Explain and analyse the contribution to and impact of feminist theology in Judaism

Topics: Halakha, Judaism, Torah Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Explain and analyse the contribution to and impact of feminist theology in Judaism The vast majority of religions developed in a time of male dominance within society. As a result the practices and expressions of a religion are usually conducted in ways which make it difficult for women to gain equality. Jewish feminists have one main agenda, to challenge and fight sexism within Judaism. Many Jewish feminists see their work as part of the Tikkun Olam, the redemption, restoration or repair of the world. Feminists argue that dismantling the patriarchy and replacing it with gender equity is the way to achieve this. They also apply the mandate of tzedakah (justice) to issues of gender inequality. Although Jewish Feminists have achieved many milestones in their fight for equity between the genders, none have been as influential as Ezrat Nashim. In 1972, a group of Jewish feminists calling themselves Ezrat Nashim took the issue of equality for women and called for change. Their call for change demanded that women be have the full range of rights and responsibilities as their male counterparts, in terms of following the mitzvot and assuming positions of leadership within the synagogue.

In conservative Jewish society, it is common practice for the man being able to divorce the woman for any reason, but the woman is unable to divorce the man for any reason. Jewish feminists have been campaigning for equality in marriage for years. One example of a radical Jewish feminist is Ernestine Rose. While still a teenager, she refused to marry the man her father had arranged for her, and had the marriage dissolved. She campaigned for all people and was instrumental in bringing about a change in American law which allowed woman to retain their property in marriage and have the same guardianship rights over their children in divorce. Due to the fact that Judaism developed in a time of male dominance, the majority of the sacred texts and scriptures, such as the Tanakh, have...
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