Talmud

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Fruit Geode Book Cover

Alicia Jo Rabins On Her New Poetry Collection, "Fruit Geode"

by Alicia Jo Rabins

Alicia Jo Rabins’s second poetry collection, Fruit Geode, is a searingly personal account of making the transition to motherhood as a Jewish woman in the early years of the millenium. Exclusively for JWA, Rabins reflects on her inspiration and creative process for two selected poems.

Emma Mair with Family

Two Jews, Many Opinions

by Emma Mair

In the 12th century the great Jewish philosopher Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, commonly referred to as Maimonides, put together the Thirteen Principles of Judaism. The Thirteen Principles serve as the fundamental truths of the Jewish religion, and in many congregations it’s customary to say “Ani Maamin” (I believe) when reciting them.

Topics: Philosophy, Talmud

Imma Shalom

Known only as the Mother of Peace, Imma Shalom was lauded for navigating the tense relationship between her brother and husband, both venerated Talmudic sages.
Woman Running at Sunset

Rabbi Hillel on Stress Relief

by Sarah Biskowitz

I grimace. My stomach churns. My muscles tense up. Reading the news used to be my favorite pastime. But ever since the election, reading the news feels like sitting in the backseat during another kid’s Driver’s Ed lesson: being jerked around by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing as dangers lurk at every turn. American standards for truth and respect seem to be at an all-time low for my lifetime, and I’ve never felt so worried for the future.

Drop of Water Causing a Ripple Effect

The Magnitude of Miriam Through Midrash

by Abigail Fisher

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled to make the Torah meaningful to me.  In first grade, the boys in my class had already found strong and charismatic role models in Moses, Aaron, Abraham, and countless others. I, and the other girls in my class, were left to search for leaders in soft-spoken and often overlooked sisters and mothers. 

Timbrel

Leading with Timbrels: Another Side to the Passover Story

by Molly Pifko

Every year, my temple holds a women’s seder on the second night of Passover. This ritual has always been important to me because throughout my Jewish education, I have clung to stories as the basis for my learning. 

Cartoon Image of a Girl Looking Embarrassed

Can I Ask You Something?

by Abigail Fisher

For as long as I can remember, I’ve butted heads with Orthodox men. There was the time in third grade when I volunteered to sing the Torah trope, but was discouraged  by a boy in my class who said that “girls don’t actually read Torah at their bat mitzvahs.” In other words, why bother? Then in sixth grade, when all I wanted was to learn advanced Talmud,  I was met with a discrediting, “okay, Abigail, okay. We’ll see.” 

"Shelo Asani Isha" Blessing

The Oxymoron of Jewish Feminism

by Abigail Fisher

I had fallen so deeply in love with Jewish text study that I neglected to see the many ways in which I was not represented in those texts. The tension became clear: How could I honor  a tradition that did not make space for me as a female? 

Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah

Examine different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).

Hurricane Katrina: Community Responsibility and Tikkun Olam

Explore Hurricane Katrina as an example of how Jews respond to catastrophe. Gail Chalew, a Jewish reporter from New Orleans, tells the story of Haley Fields, a thirteen year old girl from Los Angeles, who came up with her own unique way of helping those in need.

Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890

Read the 1890 Yom Kippur sermon by Ray Frank, the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit, and consider what unites and divides the Jewish people both historically and today.

Contemporary Labor Issues (Module #4)

Examine modern labor justice issues to allow students to consider their own stance on events like the 2013 collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh or the reports of poor working conditions in Chinese factories that produce iPhones and iPads.

Judaism, Text Study, and Labor (Module #3)

Study several traditional Jewish texts and apply the concepts in these texts to the stories and characters in the game. Think about the lessons Judaism teaches about the responsibilities of workers and employers.

Pixabay Image: Person Behind Stack of Books

The Nerd Herd

by Caroline Kubzansky

If there’s one thing that characterized my formal Jewish education, it would have to be my profound dislike of it. Though I’ve always felt deeply connected to my Judaism, both culturally and religiously, organized religious school was extremely difficult for me. 

Linda Rosenberg Miller

Unsatisfied with the traditional pursuits of married women of her day, Linda Rosenberg Miller devoted herself to Jewish studies and collecting art and archeological treasures.

Rose I. Bender

Rose I. Bender’s work as a Zionist leader reached its high point when she became the first female executive director of the Zionist Organization of Philadelphia in 1945.
#BringBackOurGirls

More than a Hashtag: Nigerian Girls, Social Media, and Bruriah

by  Talia bat Pessi

As a feminist activist and Internet junkie, I get most of my news from online, feminist-leaning news sources. Consequently, I learned about the plight of the 300 kidnapped girls in Nigeria before the general public became aware of it. I was dismayed that it took so long for mainstream news sites to cover the incident, and I am equally saddened by its quick disappearance from people’s thoughts. Although major news sites are still reporting on the situation, such updates are largely absent from social media. A couple days ago, my Facebook newsfeed was exploding with event pages, shared articles, and updated statuses about the kidnapped girls. Now, I hear nothing.

Topics: Feminism, Talmud

Sue Levi Elwell

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell dedicated her career to creating opportunities for Jewish women to learn and take ownership of Jewish rituals.

Sue Levi Elwell

Annette returned home that night with her mind ablaze and her heart pounding with excitement. A new Jewish door was opening for her.

Bookshelf and Books

The Talmud: Repository of Wisdom or Masculine Tool of Oppression? Maggie Anton Weighs In

by  Preeva Tramiel

Writer Maggie Anton, whose "Rashi’s Daughters” series has sold 175,000 copies, believes that studying Talmud is the most feminist thing a woman can do. “Knowledge of Talmud is the key to halacha,” she says. Anton asserts that modern Jewish law is made at a table full of Talmud scholars, and that women can have a seat at that table.

Drisha Institute graduates its first female Talmud scholars

August 18, 1996

On August 18, 1996, Devorah Zlochower, Leora Bednarsh, and Laura Steiner were recognized for completing a three-year program of Talmud study at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York City.

Torah Study

The commandment of Torah study is a positive Biblical precept.

Stern College for Women

In September 1954, an inaugural class of thirty-two students enrolled at Stern College for Women, as Yeshiva University opened the first liberal arts college in America for women under Jewish auspices.

Sarah Schenirer

As the founder of the Bais Ya’akov educational movement, Sarah Schenirer brought about a revolution in the status of women in Orthodox Judaism.

Sarah: Midrash and Aggadah

Sarah, the first of the four Matriarchs, has come to symbolize motherhood for the entire world, and not only for the people of Israel. The A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash presents her as a prophet and a righteous woman whose actions are worthy of emulation; she converted Gentiles and drew them into the bosom of Judaism.

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