Women and Judaism

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The lives of Jewish women throughout the ages are illuminated and celebrated in this dynamic anthology, which features the insights and research of historians, sociologists, artists, theologians, and philosophers. Jewish women in antiquity are examined from several perspectives: D. W. Griffith’s often-overlooked film masterpiece Judith of Bethulia; the “domestication” of Sarah from Hebrew scriptures to Hellenistic Jewish renderings; “nice Jewish girls” like Ruth and Esther who used wine to achieve power; the ...
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Overview

The lives of Jewish women throughout the ages are illuminated and celebrated in this dynamic anthology, which features the insights and research of historians, sociologists, artists, theologians, and philosophers. Jewish women in antiquity are examined from several perspectives: D. W. Griffith’s often-overlooked film masterpiece Judith of Bethulia; the “domestication” of Sarah from Hebrew scriptures to Hellenistic Jewish renderings; “nice Jewish girls” like Ruth and Esther who used wine to achieve power; the portrayal of Miriam in the Dead Sea Scrolls; and the impact of rabbinical decisions to exempt women from festive rituals. Later medieval and early modern Jewish women are the subjects of chapters that examine women as prophets and visionaries in Judaism, the depiction of Jewish women in anti-Semitic art caricature, and the history of intermarriage in the early twentieth century. A discussion of the stories of Martin Buber, S. Y. Agnon, and I. L. Peretz highlights the experiences of modern Jewish women, while a wide-ranging examination of current Jewish feminist scholarship finds the discipline “between a rock and a hard place.” Also of note are an investigation into the activity of traditional women’s theatrical groups in Israel, the living memories of American Jewish women via oral narratives, the contributions of women to American Reform Judaism, and two series of posters from the Jewish Women’s Archive of Boston, which provide insight into the lives of extraordinary Jewish women.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781881871439
  • Publisher: Creighton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Studies in Jewish Civilization Ser.
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard J. Greenspoon is professor of classical and Near Eastern studies and theology and holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University. Ronald A. Simkins is an associate professor of theology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University. Jean Axelrad Cahan is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Editors' Introduction
Contributors
The Domestication of Sarah: From Jewish Matriarch to Hellenistic Matron 1
Nice Jewish Girls: Liquor, Sex, and Power in Antiquity 23
Traditions about Miriam in the Qumran Scrolls 33
Women and Passover Observance: Reconsidering Gender in the Study of Rabbinic Texts 45
Weaving Women's Words: Gendered Oral Histories for the Study of American Jewish Women 67
Stories and Subversion 79
A Derivative Hatred: Images of Jewish Women in Modern Anti-Semitic Caricature 101
Judy in Disguise: D. W. Griffith's Judith of Bethulia 119
Creative Expressions of Resistance: Original Theater of Orthodox Israeli Women 131
Fixing It and Fitting In: Contemporary Jewish American Women Artists 143
Women on the Wall 203
Jewish Feminist Scholarship: A Critical Perspective 225
Women as Prophets and Visionaries in Medieval and Early Modern Judaism 247
Immigrant Jewish Women Who Married Out 263
Finding Women in the Story of American and Omaha Reform Judaism 295
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