Religious Life

Celebrating the Earth and the Jewish Women who Keep it Healthy!

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A few weeks ago – in anticipation of Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees – the Jewish Women's Archive introduced a new web-feature, Jewish Women in Environmental Activism.

What I learned from Aliza Lavie ...

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Did you know that there's a special prayer for preparing the wicks of Shabbat candles? Neither did I. This past Tuesday, I listened to Dr. Aliza Lavie discuss her book, A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book, a collection of prayers composed by and for women over hundreds of years in all parts of the world.

My Bat Mitzvah's Bat Mitzvah

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Sealfons Department Store Displaying Bathing Suits, Blizzard of '96Jordan's Bat Mitzvah, January 6, 1996 Today is the 13th anniversary of my Bat Mitzvah - my Bat Mitzvah’s Bat Mitzvah.

Interview with Danya Ruttenberg

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Last week I interviewed one of my new favorite Jewesses with attitude - Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg. I recently (finally!) finished her new book, Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion.

More on Jews, Jewesses, and Thanksgiving

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Apropos of Ellen's comment about "what makes Thanksgiving so meaningful for some American Jews" in her prior post, I thought I'd share an excerpt from an article published in The American Jewess in November 1896.

Rosh Hashanah and Hurricane Katrina: Reflections from Bluma Rivkin of New Orleans

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To mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the coming High Holidays, we have chosen a story told by New Orleans resident Bluma Rivkin. One of 90 oral histories collected by the Jewish Women's Archive for the Katrina's Jewish Voices project, the interview was conducted by historian Rosalind Hinton on October 12, 2006. This will be the first of a series of monthly podcasts, so check back regularly!

Pink, Green, Blue: What Color is YOUR Torah?

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By Melissa B. Simon

As a young woman growing up in the Jewish community, I often sought out a woman's voice in the biblical text. I wanted to hear more from our matriarchs and yearned to know the real story behind Dina, Miriam, and Tamar. Too often I felt like I was confronted by Jewish publications that seemed dominated by the male perspective and left me hungry for something different.

Rethinking Purity on Tu B'Av

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With the exception of Tisha B'Av, the day of fasting and mourning in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, not much happens on the Jewish calendar between Shavuot in May/June and Rosh HaShanah in September/October. Or so we thought...

Jewish and Muslim Marriage Contracts get a Facelift

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The ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, is one of the oldest continuously used documents within Judaism.  That said, over the course of the past thirty years or so, many ketubahs have undergone a makeover so that rather than simply act as a business document that lists the items in the bride's trousseau and the amount of zuzim (silver pieces) that the groom has to set aside for her well-being, many contemporary ketubahs reflect the equal partnership that the marrying couple are entering in to.

Blu Greenberg and Orthodox Feminism

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Crossposted on JVoices

Two years ago this week, the indomitable Blu Greenberg, who is best known for her feminist work within Orthodox Judaism, was honored with Hadassah's highest honor

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