracted to his study partner and realises that he must get married to control his yeter hara (evil inclination). But he will not marry just any woman. She must know Talmud.

Where on earth would he find such a woman?

Anton, Maggie. (2007). Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam. New York: Plume.

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