A Londoner’s reflections on being Jewish, female and … unmarried.
The mohel is a woman! Radical Jewish daughters, from the Spanish Civil War to the offspring of 60’s activists. Dieting to win a mother’s love.Table of contents Get the issue
Two daughters tell Passover stories of personal exodus.
A Londoner’s reflections on being Jewish, female and … unmarried.
Gift of Literacy Orthodox women in the pulpit! On May 1,1999, in Orthodox shuls around the world a woman will speak on shabbat morning, give a shiur (lesson) between minha and ma’ariv or—in a shul uncomfortable with women in these roles—a woman will give a shiur for women only, or the rabbi will address the entire congregation on a “women’s topic.” “Shabbat T’lamdeini (Teach Me): Women, Learning, Leadership & Community” is a program sponsored... Read more »
Treyfa film by Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madanskydistributed by Women Make Movies I have to admit, I was nervous to be sitting in a theater, waiting for the screening of a new Jewish lesbian film, with my parents, no less. The film in question is “Treyf,” by Alisa Lebow and Cynthia Madansky, shown as part... Read more »
Time’s Tapestryby Leta Weiss MarksLouisiana State University Press, $24.95 When I say New Orleans, I get a knowing shake of the head, or a wistful look. When I grew up there in the ’50s and ’60s, by the time you were 15, you’d certainly seen a lot: transvestites casually strolling in the French Quarter, strippers... Read more »
Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voiceby Judith HauptmanWestview Press $26, $17 paperback What does it mean to read the Talmud from a woman’s perspective? Rereading the Rabbis examines ten areas of rabbinic law concerning women—including the marriage ceremony and the biblical prohibitions on sexual intercourse during menstruation—demonstrating their development over time. For those of us who... Read more »
Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and Sacred Meet edited by Ellen Bernstein, Jewish Lights $23.95 The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook and Vegetarian Judaism by Roberta Kalechofsky, Micah Publications $15.95 The Ecology of Eden by Evan Eisenberg, Knopf, $30 An internet course on Judaism and vegetarianism? Jewish animal lovers organizing against paté de foie gras? In the... Read more »
In 1998, Jewish celluloid females entered a new dimension. Instead of the traditional cinema image of the overbearing Jewish mother (Woody Allen’s “New York Stories”) and the spoiled JAP (“Clueless”), Jewish women were portrayed in a refreshing new light on the commercial screen—as powerful, attractive, sexual beings. Two of these groundbreaking films, Sandra Goldbacher’s “The... Read more »
in memory of Susy Kreiman, killed in the bombing On July 18, 1994, at 9:50 am, a powerful bomb blew up a square block in downtown Buenos Aires. The immediate objective of the explosion was the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, the AMIA, a building housing most of Argentina’s major Jewish organizations. Despite its primary intention... Read more »
Somebody’s yoke around my neck—how can I think about God nowand what a kvetch he became in Genesis? He walked there calling for Adam.Then the verses fell down like a ladder on the dirtsmashing all that had been planted.Adam stopped to be yelled at but the actual Adam was off somewhere elsedancing and fornicating with... Read more »
Dieting, craving-—and mother’s Toll House trap.
Spanish Civil War. Lincoln Brigade. Guernica. The touchstones for generations of left-wing activist men. Sixty years after the fall of the Spanish Republic, we hear about the gutsy Jewish women who defied America in defense of democracy.
Radical Sixties parents spawn ideological Nineties daughter. Beyond anti-war activism and feminist consciousness-raising, what else did their legacy include? Plus Red Diapers, reviewed by Eleanor Bader.
My 29-year-old mother was smuggled out of the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto one month before its obliteration. She had lived within the city all her life and inside the Ghetto since its creation, and had known hundreds in her home town by name, thousands by sight. But by March 1943 out of all of them—the girl who knew... Read more »
The Haggadah tells us that five second-century rabbis stayed up all night retelling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. They must have been fine, natural-born storytellers because when my father, a taciturn man, finally told me the story of his own exodus from Fort Dodge, Iowa, it took only twelve minutes. “Tell me about Iowa.”... Read more »
My God who is the bodies of all the men I’ve lovedthe breasts I could not suck enoughwho is the cat’s bodywith the eyelashes of a dolland the hardness of a doll’s plastic chestwho is the black space in the skythe stars like holes stabbedbleeding and stupid to be killed like a thiefrestless a tribe... Read more »
As an ancient, boys-only rite of passage moves into the modern era, we have to wonder: What would Sigmund Freud have to say?
