This engaging feminist approach to Judaism blends the interpretation of primary Jewish sources with contemporary social change. Bonna Devora Haberman shares her firsthand account of the “Women of the Wall” and a feminist approach to traditional Judaism, while interacting with ancient and contemporary Jewish texts. Seaming together scholarship with activism and using a rich network of sources, Haberman analyzes the sacred with attention to power and gender. While much religious and national culture focuses on death and sacrifice, Haberman proposes an alternative model for a Jewish theology of liberation: birth—no less universal than death. life- giving rather than life-taking is the nucleus of this work, reformulating performances of gender in a realm of exaggerated sexual difference. Using her experiences with the “Women of the Wall” movement interwoven with biblical and rabbinic literatures, Haberman contributes to liberating religious culture from its gender oppressions, and rendering religion a liberating force in society.
Read an excerpt.