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Jewish Law

Tannaitic Literature, Inclusion of Women

Generally speaking, the more regular the mechanism of inclusive interpretation, the clearer it is that woman remains outside as the “other” because she requires a special reason to be included. In other words, rather than rendering women an integral part of the population, inclusion renders them as adjuncts, unique unto themselves.

Benjamin Aron Slonik

Benjamin Aron Slonik (c. 1550–c. 1619) was a Polish rabbi of the early modern period whose independent style of textual and halakhic analysis produced important works of responsa and other Jewish legalistic and moralistic tracts. Of particular note are Slonik’s attitudes toward certain women-related issues that placed him in a class of his own within the prevailing Ashkenazic rabbinic culture.

Samaritan Sect

The status of Samaritan women today seems to be dominated by four factors: the dearth of women in the community, the desire of the community to avoid diluting its traditions, genetic problems deriving from inbreeding, and the rules pertaining to ritual purity.

Ritual: A Feminist Approach

Because religious praxis involving material objects plays so major a role in Jewish religion, one of the most significant expressions of the creation of feminist Judaism and its influence on the Jewish people is women’s wide-ranging involvement in the full range of ceremonies that exist both within and beyond halakhah.

Ritual in the United States

Ritual is an act or a set of actions that employs symbols meaningful to the participants in a formal, repetitive, and stylized fashion. Ritual behavior is one of the fundamental pillars of Judaism, and of all religions, whose concern is precisely with ultimate meaning and purpose.

Reproductive Technology, New (NRT)

New reproductive technology has provided the solution for problems of infertility for hundreds of thousands of couples. For halakhically observant Jews, especially in the pro-natal state of Israel, and in general in the post-Holocaust era, new reproductive technology has been a blessing but has also created a multitude of halakhic problems.


Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 1040–1105) is considered the greatest Jewish scholar of medieval times in Ashkenaz (Germany, France and England). It is doubtful whether we can find another Jewish scholar active at the time who was willing to make changes for the benefit of women’s rights even where halakhic and aggadic sources were not kindly disposed towards them. True, he sometimes accepted prejudicial opinions about women in the sources, but his relatively tolerant and considerate attitude towards women is worthy of note.


Any discussion of women in Qumran must needs open with the question of whether there were any. A significant trend in research claims that there were none.

Post-Biblical and Rabbinic Women

In post-biblical Jewish antiquity women were not viewed as equal to men or as full Jews. In this, Jews were no different from their various Greco-Roman, Semitic or Egyptian neighbors. The difference lies in the explanation Jews gave to their views.

Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Ouziel

R. Ben-Zion Hai Ouziel wrote extensively on religious, communal and national subjects, as well as Jewish philosophy, his articles appearing in several newspapers and journals. His election as the Sephardic Chief Rabbi (the Rishon le-Zion) carried a concurrent appointment to the Va’ad Le’ummi (National Council of Jews of Palestine) and he participated in the sessions in which the Jewish Agency was founded.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Law." (Viewed on March 18, 2018) <>.


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