N'shei Chayil - A Modern Midrash

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N’shei Chayil is a poem that aims to celebrate the Jewish women that shaped the story of the Israelites in the TaNaKh. Based on a midrash on Eshet Chayil, the stanzas tell of twenty-two women noted for their righteous action. Whether they were prophetesses, exemplars of Jewish values, innovative fighters, or something else entirely, this poem seeks to highlight the many traits that Jewish tradition considers valorous.

Max Halperin is a poet, liturgist, and composer based in New York City. He enjoys exploring all facets of Jewish storytelling, especially midrash and aggadah, and illuminating them in new ways through language and music. Max is currently in rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary  of America.


"N'shei Chayil is a remarkable and utterly creative integration of textual analysis, poetry, prayer, and art. Max Halperin brings the women of our past together in solidarity one with the other in ways that penetrate our hearts and minds." 

– Professor Marjorie Lehman, Jewish Theological Seminary

"Max Halperin’s N’shei Chayil is a charming and skillful amalgam of a medieval-style liturgical poem and a contemporary feminist ode to strong women.  Its Hebrew/English poetry about the 22 righteous women of biblical and midrashic lore is beautifully crafted.  Artistic depictions of each matriarch grace the pages, fresh and striking, constituting their own form of contemporary midrash.  This book would make an excellent gift for a righteous woman, or a wonderful addition to any library.” 

—Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women and co-author of The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership


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Update: November 23. Due to the ongoing war in Gaza, many shipping options to Israel have been restricted. For the time being we've had to remove Israel as a shipping destination to save you, our valued customers, and ourselves, unnecessary costs. 


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