Women And Judaism

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Overview

Although women constitute half of the Jewish population and have always played essential roles in ensuring Jewish continuity and the preservation of Jewish beliefs and values, only recently have their contributions and achievements received sustained scholarly attention. Scholars have begun to investigate Jewish women’s domestic, economic, intellectual, spiritual, and creative roles in Jewish life from biblical times to the present. Yet little of this important work has filtered down beyond specialists in their respective academic fields. Women and Judaism brings the broad new insights they have uncovered to the world.

Women and Judaism communicates this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy by presenting accessible and engaging chapters written by key senior scholars that introduce the reader to different aspects of women and Judaism. The contributors discuss feminist approaches to Jewish law and Torah study, the spirituality of Eastern European Jewish women, Jewish women in American literature, and many other issues.

Contributors: Nehama Aschkenasy, Judith R. Baskin, Sylvia Barack Fishman, Harriet Pass Freidenreich, Esther Fuchs, Judith Hauptman, Sara R. Horowitz, Renée Levine, Pamela S. Nadell, and Dvora Weisberg.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"All essays are well written and copiously footnoted. The introduction and epilogue suggest frameworks to approach the study of Jewish women in the context of history and gender studies as they stand today."-Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter,

"Each chapter stands on its own, but the volume as a whole illustrates just how far study into women in Judaism has come in the past decades, and just how important that work is for understanding Jewish history and tradition. Summing Up: Highly recommended."-CHOICE,

"Women are half of the Jewish population and they have always played an important role in Jewish life, but, until recently, they have been largely left out of history. Their important contributions to the development of Jewish values and culture remained unknown. Now, scholars are bringing these accomplishments to light."-Jewish Book World,

"Its ten essays are by leading scholars, including Sylvia Barack Fishman, Judith Hauptman, and Chava Weissler. They are all clearly written, present a survey of academic work done in each area, and offer many interesting insights... This book covers a vast range of material in an engaging way."-The JOFA Journal,

“These essays shine a clear and helpful light, enabling the reader to watch women from the time of the Bible onward step out from the shadows of history. An enriching and enlivening collection.”
-Rabbi David Wolpe,author of Why Faith Matters

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814732182
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederick E. Greenspahn is Gimelstob Eminent Scholar in Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University. He is the editor of The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship, Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient Near East, as well as author/editor of numerous other titles including When Brothers Dwell Together: The Preeminence of Younger Siblings in the Hebrew Bible and An Introduction to Aramaic.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Four Approaches to Women and the Jewish Experience Judith R. Baskin 1

Part 1 Classical Tradition

1 Jewish Feminist Approaches to the Bible Esther Fuchs 25

2 Women and Torah Study in Aggadah Dvora E. Weisberg 41

3 Women and Jewish Law Judith Hauptman 64

Part II History

4 Women in Medieval Jewish Societies Renée Levine Melammed 91

5 The Mystical Spirituality of Eastern European Jewish Women Chava Weissler 116

6 How Central European Jewish Women Confronted Modernity Harriet Pass Freidenreich 131

Part III Contemporary Life

7 Women and American Judaism Pamela S. Nadell 155

8 Women's Transformations of Contemporary Jewish Life Sylvia Barack Fishman 182

Part IV Literature

9 Women in Jewish American Literature Sara R. Horowitz 199

10 Text, Nation, and Gender in Israeli Women's Fiction Nehama Aschkenasy 221

Epilogue: Women and Judaism: From Invisibility to Integration Frederick E. Greenspahn 245

Contributors 255

Index 259

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