JEWISH ORTHODOX FEMINIST
Yesterday I sat on our futon & made my first talit qatan - thanks to Danya - while watching "Half the Kingdom". Is that totally clich�d?
The following quote is from a speech Dr Norma Baumel Joseph presented at the world's first Jewish feminist conference (which planted the seeds for JOFA, Edah, International Coalition for Agunah Rights & Women of the Wall). I have made several attempts to write a statement of my own regarding my religio-political position within traditional Judaism, but Dr Joseph took the words right out of my mouth, 20 years ago:
I AM A JEW.
I am a believing & practicing Jew. & I choose to be an Orthodox Jew. I find challenge & conflict in my existence as a female Jew. Frequently I feel divided, as though parts of myself are in opposition: antithetical, contradictory, antagonistic, clashing, hostile. I wish to live as part of a community. I am often alone. The road has been difficult in ways I never expected. I knew the yeshivah world would not like me. I even knew I would be too feminist for the Jewish world. But when the feminist world finds me too Jewish, & when this Jewish feminist world finds me too religious...I find it too difficult.
Always an outsider, women have tried to re-direct me, or disempower me as frequently as men. & I reject it. & I reject their patronizing concept me as an Orthodox Jew. You don't know me because you can label me. You don't know my politics, nor my radical feminism, & you can not tell me that I'm not there yet.
Food for thought.