Daughters of Eve

“Throughout the millennia, the stories of the women of the Hebrew Bible have been re-imagined and re-interpreted, according to whatever the current local culture expected or wanted women to be. Now, it’s our turn.”
~ Sally Wiener Grotta, from the Introduction

Sally Wiener Grotta’s Daughters of Eve is a collection of feminist Torah essays accompanied by workbook / discussion questions. Its 12 essays by Sally Wiener Grotta explore the nature of living in the 21st century through the filter of the stories of the women of the Hebrew Bible. It’s designed to facilitate exchanges not only about religion or the Bible, but about how our reflections on those ancient female archetypes influence and reveal who we are today.

The discussions generated by the essays and related questions will open paths for in-depth conversations among both non-religious and religious participants, as well as among people of different faiths. As the author writes, “Through these essays, I explore women who have become for me more than biblical matriarchs. They were flesh-and-blood individuals who can inspire our search for answers… More than that, my hope is that the process of discussing our personal interpretations of their stories — and sharing our own stories — will help us create new connections so that we may reach through the generations and across the miles.”

Here’s a sample chapter and discussion questions to whet your appetite

Now available for $18.

Advance Praise

Accessible and provocative, insightful and welcoming, these essays open windows into the stories of women from the Hebrew scriptures. Both the lives of those women and of the reader are enriched. I delighted in discoveries and welcomed thoughtful perspectives. The questions at the end of each essay could readily be used in a group study, as well as for personal reflection. This book is a fine resource for interfaith scripture study and for retreats.

– Rev. Mary C. Earle, Episcopal priest, author of The Desert Mothers, Celtic Christian Spirituality, and Did You Sing Your Songs?


These retellings of the stories of Biblical women, in a warm and relatable voice, offer both an invitation and a provocation. They beckon readers into the heart of these sacred texts and encourage us to recognize the resonances between our own lives and the defining experiences of our foremothers. This is not a book to read passively but rather a goad to study, argument, and reflection.

– Dr. Miriam Udell, Judith London Evans Director of the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies at Emory University


Daughters of Eve is a thoughtful book celebrating women in the Hebrew Bible: Ruth & Naomi, Tamar and Pharaoh’s daughter, Miriam & Esther, among others. Their stories, and Sally Wiener Grotta’s commentary and questions, will inspire and challenge the reader. Daughters of Eve is more than an interesting book of biblical stories. It is a book that will encourage thinking, discussion, and prayer. Read it and learn. Read it and pray.

– Dr. Carol Rittner, R.S.M., Distinguished Professor Emerita of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor Emerita of Holocaust Studies at Stockton University


“Meant for readers of any faith tradition (or none at all), Daughters of Eve explores Biblical women of great power… Everyone, not only women, can identify with any one or more of these great and often unsung women of Jewish Biblical tradition.”

— Barbara Barnett, Blogcritics.org review

“Grotta’s humanization and calls to empathize with the women in the Torah creates a uniquely feminist text in which readers can admit their flaws, judgments, and spiritual aspirations in a dialogue with these women, rather than in comparison to them. It allows us to understand these women—and ourselves—as rich and complex human beings.”

— Zia Saylor, Jewish Women’s Archive review

Table of Contents

  1. Eve & Lilith: If You Could Transport Back to Eden, Would You Eat the Apple?
  2. Sarah & Hagar: The Original, Cringe-worthy Handmaid’s Tale
  3. Rebekah: Reckless or Brave, Manipulative or Forward-Thinking?
  4. Rachel & Leah and Bilhah & Zilpah: A Complex Tapestry of Sisterhood
  5. Tamar: Speaking Truth to Power
  6. Pharaoh’s Daughter: The First Righteous Gentile
  7. Miriam: Giving Voice to Women
  8. Rahab, the Heroic Prostitute of Jericho
  9. Deborah & Jael: Women of Action
  10. Hannah: The Power of Silence in a Woman’s Voice
  11. Ruth & Naomi: Alone Together
  12. Esther: A Woman in Hiding

About the Author

Sally Wiener Grotta is an award-winning writer, photographer, and speaker whose books include The Winter Boy (a Locus Magazine Recommended Read) and Jo Joe (a Jewish Book Council Network Book). Her recently published feminist science fiction collection Of Being Woman (NobleFusion Press) has been compared to the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, William Gibson, Samuel R. Delany, and other icons of literature. Her articles, essays, and stories have appeared in scores of publications. As a journalist, Sally has traveled on assignment throughout the world, to all the continents, plus many remote islands, covering a wide diversity of cultures and traditions. Sally’s far-ranging experiences flavor her writing and presentations with a sense of wonder, appreciation for human potential and a healthy dose of common sense. 

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