I just read the news that one of my most beloved teachers, Tikve Frymer-Kensky passed on to the next world. Tikve, who we once dubbed the red-hot Mesopotamian Momma, was a wondorous teacher. She gathered us on the back porch of her suburban Philly home and told us the Gilgamesh Epic, translating Sumerian terms in a sing-song. Her most notorious moment came when she asked us to draw the outline of an uncurcumsized penis on the chalkboard so that she could make a point about the religious significance of curves. She taught us to see YHVH as a synthesis of goddess and god, not in kabbalsitic terms, but in historic ones. A brilliant scholar and a first-rate teacher is mourned today. May all those who mourn find comfort.
From her bio:
Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s areas of specialization include Assyriology and Sumerology, biblical studies, Jewish studies, and women and religion. Her most recent books are Reading the Women of the Bible, which received a Koret Jewish Book Award in 2002 and a National Jewish Book Award in 2003; In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth; and Motherprayer: The Pregnant Woman’s Spiritual Companion. She is also the English translator of From Jerusalem to the Edge of Heaven by Ari Elon (Alma Dee, original Hebrew).