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Jewish Law

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

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.

Qumran

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.

Niddah, Tractate

Tractate Niddah is the tractate most concerned with women’s physiology and their halakhic status concerning body issues.

Nature of Women

The Talmud describes women as a “nation unto themselves” (BT Shabbat 62a) and rabbinic literature is replete with implications concerning the differences in the respective natures of men and women. Often the portrayals are paradoxical, citing opinions which describe seemingly opposite traits.

Nahat Ruah Le-Nashim (Women's Spiritual Satisfaction)

Jewish law presents this concept as the legal basis for granting women the option to perform commandments from which they are exempt, thereby bringing them spiritual satisfaction.

Modesty and Sexuality in Halakhic Literature

Modesty (zeni’ut), in its broad sense, represents a mode of moral conduct that is related to humility. A person who behaves modestly refrains from extroverted behavior that is supposed to speak of him- or herself. This expansive view also includes sexual modesty.

Levant: Women in the Jewish Communities after the Ottoman Conquest of 1517

Far-reaching changes began to take place in the Jewish world at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Following the expulsion from Spain in 1492 there was a period of wandering and political, demographic and social upheaval. On the one hand, this led to an encounter between the Jews who had left Spain and Portugal and the traditions of Ashkenaz, North Africa, Italy and the Orient; it also led to many personal crises, sundered families, and other disasters, which left women as agunot and widows.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Law." (Viewed on November 14, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-law>.

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