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.

ix PREFACE to display bad faith with a past that has shaped the identity of men and women as Jews for generations. At the same time, Engendering Judaism passionately contends that the conversation must not be confined to these voices alone, for the Jew-ish conversation, as presented in these classical sources, has been an exclusionary one. In these pages, Rachel Adler rejects a Judaism that lim-its the speech of women. The voices and concerns of women have been silenced in the classical texts and religious conversations of our people for too long. Engendering Judaism seeks to redress this wrong. Adler here grants full public expression to her own voice as a religious Jewish woman. She cites the ethical teachings contained in Jewish tra-dition itself as providing sufficient warrants for protesting the subordi-nation of women in the Jewish public arena. Decrying the manner in which all too many Jewish terms and texts have obliterated or denied public expression to the voices and experiences of women, Adler adopts a perspective that begins with a commitment to the full inclusion of women in the Jewish conversation. She condemns as morally unaccept-able any Judaism that would deny women their rightful public voice, and she demands that Judaism acknowledge the complete humanity of women by accepting women as dialogical partners in the public conversations of the Jewish people. Adler anchors her conversation in the ketubbah, the Jewish wedding contract. She argues that the traditional Jewish legal concept of kinyan ( acquisition) in the area of Jewish marriage law identifies the act of mar-riage as nothing more than a commercial transaction. In other words, the marriage contract conveys the woman as an object from the domain of one male— generally the father— to a new one— the husband. Indeed, viewed this way, traditional Jewish marriage law reduces the woman to a position of sexual chattel. For these reasons, she advocates that the institution of the ketubbah and the concepts of property and acquisition that undergird and inform it be discarded in the area of marriage. She proposes that the metaphor of b’rit ( covenant) be substituted for kinyan ( acquisition). This metaphor possesses layers of meaning that more appropriately represent the mutuality of intimate relationship involved in a marriage. Engendering Judaism is a work of jurisgenesis. Instead of abandon-ing Jewish law, it reconstructs the law. It aims at a transformation of Jewish law and life in keeping with a vision of reality that women inhabit interdependently with men. As a work of feminist Jewish theology,   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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