Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology...

A pioneering work on what it means to "engender" Jewish tradition, that is, how women`s full inclusion can and must transform our understanding and practice of Jewish law, prayer, sexuality, and marriage. It challenges both mainstream Judaism and feminist dogma, and speaks across the movements as well as to Christian theologians and feminists.

x PREFACE Engendering Judaism will be compared to the pathbreaking theological work of Judith Plaskow in Standing Again At Sinai At the same time, Engendering Judaism moves beyond the realm of expository theology into the worlds of ritual and liturgy and this will cause the reader to com-pare elements of Adler’s book to The Book of Blessings, written by the sensitive and inspired Jewish poet Marcia Falk. By writing Engendering Judaism, Adler contributes mightily to the task of constructing a Jewish theology for our time and situates herself at the center of contemporary Jewish theological- liturgical discourse. Above all, Engendering Judaism reflects the distinctive voice and sen-sibility of its author. In this book, Adler demonstrates her command of diverse academic disciplines and fields— feminist theory, contemporary ethical writings, modern religious thought, literary criticism, and present-day legal theory. And, at the same time, she displays her mastery of and love for classical Jewish texts and liturgy. In Engendering Judaism, Adler demonstrates that she is an exegete par excellence of traditional Jewish writings. Although formally my student, Rachel Adler has, in truth, been my teacher and my friend. I have learned much from her, not the least of which is that it is both appropriate and necessary to include a personal voice in the Jewish story. In that spirit, I would conclude my remarks with a story from my childhood that explains why I believe her work to be of such import and significance. Every Saturday morning of my boyhood, I, like countless numbers of Jewish boys throughout the world who attended and continue to attend Orthodox synagogues, would, at the end of services, chant the lines of Shir ha- Kavod ( The Hymn of Glory). It was always a special moment for me, for my voice was at the center of the service, and I was being pre-pared for the public role I would assume in the community as an adult. During the summer months of my boyhood, when I would travel from my native Newport News, Virginia, and spend my vacation with my ma-ternal grandparents in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I would walk every week with my great- uncle Harry to the synagogue. There, as in Newport News, I would ascend the bimah ( prayer platform) at the end of the serv-ice and chant the words, “ Anim Zmirot,” with which Shir ha- Kavod be-gins. As I did so, I would scan the Ezrat Nashim, the balcony where the women sat, and seek out my bubbe ( grandmother). She would always be sitting right at the edge of the Ezrat Nashim, and I would experience a   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics


About Book Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageDedication PageContentsPrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionEpilogue: On Seeds and RuinsAppendixNotesIntroductionEpilogueIndex of Bible CitationsGeneral Index
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