WRESTLING WITH ANGELS by Naomi H. Rosenblatt


What the First Family of Genesis Teaches Us About Our Spiritual Identity, Sexuality, and Personal Relationships
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 Psychotherapist and Bible teacher Rosenblatt's first book is a well-meshed combination of her chosen fields: It's a self-help reading of the book of Genesis. With her longtime student Horwitz, a writer, Rosenblatt presents what is in many ways the most traditional form of biblical exegesisa line-by-line, literal-minded interpretation of the Scriptures. But Rosenblatt's explanations are colored by her experiences as therapist and by her obvious self-empowerment agenda. For her, Genesis is not so much a religious tract as a document of human relationships, sexuality, and spirituality. As such, it is a also a guide to life today, or ``a three-step approach to endowing our lives with meaning and direction.'' These steps are: identity, which is spiritual and flows from God; accountability, meaning that we are responsible for our actions; and purpose, which is to ``preserve creation by making our lives an expression of the innately divine qualities that make us human.'' In Rosenblatt's weltanschauungsome would argue a reactionary onehumanity should exert its dominion over the world and over its own nature. But Rosenblatt is at times less traditional, reading into the text whatever seems appropriate to her 20th-century career-woman sensibilities. However understandable this attitude, it makes for some exegetical acrobatics, as when she explains that God's telling Eve, ``And [your husband] shall rule over you,'' in fact means that man will protect woman when she is homebound caring for her childrenas women were forced to be throughout their childbearing years in biblical times, when, Rosenblatt apologizes, ``birth control was nonexistent.'' Still, an often insightful look at the eternal nature of human experience. (Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club/Jewish Book Club selections; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-31330-6
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1995