What would happen if a woman told the truth about her life?

—Kathe Kollowitz (1865 - 1945)

Everyone seeks a home, a refuge. And I am always in search of a few words.

—Etty Hillesum (1914 - 1943)

We asked a group of Jewish women to tell us the truth about their lives and to do so with a few Jewish words. We, two rabbis who love both Jewish words and talking with other women about the truth of their lives, rounded up some friends who are professionals in the Jewish "word business"—rabbis, scholars, writers, theologians. We asked each woman to open her heart, to delve into her considerable Jewish vocabulary, and to tell us what she found. They, and we, are not beginners; we are almost all over fifty, and many of us a decade or two more. Nevertheless, like everyone else, when it comes to our own lives, we are still trying to figure out how to live with grace. And each of us, in our own way, is still exploring what it all means. Our stories are not ours alone. Reading them, you may recognize yourself or someone you know.

(From the Introduction)