The Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition

Overview

Are abortion and birth control permitted in Jewish law? Does Judaism require women to marry? May women be called to the Torah? Why are women excused from certain commandments in the Torah, and are they permitted to fulfill those from which they are exempt? How does Judaism view Torah study for girls? What is the status of women in Jewish religious, civil, and criminal law? In The Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition, Michael Kaufman explores these and other issues in order to dispel the myths and misunderstandings ...
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Overview

Are abortion and birth control permitted in Jewish law? Does Judaism require women to marry? May women be called to the Torah? Why are women excused from certain commandments in the Torah, and are they permitted to fulfill those from which they are exempt? How does Judaism view Torah study for girls? What is the status of women in Jewish religious, civil, and criminal law? In The Woman in Jewish Law and Tradition, Michael Kaufman explores these and other issues in order to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that have distorted the popular conception of women in Judaism and been propagated for generations. "Much of the misunderstanding concerning the status of women in Judaism," says Kaufman, "is undoubtedly rooted in popular misconceptions regarding the gender spheres in Judaism." Jewish gender spheres refer to the complementary positions men and women are assigned in both the public and private areas of life. Kaufman explains that Judaism has long recognized that the two sexes are fundamentally different in many ways. "Judaism teaches that the inherent disparities between the dominant inclinations of men and women are part of the grand design of the Creator that people fulfill the task set out for them in the world. Each finds satisfaction in his or her complementary role. This contributes to the harmony of the family unit." The Torah provides a set of laws and rules governing the relationship of men and women to God and to each other for the proper functioning of the world. In addition to defining the roles of women in marriage and family life, ritual observances, prayer, Torah study, and systems of law, Kaufman provides a look at the extensive impact of women in Jewish history. From the biblical period to modern times, in the Talmud, Jewish law, thought, philosophy, literature, and social development, Jewish women have had an incalculable influence on the direction taken by the Jewish people. Michael Kaufman fills a long-felt gap by providing a clear and
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Discusses what traditional Judaism says about faith and morality, women and family, and the differences between men and women. Among the topics are women's rights in marriage, sexuality, family purity, birth control and abortion, divorce, civil law, religious law, and prayer. Also identifies and profiles women in the Bible and the Talmud and in Jewish history. An interesting reference for Jewish men and women seeking greater understanding of the explicit and implicit teachings of their culture, and for non-Jews seeking knowledge or guidance. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568216249
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Pages: 326
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Jewish Woman Today
1 Jewish Morality and Values 3
2 Woman and Family in Jewish Life 9
3 Judaism and Gender Roles 23
4 Women in the Bible and the Talmud 45
5 Women in Jewish History 73
6 Women's Rights in Marriage 111
7 Sexuality and Marital Relations 123
8 Femininity and Family Purity 143
9 Birth Control, Abortion, and Jewish Demographics 159
10 Divorce 151
11 Civil, Criminal, and Inheritance Law 197
12 Religious Laws and Customs 207
13 The Sabbath and the Festivals 213
14 Women and Prayer 233
15 Torah Study and Bat Mitzvah 249
Notes 259
Glossary 301
Bibliography 307
Index 315
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