Genesis - the Book with Seventy Faces

National Jewish Book Award (USA), Notable Book for All Ages, Sydney Taylor Award

Overview

Genesis – the Book with Seventy Faces is a storybook and guide to Genesis perfectly suited for both family and educational settings. Written in multiple layers, with beautiful illustrations throughout, the book invites children and adults to read together and explore the richness and contemporary relevance of these stories and the commentaries about them. Starting with the creation of the world and the story of Noah and the flood, and tracing the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, and Joseph and his brothers, this book tells stories of beginnings and endings, laughter and jealousy, dreams and fears, and encounters with God.

 

Drawing from many sources, ancient and modern, (traditional and contemporary interpretations, legend, Kabbalah and Midrash) Esther has created a guide to multiple understandings of the narratives - psychological, ethical, theological, ecological - in such a way as to stimulate discussion and curiosity in children of all ages.

Awards

Genesis – the Book with Seventy Faces received a National Jewish Book Award (Family Literature) and was awarded a Notable Book for All Ages, Sydney Taylor Book Awards.

 

From the Award Ceremony: “A landmark book....Takac’s unique analysis, discussion by philosopher’s, rabbis and authors, and others throughout the ages, and her own insights offers the family a weekly gift. The book is a marvel on many accounts…At once accessible without being simplistic and illuminating without being forbidding, “Genesis-the Book with Seventy Faces” is an ingenious, impassioned gift to families..."

Reviews

"Genesis—the Book with Seventy Faces" is a masterpiece of family education. It is a beautiful, creative and useful book, with depth and relevance for people of different ages. A family setting is probably the most "heterogeneous classroom" we have, and Esther Takac has produced a work eminently suitable for that, and many other, settings."

Dr Deborah Weissman, President of the International Council of Christians and Jews

 

“Genesis the Book with Seventy Faces” offers parents and children a rich and imaginative resource…. The Jewish tradition of learning and re-learning, uncovering new questions and new layers of meaning is honoured here, as children are exposed to this unfolding of sacred texts. This promises to be a valuable - and unique – contribution.”

Avivah Zornberg, Award winning author, International lecturer, Scholar

 

"Esther Takac’s is a bold and innovative book, a book that creates closeness between parents and children, by enabling them to share the experience of dealing with the central issues of their own family life.”

Rabbi Jack Riemer

 

“These are the core stories of Western civilization and well-written they have an archetypal power that is evident in this book. Families will welcome the book as a relationship-building tool. Based on the Talmudic teaching that the Torah has seventy faces, this guide to Genesis includes a wide range of commentaries and provides a gateway into the vast world of Jewish learning."

Deborah Stone, Editor, Arts Hub

 

"The book is marvellous….multi-leveled and multi-layered so that parents and children of various ages and backgrounds can engage with the text….the volume sparkles with full-color illustrations on every page. What's also special about the book is that it reflects a broad pluralistic perspective. The reviews have been extraordinary, across the spectrum."

Ellen Frankel (Award winning author, retired Editor in Chief and CEO of Jewish Publication Society, Librettist)

 

“The Book of Genesis, more than any other writing in history, forms the foundations of western civilization and continues to shape contemporary conceptions of our society. Esther has taken these simple biblical narratives and introduced the child in the context of his or her family to the deeper moral questions they invite. This is not a missionary book that aims to impose an attitude, but rather a book that is open and exploratory, useful for a broad range of ages and showing how a simple story can unwrap the entire world. This book is useful for various markets; for a Jewish audience that is hungry for sophisticated renditions of biblical narratives and commentary, and also a Christian and secular audience, hungry for the roots of tradition and spirituality.”

 

 Associate Professor Mark Baker Director, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, Monash University

 

“As a professional Jewish educator with over thirty years of experience in the field, I had the distinct pleasure of reading Genesis – the Book with Seventy Faces. As is clearly suggested by the title, Genesis is a book that is capable of being read on many different levels. What is therefor particularly impressive in the remarkable insight and sensitivity that Takac demonstrates in her highly skilful and nuanced reading of the book of Genesis. Written, as it is in three separate layers it is indeed a book for the whole family. Parents are often ill equipped to discuss “great books” with their younger children in a meaningful and engaging fashion. This book provides them with the tools to do so. Older teenagers and adults will also find much to delight them.”

 

Paul Forgasz, Lecturer Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, Monash University