I have discovered…

April 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

Lilith magazine! With the subtitle “Independent, Jewish & Frankly Feminist,” I am in awe of this 32 year old publication that contains concepts brand new for me. 

Feminism is my main ideology. This summer I will to Israel on a Jewish-run program and I realize that there’s a missing link between feminism and the rest of my life. As someone who is committed to connecting feminism, my belief in equality and choice for all, to all aspects of thought, I have been missing an explicit exposure to Jewish feminism. 

It is through picking up Lilith, with headlines like “Jewish teen girls who like their bodies?,” “Transgender Jews,” and “Irshad Manji: A Muslim Lesbian Activist Speaks,” I have finally found a tangible aspect of Judaism that my feminism can relate to. 

I am aware that Jewish feminists have always existed though I’ve yet to hear people in synagogue question the use of “He” in the translation of “God” and I have been ushered off to a separate women’s hall in the back during my Hassidic cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. In my own life, these incidences of sexism stood out to me more than the sparse mentions of bad-ass feminism. 

To prepare for my trip this summer, I have explored ways in which I can be informed about Israeli and Jewish feminist thought and action. Lilith, named for Adam’s shunned biblical/mythical equal-turned-demon (big post to come on equality turning into demonization, by the way), offers a kind of Jewish feminist pride for me, an ability for everyone to relate to some aspect of feminism and to some aspect of Judaism. It gives Jewish women a voice beyond the sexist stereotyped “nagging Jewish mothers,” and “JAPs.” It allows women to take up space on these pages, to reform a religion that is often patriarchal, and to make feminist Judaism indisputably cool, fun, and inclusive.

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