Jewish Feminist Ritual

What makes ceremonies specifically for women unique?

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This maneuvering--often carried out through fresh readings of traditional sources--can be a formidable project for women who identify as "halakhic Jews" and are reluctant to be viewed as radical or disloyal. But it can be no less daunting for women of other traditions with entrenched practices and assumptions. While Jewish feminists rarely invoke "the will of God" as justification for particular rituals, I believe--and here I speak personally--that to many women, the creation of a Judaism suffused with women's gifts feels divinely sanctioned, even ordained.

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Vanessa Ochs

Vanessa Ochs is the Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia and associate professor of Religious Studies.