You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Health

Food, Fat, and Feminism: Navigating the Contradictions of Judaism and Food

We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the zaftig Jewish bubbe, stuffing her offspring with chicken soup and brisket, shouting, “Eat! Eat! You’re skin and bones.” We love to talk about these mythical kitchens of our childhoods—tables overflowing with kugels and babkas, tsimmus and kneidlach. But for many Jewish women, there was another, more painful, side to this abundance. Our bubbes didn’t just say, “Eat! Eat!” they also said “Why are you eating so much? You’re getting fat!” I don’t think this contradiction is unique to Judaism, but I do think there’s a distinctive cultural spin to this schizophrenic relationship to food. And considering the prevalence of eating disorders, if there are cultural roots, we need to weed them out.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Beyond the Gimmicks

Breast Cancer Awareness Month employs some tactics that I find problematic—but the cause is important for all of us.

The conversation is one that needs to be had.

We need to move past the shock-tactics of declaring our love of ta-tas and move into a conversation about how we can offer screening and care to those who don’t have access to it. We need to have conversations that don’t exclude men, but instead discuss the real importance of awareness for everyone. We need to make breast cancer awareness about saving lives, not putting sexualized versions of female anatomy on pedestals.

My North Carolina Abortion

When I first began writing this piece, I wanted to explain why I got an abortion. But then I remembered it’s no one else’s business. And that’s what’s missing from the conversation in North Carolina. I don’t think its a bad thing for all health clinics to uphold a certain level of standards, both in hygiene and practice; in fact I want that to be the case for any place where I or my loved ones receive medical care. But it IS a bad thing to attempt to limit my right, or the right of any other woman, to make decisions about their body and pass it off as “protection”.

Meet Miriam Kobey, “Denver’s Angel of Mercy”

An Orthodox Jewish woman from Suwalki, Poland, Miriam (Mary) Rachofsky (Kobey) was an unlikely pioneer on the western frontier. Her passion for helping others led to a successful career as a midwife in Denver at a time when very few women ran their own businesses.   

Meet Sophie Rabinoff as the Camera Saw Her

Sometimes at JWA a story insists on coming to life. 

The article on Sophie Rabinoff  in our online Encyclopedia was a good scholarly representation of the pioneering physician's life and work. But no photos accompanied it; nothing helped lift it off the page. A few weeks ago, her great niece Jennifer Arnold contacted us to say that she had some photos of her aunt and wondered if we could add them to the article.  I told her that we would be happy to, and she kindly scanned and sent them to me.

Gorging Yourself on Cheap, Coin-Shaped Candy? You Are SO Better Than That

Chanukkah (or however the heck you spell it) is a time of lighting the menorah, recounting yet another story of the resilience of the Jewish people, and celebrating miracles both great and small. It’s also a time of eating things you wouldn’t dare touch the rest of the year, letting your standards slide, and finding yourself hung over on January 1st, loathing yourself as you struggle to button your jeans.

Don’t be that person.

Teaching Sex Ed to Young Modern Orthodox Women

In the years I attended Modern Orthodox day schools, I received close to zero sex education. Aside from one class period in the sixth grade dedicated to menstruation and a week during my senior year devoted to learning the laws of Neidah (Jewish ritual purity laws relating to menstruation), I remained in the dark about reproduction and sexual health, as well as about how they related to my identity as a young Jewish woman.

Is It Cold and Flu Season Yet?

As the air turns brisk and squash appear in the grocery store, I realize that autumn really is here. Though winter is still a ways off, a quarter of my colleagues and a handful of our patients are already starting to sniffle and cough.

The Pain Post

To be human is to feel pain. Show me a soul that has walked this earth, that has lived and died unscathed, unscarred—physically and emotionally.

We've Come A Long Way, Rosa: Title IX and The American Jewess

You didn’t think Title IX would reach its 40th birthday and go unrecognized here at JWA, did you?

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Health." (Viewed on October 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/health>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Poll

Which topics pique your interest on the JWA blog?

Twitter

11 hr
Read Eliana's thoughts on being a young feminist in the Modern Orthodox community @mvingtraditions @LilithMagazine http://t.co/v8Ii4G1SkU
16 hr
Today in 1944, army nurse Frances Y. Slanger became the first American nurse killed in Europe after D-Day. http://t.co/LU17b9yE3o
1 day
RT @AJHSNYC: Mon., 10/20 Women in American Sport: Settlement Houses to the Olympics http://t.co/WmhwjWeDNt