Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine by Heather Mendel: a Book Review
Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine for the Human Family through Myth and Mysticism, by Heather Mendel
All rights reserved
Published by O Books, Winchester, UK and Washington, USA
ISBN: 978 1 84694 246 4
Text and Cover Art Copyright by Heather Mendel 2008
Distributed around the world by O Books in collaboration with Orca Book Services (UK and Europe), Stephan Phillips Ltd. (South Africa), Brumby Books (Australia and New Zealand) and Pansing Distribution (Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan).
Word artist, rebbetzin, egalitarian and author Heather Mendel, in her latest five-star book, Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve , finds herself following in the lendary footsteps of Joseph Campbell and Thomas Moore.
Mendel, in love with her Jewish heritage and Reform Judaism faith, equally embraces Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, First People, Theosophy, Islam, Hinduism, Feminism, Mythology and Wicca in her writing.
Mendel asks non-threatening yet provocative questions from the feminist perspective of a sincere Truth-Seeker without disrespect to any belief system.
“This is a beautifully written book about the return of a sense of divinity. But the real contribution of this book is to offer an intelligent, intimate, and relevant idea of God in a time of confusion and forgetting.” --Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul
Poetic, open-minded and with loving compassion, Mendel asks direct unapologetic questions about current interpretations of the Bible, Torah and Talmud (and other sacred texts) most specifically regarding the story in Genesis about Adam and Eve.
Mendel is undaunted in asking:
“What if we have parts (or all) of it wrong?"
"What if there was more to the original story?"
"What if the mandate in the Garden of Eden was ' Do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge until you are ready?"
"What if Eve wasn't really a villain, but a heroin in evolutionary terms?”
Mendel, a devout feminist, is lovingly inclusive of men in Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve. Far from disparaging her male counterparts, it is a patriarchal system of inequality she calls into question.
For thousands of years women were revered for their nurturing healing ways, powers to give birth, abilities to interpret intuition, dreams and connect with the Divine, dispense justice and keep social order, balance inequities, commune with Mother Nature, educate themselves and their children through curiosity, call forth the harvest, dance with the moon, celebrate rites of passage and live in harmony side-by-side with men. How and when did it all change?
Mendel, not out to change anyone's mind regarding their respective belief system, is able to ponder openly how differently women might be treated today if the Biblical story of Adam and Eve did not portray Eve as the downfall of mankind. Eve, in most versions of Genesis, is held fully responsible for expulsion from the Garden of Eden for disobedience to Him.
Does that story make sense with what we know today? Could it be there is more to the tale?
Or less? Could it be that a literal translation is unrealistic given how long ago it may (or may not) have occurred and how many rulers have seen fit to rewrite the Bible to fit their own views?
We know women are finely tuned to the Divine and to following Sacred Wisdom. At what point in human history, in our evolution, at what impetus, by what motivation, and by whose authority did matriarchs become relegated to second class citizens?
"We must let go of the life we planned to accept the one that is waiting for us." -- Joseph Campbell
Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, 5-Stars, from Amazon.com
Haggada(h) A kabbalistic and feminist interpretation of the hero's journey and evolution from enslavement to liberation.
Books by Riane Eisler (Author of The Chalice and The Blade)
Books by Thomas Moore (Author of Care of the Soul)
I believe Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve would resonate with male and female readers of all beliefs. Jewish by heritage and religion, Mendel's writing is enhanced by her faith, not limited by it. Mendel has been a featured speaker at such diverse groups as the Circle of Grace Annual Women's Symposium with Barbara Marx Hubbard in San Luis Obispo, the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara and recently taught a two-day retreat at The Sisters of Mercy Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Heather Mendel will be featured in a free webinar to discuss Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve this Wednesday June 29 at 9.00 a.m. California time.
"Once we experience joy, we recognize it as our birthright."
-- Heather Mendel, Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve
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