What Dorothy discovered in Oz and Alice discovered in Wonderland you'll discover here: a parallel reality where a third temple rose and fell in antiquity, women were ordained in the fifth century CE, and alternate sages and texts ripple in and out of the ones we know from history. This work of midrash, interpretive stories, opens with: Before God began to create anything, before there was heaven or earth, night or day, good or bad, in or out, up or down, God said, ""I must create Myself."" and heads toward its conclusion with: It was late afternoon. Tirzah, the designated messiah for our planet, was sitting in her study, up in sixth heaven. These are two of the ways in which this book is different. Liturgist and midrash writer Andrew Ramer not only reinvents Jewish history. He also reinvents his own family, the Talmud, and the Hebrew Bible, adding excerpts from texts by some of our ancient women sages, inviting you to ask yourself, ""What does it mean to be a Jew in the twenty-first century? What grounds me and guides me in our tradition? And what gives me hope and dreams in a troubled world of trembling possibilities?"" ""Andrew Ramer has opened doors of the heart to words and worlds of Torah that have been waiting for our discovery and exploration. This masterful work invites each of us to discover, dream, dance, and sing new Torah, new truth, revealing new sources of strength for living in our magnificent, complex, challenging, heartbreaking, beautiful world."" --Sue Levi Elwell, Rabbi, Scholar in Residence, Washington Hebrew Congregation ""Part memoir, part deep dive into text, and part wild invention, Andrew Ramer's stories captivate, instruct, and always, always delight."" --David Wolpe, Rabbi; Author of David: The Divided Heart ""Andrew Ramer has produced a lucid, beautifully craftedwork of extraordinary imagination and learning. Reading in-between the lines of biblical and post-biblical texts, he opens these up in wayswhimsical and earnest, and consistently compelling."" --Steven J. Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History, Stanford University ""In this book biblical figures find themselves clothed in new daring stories. And figures who should have been there to begin with now leap forth to greet and invite us into their life; thanks to them and to Andrew, we find ourselves traversing new worlds. These are journeys not to be missed."" --Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Rabbi, The Effie Wise Ochs Professor of Biblical Literature and History, Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion Andrew Ramer is the author of Queering the Text: Biblical, Medieval, and Modern Jewish Stories, and a co-author of the international best seller Ask Your Angels. The world's first ordained interfaith maggid (sacred storyteller), he teaches in the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco."