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Jewish Law

The name may change but the belief stays the same

Not surprisingly, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade kicked up a great deal of dust. In early January, Planned Parenthood announced that it will abandon the term "pro-choice" to describe people who believe abortion should be every woman's right; on January 25th, tens of thousands of  activists gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C. for the annual Walk for Life. One of our regular guest bloggers, high school student Talia bat Pessi, shares her thoughts on the issue. 

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

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.

WHO DECIDES? Judaism says: You & I

We are talking about abortion.

Kosher, Gourmet, and Underground

Itta Werdiger Roth, a professional chef, founded The Hester, an underground, word-of-mouth music café/speakeasy/supper club in Brooklyn that fuses local food, music, and Jewish conversat

"Modern and Modest:" Interview with Nina of alltumbledown

When not memorizing Latin declensions, Nina, a graduate student of history, authors alltumbledown: a modest attempt at style, a blog about the intersection of modesty and daily fashion. In addition to brightly colored pencil skirts and everything sequined, she is a fan of Mad Men, the quickly-disappearing Jewish Lower East Side, and the printing press. She currently calls both Philadelphia and New York home.

Reclaiming the Ketubah as a symbol of equality and women's independence

The evolution of the Ketubah in the Jewish tradition has taken an interesting turn in recent times.

Miri Shalem of Beit Shemesh and dance as a tool of social change

Before most of us ever heard of the small town of Beit Shemesh, Miri Shalem the orthodox mother of four children and a long-time resident was directing the town’s JCC.

Paula Hyman, 1946 - 2011

 Despite talking on occasion about death, and Paula telling me that rarely did a day go by that she did not think about her own mortality, like most people I preferred to imagine that we all would live forever, or at least long enough.

Paula crammed so much life and accomplishments into her 65 years. She tasted many pleasures, including some—like grandchildren—she had not assumed that she would experience.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Manual and The Mystery

The subject of a woman’s body, even in its most intimate functions, was not taboo in the orthodox Jewish world of my upbringing.

Tikva Frymer-Kensky, 1943 - 2006

Dr. Frymer-Kensky was a unique and brilliant thinker who constantly pushed herself and her students to think outside of commonly accepted boundaries. She possessed an incredibly deep knowledge of the ancient Near East—so much so, that, in listening to her lectures one often felt that she lived as much in that world as in this one. What made her powerful, though, was not only the amount of her knowledge. Dr. Frymer-Kensky exemplified the scholar who believes that the ancient should also serve the present. She wrote about the past and, in doing so, tried to transform the present.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Law." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-law>.

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