Celebrating Jewish Womanhood

What My Mother, the ‘Mikvah Lady,’ Taught Me About Chassidic Feminism
Celebrating femininity is celebrating the Divine.
I’m a Chassidic Woman, Here’s My Story
My life is a balancing act. I don’t see the two halves of myself as contradictory.
Yes, I Am a Chassidic Feminist
A perspective on the curse of Eve
The Rebbe’s Revolutionary Approach to Women’s Role in Judaism
So old, yet so new
He was unapologetic about the woman’s unique role and campaigned for women to be true to their “womanhood,” as established by Torah.
My Daughter, Her Bat Mitzvah and Why I Admire Her
She’s a Jewish woman and she’s proud of it, and it is and will be her decision to choose. What is she choosing? A life of connection and purpose that also tells you a way to act, a way to dress, a way to speak, a way to live.
5 Instances of Jewish Women Teaching Life-Changing Lessons
In many ways, we represent the pinnacle of what it means to be a spiritual being.
9 Women Named After the Rebbetzin Who Are Changing the Jewish World
Tens of thousands of Jewish girls around the world have been named after the Rebbetzin. Each, in her own way, has the special privilege of living up to the name they bear.
Eishet Chayil: A Pictorial View of the Woman of Valor
The glorious words in “Eishet Chayil” beckon the potential within, which waits to be revealed in every woman . . .
Do We Have the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?
Are human rights a divine endowment? Is there a biblical verse that promises mankind the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Rebbetzin Chana and the Three Mitzvahs of Her Name
Each letter of her name stood for one of the three special mitzvahs gifted and entrusted to women.
My Bat Mitzvah Weekend in Jerusalem
When I was younger, I thought that being a bat mitzvah meant having a party...
Immersed in Love
Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?
One of the greatest challenges of married life is the notion that familiarity breeds contempt. While things may be bliss at the outset, the routine engenders boredom, listlessness, and eventually indifference.
Why I'm Not Offended by the Blessing
Do I think that this blessing should be abolished? Does it make me feel angry?
Jewish Feminism
The true meaning of modesty
As a child, I insisted on wearing dresses and the color pink. I guess I was born a feminist, in the nonpolitical sense. I celebrated my girlhood and was proud of it.
The Role of Women in Judaism
I Am Woman
I wanted to celebrate the differences inherent in the sexes, rather than diminish them. To unravel the mysteries of what it meant to be a woman . . . what it meant to be a Jewish woman . . .
The Jewish Woman
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The Jewish Woman
In light of the Rebbe’s teachings
The Jewish woman has a unique mission specific to her special qualities and sensitivities. The very future of the Jewish people depends on her success.
Restrictions That Free
“Aren’t there way too many things that you have to do?” “Is there anything in your life that you wish you could do, but you can’t because you’re religious?” The questions came hurtling toward me, one after the next . . .
A Woman's Prayer
Yet it wasn’t until a few years later that I learned how to connect to the formal Jewish prayers. Staying over at a friend’s house for Shabbat, I was completely embarrassed when she handed me a prayerbook. I sat on the sofa, pretending to read the Hebrew words like a pro. But I couldn’t fool my friend . . .
Not Satisfied with Women’s Role in Judaism
It is complacency, not questions, that pose a threat to Judaism. Questions propel us out of the lethargy of our comfort zones to dig deeper and discover the greater truths hidden within our eternal Torah.
Catalysts of Change
The Power of the Jewish Woman
The Lubavitcher Rebbe understood that it is women who are the catalysts of change. Through empowering them, one hastens the social, psychological and spiritual revolution of mankind ...
Voice of the Bride
Man and Wife, G-d and the Jews
There will come a time, blessed and welcomed by all, when the feminine will have greater access to transcendent consciousness, and when that happens, she will bestow and man will receive from her...
'Til the Lights Go Out
Nourishing our souls, illuminating the world
Torah does not support asceticism, the closed walls of a monastery and a life apart from the bones of the body. We are asked to eat the cookie—or kasha—but to ever remain the master of that act . . .
A Woman's Place in Torah
Answers to a Contemporary Issue
Within the context of our society, women are required to function on a more sophisticated level than ever before, occupying professional positions that require higher knowledge...
Tending the Garden
Where Are the Feminine Role Models?
I'm often asked: Where are the feminine voices in Jewish history, the feminine role models? Why are they not leading the way?
A Daughter of Tzelafchad Speaks
The First Feminist Movement
The Torah’s account of the petition presented to Moses by the daughters of Tzelafchad is relevant both to women seeking halachic support for change, and to the rabbis who are ruling on their questions.
A Feminist's Quest for a Place in Jewish Life
Although I was at peace about my situation, it was still reassuring to hear from someone of the Rebbe’s stature that there is a role for every woman, whether a mother or not, in Judaism.
