Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation
University professor and social activist Tova Hartman, discouraged by failed attempts to make her modern Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem more inclusive of women, together with other worshippers, set about creating their own own, Shira Hadasha ("a new song").
Since it opened in 2002, this new synagogue's mission--to develop a religious community that embraces halakhah (Jewish law), tefillah (prayer), and feminism--has drawn thousands to services. The courageous act of creating the synagogue--against amazing odds--is testimony to Hartman's own deeply felt commitment to both feminism and modern Orthodox Judaism.
The story of the creation and ongoing development of similar "partnership minyans" in Jerusalem and elsewhere anchors and ties together this book's five essays, each of which explores a vital contact point between contemporary feminist thought and aspects of Jewish tradition. Hartman discusses three feminist analyses of Freudian psychology for reading Jewish texts; modesty and the religious male gaze; the backlash against feminism by traditional rabbis; the male imagery in liturgy; and Orthodox women and purity rituals. Throughout, Hartman emphasizes the importance of reinterpretation, asking her readers to view as "creative tensions" what seem like obvious and insurmountable contradictions between traditional and modern beliefs. Such tensions can offer unexpected connections as well as painful compromises. The conclusion revisits the construction of the synagogue as well as discusses its impediments and actualizing these types of social and religious changes.
Hartman's book will speak directly to scholars and students of gender, religion, and psychology, as well as anyone interested in the negotiation of feminism and tradition.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Modesty and the Religious Male Gaze
The Paternal Voice in Liturgy
Go Away and Change
Other editions - View all
accept Aggada aspects authority backlash Beruriah canon challenge claims critique culture defined discourse Dora Emma Eckstein ethics example exclusion experience expressed father feel female feminine feminism feminist Freud gender Gilligan gious girls halakhic human husband identity images Jewish law Jewish tradition Jewish women Jews Judaism ketubah lakhic language learning literally liturgy lives Maimonides male gaze masculine means Mechitza Meiselman mikvah minyan mitzvot Modern Orthodoxy modesty needs niddah observance norms oppressive Orthodox Judaism Orthodox women Orthodoxy's participation patriarchal person perspective possible potential practice psychoanalytic psychology question rabbis Rav Kook read the ketubah reality reengagement reflects reinterpret rejection relationship religion religious resistance response rhetoric ritual Schachter secular sense sexual Shirah Hadashah shul social spiritual synagogue Talmud Tamar Ross texts theory thodox tion Torah Torah study Twersky tzniut understanding values voice Western woman women's bodies women's prayer groups words