Modernizing Orthodoxies: The Case of Feminism

By Yehudah Mirsky

Kolech, 2007

This paper explores the underlying dynamics of Orthodox Feminism while also re-examining existing understandings of Orthodoxy. Instead of looking at Orthodoxy as a rigid entity, the piece suggests that Orthodoxy be viewed through a collection of processes, performed through what the author titles "Modernizing Orthodoxies," which are groups of religious movements which share some similar core features through which each works and reworks in their interactions with modernity. The author asserts that Orthodox Feminism in Israel and the U.S. in their own ways represents an intensification of religious identities alongside a critique of many religious values. Characteristics of this movement, which make it modern, include the distance from authority of tradition and the idea of selfhood grounded in independence. However, at the same time there is a strong adherence to the fundamental Halakhic norms, which preserves its authenticity. The piece concludes by affirming that Orthodox Feminism operates as one of the several Modernizing Orthodoxies.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Tradition, Feminism, Orthodox Judaism, Modernity

Name of Publication: To Be a Jewish Woman - Kolech Proceedings

Editor: Cohen, Tova

Volume/Issue: Vol.4

Page Number(s): 37-51

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. Modernizing Orthodoxies: The Case of Feminism. To Be a Jewish Woman - Kolech Proceedings. Kolech. 2007: 37-51.


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