My Jewish Learning

Jewish Gender & Feminism Quiz

Even as Jewish women have attained ritual and leadership opportunities formerly restricted to them, the history of female exclusion in Judaism continues to linger. How much do you know about gender issues in the Jewish past and present?

Question 1. Which of these is a feminine name for God?
 El Shaddai


Question 2. Under Jewish law, an agunah, or "chained woman" whose husband deserts her, is missing, or refuses to grant a divorce, is:
 Supposed to fast until he returns
 Not allowed to remarry
 Forced to marry her husband's brother
 Required to go in a mikveh before remarrying


Question 3. Which of the following was NOT included in the "Call for Change" issued by the women of the Ezrat Nashim movement ing the 1970s?
 Counting women in the minyan
 Equalizing rights in marriage and divorce laws
 Exemption from certain mitzvot deemed inappropriate for women
 Leadership positions in the synagogue as rabbis and cantors


Question 4. As a general rule, women are exempted from what commandments, according to rabbinic Judaism?
 Positive time-bound commandments, like fixed prayer
 Commandments related to the Temple, like animal sacrifice
 Negative commandments, like the prohibition to covet
 All commandments except those that relate to marriage and child-rearing


Question 5. Which of these is not a para-rabbinic role assumed by women in the Modern Orthodox community?
 Advisor on the laws of ritual purity
 Advocate for women seeking a Jewish divorce
 Spiritual mentor in a synagogue


Question 6. In 1975, the Reform movement introduced what concept in its new prayer book Gates of Prayer?
 Gender inclusive language
 God as a woman
 Including the names of the matriarchs along with those of the patriarchs in a central section of the prayers
 Annotated prayers with feminist analysis


Question 7. When were the first synagogue sisterhoods founded by rabbis?