The Biography of Ancient Israel: National Narratives in the Bible

By Ilana Pardes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Suckling in the
Wilderness

The Absent Mother

Feeling the old horror come back—to want and want and not to have.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water.

T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

The story of the journey in the desert is punctuated by recurrent statements that chart the various stations Israel passed through on the way from Egypt to the Promised Land: vayis'u vayachanu, “and they journeyed from…and encamped in. ” The names of the stations and the time spent in each one—measured in rela-

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The Biography of Ancient Israel: National Narratives in the Bible
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contraversions - Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter One - Split Conception 1
  • Chapter Two - Imagining the Birth of a Nation 16
  • Chapter Three - The Absent Mother 40
  • Chapter Four - National Rites of Initiation 65
  • Chapter Five - Restless Youth 100
  • Chapter Six - In the Plains of Moab 127
  • Chapter Seven - Mount Nebo 154
  • Notes 161
  • Bibliography 183
  • Index 195
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