Our Bodies/Ourselves

Pride, Pain, Prejudice

Beginning at the beginning, we women have inherited a culture in which the “Earth Mother”— representing our bodies, the Earth’s body, and most everything good in between—has been long deposed, leaving many of us in negative relationships with our own skin, and others of us yearning for embodied self-esteem and celebration.

Lilith has created and published new rituals for body-related lifecycle experiences, publicized research on Jewish women’s genetic inheritance, taken seriously the recipes and kitchens of our grandmothers, and reframed aspects of our own sexuality. Jewish women think a lot about their bodies, perhaps encouraged by a tradition that doesn’t support a mind-body split. We want our readers to have a bead on it all: that the Sumerian Queen of Heaven, 4000 years ago, asked, “Who will plow my vulva?”, that mikvahs heal us in unexpected ways, that eating taiglach—or kibbe—brings some of us closer to our mothers. The Talmud speaks of “belly joy,” and Judaism is, in many ways, a lusty, sensual, sensuous, juicy, visceral, sex-positive culture. Our bodies, in myriad ways, have a lot to say.