Chassidic Feminist
My Personal Experiences
I would describe myself as a Chassidic feminist. The two terms are not mutually exclusive, though their combination is not without tension...
Why I Don’t Put on Tefillin
I had always been fascinated with tefillin (phylacteries), the two black leather boxes with Torah verses of parchment inside, worn on the head and wrapped around the arm. The basic explanation is that it is a way of connecting to our Creator and it is the binding of head, heart and deed...
A Woman's Role
An Interview with Rebbetzin Leah Kohn
You can’t do your job as a mother, as a wife, if you’re single, or as a member of a community, and live Jewishly, properly, if you’re not inspired yourself, if you don’t know what it is all about.
If Women Were Men
Counting Our Blessings
My girls were having a heart-to-heart with my friend about the role of women in Judaism, and seeing things through their eyes was just unbelievable...
Women in the Synagogue
An Answer to the Controversy
The issue is even more baffling than you think. Most of the guidelines for prayer, we learned from a lady named Chana who lived about 3000 years ago. Yet all the dominant roles in communal prayer are given to men!
Why Can't We Get Along?
Understanding the Male/Female Dynamic
Disagreements in marriage can be a real exercise in humility and maturity and force us to transcend our subjectivity. If we embrace the discomfort of the dispute we can come out with a lot more than a wounded ego...
The Contributing Factor
Fulfilling Our Potential as Creative Women
A woman must cultivate a relationship with her Creator and use her mind to its fullest capacity. Only then, asserts the Akeidat Yitzchak, can a woman fulfill her second role as Chava, 'mother of all life', a role which crowns the role of isha.
The Back of the Synagogue is Not the Back of the Bus
Two Interviews on Jewish Feminism
...I listened carefully to what Esther Kosovsky and Tamar Frankiel had to say as we talked about some provocative and pointed issues. Their unswerving conviction in their own rich experience as observant Orthodox women speaks for itself.
The Depth of Simplicity
Torah Learning Outside of the Book
The opportunities for formal Jewish women's education today are unprecedented, and they have created far strides in the development or our communities, but I think they also indicate a need to compensate for what has been lost...
Feminism and Orthodoxy
What It's All About
The innovations and increase in Torah study of recent generations connects to and is emphasized more in relation to women...
Transforming Women's Torah Learning
A New Wave in Educating Jewish Women
Torah learning for Jewish women has been revolutionized. No longer must women strive to learn as men, but rather women are now revealing and celebrating their own unique ability to learn as women.
Miriam’s Circle Dance
Women and the Circle World
A circle has no beginning or end, and every point is equidistant from its center; so it is for souls. Truly, it is impossible to rank them, for each is the most beloved in the scale of values that is its perfected virtue...
Putting Women in the Picture
The Rebbe’s views on women today
A personal account of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s attitude towards feminism.
Different But Equal
A Jewish Perspective on Men and Women
Before we can understand the differences between men and women, we must first understand the differences between masculine and feminine.
The Curse of Eve
A Jewish Perspective on Women in Society
Those who refer to the biblical story of Eve as a Divine endorsement of sexism are overlooking a simple truth: a curse is not something that should to be the way it is -- it's something that should not be the way it is...
The Kabbalah of Female and Male
Man seeks woman, and woman yearns for man. But the trick is learning to contract in order to come together . . .
Put All Your (Chaotic) Eggs in One Basket
A Kabbalistic Study on Male and Female Energies
First tries are usually chaotic. Yet the Torah offers us different methods of capturing the chaotic energies of beginnings and turning them into productive and stable states that can be used over and over again.
The Moon and Us
Understanding the Feminine Qualities of the Moon
To an ancient Greek or a Hindu, passive stillness is masculine, activity and motion are feminine. To a Taoist, action is masculine and passiveness is feminine. In other words, if it is a virtue it is masculine. The Jew turns the pyramid on its head
Man and Woman
A Psychological Profile
When G-d created Adam, at the moment Adam opened his eyes, what was his psychological profile? He had no Oedipus complex because he had no mother. He didn't have a birth trauma, because he wasn't born. He had no sibling rivalry... What was this man like?
Feminine Soul
Women's Place in Judaism
This week I attended a prayer service with a difference. It was a Torah reading conducted entirely by women. Most were wearing tallises and kippas. Isn't is positive that women are participating more in their Judaism?
It's Not Just About Me
Behind Every Successful Woman Is.....?
Behind every successful man... stands his wife—or so goes the proverbial saying. But what about behind every successful woman?...
Kabbalah on Female Superiority
Kabbalistic writings insist that females possess a higher soul of superior quality. How so, and what does this mean to us?
A Frank Conversation About Boys and Girls Touching
You mean you don’t touch boys at all?!