Two poems are reprinted by Rachel Morfurgo (1790-1871), who was the first modem female (and feminist) Hebrew poet and lived in Trieste, Italy. She wrote when she couldn’t sleep at night, or when she finished her chores caring for her husband and four children. Many of her poems were written for occasions, some have an... Read more »
Erela Daor writes on the lives of women since the May 1997 election of Muhammad Khatami as president of Iran. (He was elected with a mandate for liberalization by an overwhelming 69% of votes cast, with 94% of eligible individuals voting.) The improvement has not been consistent. On the one hand, Khatami appointed Massuma Aviktar... Read more »
“On Single Women in the Palestinian Community in Jaffa,” by Amalia Saar, explicates the status of women who are referred to as banat (those who remain girls), signifying—at least officially—that marrying is what makes a girl into a woman. The author explores the reality that some unmarried women are successful in achieving social maturity in... Read more »
“The Concrete Ceiling; Women In Israeli Politics” by Sylvia Bijawi cites the third Knesset, elected in 1955, as the zenith for women’s participation, with 12 female Members. This 10% has yet to be matched or exceeded. Women constitute 45% of the employment sector; more than 50% of students receiving BA’s; more than 45% receiving MA’s... Read more »
Woman: ‘A Constant Giver’ I can’t get over the wasted energy that went into the article “Sexing the Answering Machine” [Spring 1997]. Many forms of languages are separated into male and female words. Why do you feel offended by this? I would expect you, as a “Jewish” organization, to know that Hebrew above all other... Read more »
The Women’s Tefila of Great Neck Synagogue and the Mikveh Association of the North Shore on Long Island recently opened a library, focused on women’s health concerns, in the waiting room of the local mikveh. To our knowledge, this is the first coordinated effort by a women’s prayer group and a mikveh association. From a recent perusal of what... Read more »
The mood was spirited, inclusive, as marchers mingled with after-work shoppers in the narrow Jerusalem streets surrounding Mahaneh Yehudah market. For the second year, Israeli women—and men—were marching to protest violence against women as part of the Nov. 25 International Day Against Violence Against Women. The crowd was larger than last year, comprising many 20-something sabras,... Read more »
“In the midst of an explosion in cosmetic surgery, the number of nose jobs has dropped significantly,” The New York Times reported in January. The 8% decline between 1992 and 1996, experts say, is due largely to a new Jewish comfort with—even affection for—the classic Jewish nose. “The heyday for nose jobs,” the Times reports,... Read more »
Elisheva Stamper watched a group of giggling teenage girls pop balloons and play musical chairs. The woman sitting beside her at the party pointed out one girl who looked about 10 years old. “She’s 13 and married,” said the director of the absorption center for new immigrants. “Most of the other girls older than 12... Read more »
Ruth Dreifuss has been selected by the Swiss parliament to be the president of Switzerland—the first woman and the first Jew to hold that post. Dreifuss, 58, was inaugurated January 1 for the year-long post. Surprisingly, women did not even achieve the right to vote in Switzerland until 1971. “My professional commitment is leftist, feminist... Read more »
What is the Jewish theology of art? It is a fusion of Judaism, art and spirituality, and New Mexico artist Lia Lynn Rosen thinks that its time is long overdue. For Rosen, art is a form of prayer. “The rabbinic/biblical interpretation of art as related to idolatry is really off the mark in our day.” she... Read more »
Jewish women are entering the upper echelons of management in business and banking, medicine and law, arts and government, but we are not yet appropriately represented in the Jewish community. Some corporations offer large bonuses in order to recruit women into management positions, but the Jewish community offers accomplished women little recognition. Major national Jewish organizations... Read more »
As we shape each issue of LILITH, there’s always a moment, as we sit at the library table in the office, surrounded by manuscripts (a strange word to describe computer printouts of articles, I suppose), when we worry about the “voices” speaking out from these pages. Too many first-person articles? A broad enough age range?... Read more »