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Women and Dough

“For three transgressions women die in childbirth: for being careless regarding [the laws of] menstruation, the tithe from dough, and kindling the [Sabbath and festival] light.”– Bameh Madlikin / Mishnah Six I do not personally feel bound to the traditional understanding of challah as a woman’s commandment. It bucks against my general inclination towards egalitarianism,… Read more »

The Four Questions About Genocide in Darfur

Asking questions is a core tenet of Judaism. “The Four Questions” during Passover is just one example of how Jews question and analyze our traditions and the world. The genocide in Darfur is not a straightforward situation and the news often glosses over explanatory details, leaving concerned individuals confused and overwhelmed. Let’s try to clarify… Read more »

Legislating Fairness

I’d like to take a moment to talk about American law, and race, and we the (Jewish) people. It came up when the Supreme Court decided that Brown v. The Board of Education never happened, and it comes up all the time when I want to talk about affirmative action. I find many Jews—at least… Read more »

The Anti-Feminist Diet?

As a sustainably-conscious foodie, I’ve recently come across a lot of press about “The Localvore Challenge”. The basic gist of the challenge is: wherever you live, attempt to only eat foods that are grown within 100 miles of your home. Food enthusiasts and novices across the country are taking part in this challenge—most notably amongst… Read more »

Responding to Rape in Darfur

To state it crudely, rape is the “trademark” of the current genocide in Darfur, the western region of Sudan. Genocide historians have remarked that although sexual violence has been a brutal component of past genocides, the scope and magnitude of rape in Darfur is unparalleled. Pamela Shifman, a U.N. expert on sexual exploitation, commented that… Read more »

Supreme Court to Home Health Workers: Screw You

In yet another example of how the U.S. Supreme Court devalues women, we have the settlement of Long Island Care at Home v. Coke, and it is grim. Essentially, the ruling states that home health care workers—a group that logs in at over 90% female—should be included in what are legally known as “companion services.”… Read more »

Jew to Jewess: I've Got My Eye on You

When I started writing about women and Jewish life for the Jewess blog, I was really excited about the opportunity to create discussion about women’s issues in a Jewish context and to celebrate women’s contributions to the Jewish community and the world at large. I did not expect that some of my most avid and… Read more »

Dinner and a Revolution

The first time I saw Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party was not at the Brooklyn Museum, where it is currently a featured exhibit, but on spring break at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  I was a freshman in college in the process of shedding the sheltered, suburban skin I’d developed throughout childhood and hungrily… Read more »

Training Our Instincts Toward More Distant Compassion

Ideally, we would have infinite hours in a day to tikkun olam, help repair the world. In reality, the amount of time we set aside for this mitzvah is limited. This begs the question: where should we direct our good intentions with the finite time and energy we have? Should we focus on our local… Read more »

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