For Jewish readers, Eve's role as metonym - signifying womanhood, or Jewish womanhood, as a whole -- is of prime importance.
By tracing the imagined character of Eve from ancient times to the present, Eternally Eve opens a window on the transmission and persistence of cultural and social values.
Eternally Eve takes as its subject the many ways these stories can be read, interpreting the biblical narratives as well as their iteration by rabbinic midrashists and modern poets.
Anne Lapidus Lerner argues that we must set aside, or at least rethink, a series of assumptions about Eve
that have been dominant in Jewish thought for centuries and instead return to the original texts to rediscover meanings implicit in them.
Using modern poetry about Eve as a touchstone for reinterpreting older texts, Lerner discovers that Genesis is often more open to contemporary values than are later rabbinic texts.
Linking sacred texts to works of the classical and modern imagination, Lerner restores to her sources meanings suppressed or neglected over many years and demonstrates their power to speak today
Brandeis Series on Jewish Women