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‘Tribal Blueprints’: 12 Brothers, Israel’s destiny


Maggid Books announces the publication of “Tribal Blueprints” by Nechama Price, part of its series of Maggid Tanakh Companions (Pava Editions).

“The Jewish nation begins with 12 brothers, and half-brothers, linked through their father, Jacob,” the publisher writes. “From these close familial beginnings, each develops into a distinct tribe, with unique characteristics and destinies that have indelible imprints on the rest of the Tanakh.

“Tribal Blueprints examines each of Jacob’s sons, revealing their individual stories in Genesis and the impact of their shifting places within the family. How do these individuals evolve? What is the role of each of the four mothers? How does each brother’s placement in the birth order of the family influence his behavior? How are the brothers’ personalities reflected in future generations?

“Professor Nechama Price takes the reader on a journey through the biblical narrative, looking anew at the ancient stories of Genesis to uncover a new appreciation for the special role of each of the twelve tribes, who together form the nation of Israel.”

From the conclusion of “Tribal Blueprints”:

“The tribes are not just a random amalgam of blood relatives. Rather, they all display distinctive manifestations of their ancestral heritage. These traits follow them throughout history and the patterns are remarkably clear in the stories of their descendants.

“Reuven tragically loses his firstborn privileges to Yosef, and his leadership potential to Yehuda, though his tribe always maintains a lower-level leadership position. Levi and Shimon struggle to contain their anger and animosity against injustice and corruption, but their paths diverge because of their variant expressions of these qualities. Yehuda proves to be a strong, fearless leader destined to be the king of Israel. … Each tribe has a particular role. Each one is a vital part of our nation and history.”

From Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, president and rosh ha yeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone:

“Professor Prices’s volume of insights into the 12 tribes is a tour de force. In this compelling work of original thought predicated on her broad knowledge and scholarship, Professor Price provides us with a deeper understanding of the spiritual DNA that shapes our people.”