I’ve never been particularly offended by the various cultural stereotypes of Jewish women that portray us being zaftig, food-loving mamalehs-in-the-making; as someone who falls perfectly within the parameters of this description, I tend to favor anything that lends legitimacy to my, uh, lovely lady lumps. But when it comes to Jewish women’s body image, there may be a darker reality lurking out of the sight of stereotypes.
Last week in the Forward, Jay Michaelson writes about the need to rethink egalitarianism. Egalitarian synagogues, he says, tend to be egalitarian in only one way: everyone is equally bored. (“Egalitarian” in American Jewish life has historically referred to prayer services where men and women can both participate fully and take on leadership roles.) He talks about friends who attend Orthodox prayer services because they find more meaning in the service, and about how attempts at inclusiveness and egalitarianism often translate
One of the benefits of being in my parents’ home is access to a whole range of print media to which I would otherwise never subscribe. On the flip side, it also means I encounter a whole range of political opinions that I would otherwise avoid like the plague.
Following the arrest today of Anat Hoffman — chair of Women of the Wall, and former Jerusalem municipal council member — for being a woman holding a Torah at the Western Wall plaza, Hoffman offered me her first-hand account of this morning’s events.
A new anthology, titled “Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires,” includes essays by 14 women who identify themselves as part of the GLBQT community. Some remain part of the frumcommunity, and write anonymously. One is from a prominent politicallyconservative family and talks about her family’s gradual acceptanceprocess of her and her non-Jewish partner.
My friend Becca, along with some of her Orthodox Jewish Day School friends/co-tichel cuties created a pretty intense fusion of Lady Gaga and traditional Orthodox concepts (the wearing of the tichel – garb for married women, preparing for Shabbat, and the waiting for the Messiah). This is not a likely combination so that’s probably why it has been getting so much attention in the blogosphere, both positive and negative.
I was a little surprised to see how much frank talk about sex was featured in The Sisterhoodthis week. As a teenager, I am used to people around me talking about sex a lot--in real life, in movies, in songs, in basically every medium except in Jewish blogs. But that is no longer!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about niddah, or the laws having to do with a women’s monthly immersion in the mikveh (this is what happens when you run a Jewish blog---you read a lot of random things). I am no expert on this issue---far from it---but I think it’s a really interesting topic, and something that more women should be aware of, especially in light of the battle over mikvaot that is going on in some communities in Israel right now.