Jerusalem Report

Cosmetic feminism

Religious feminist women prefer to remain within the boundaries of what they consider acceptable in the marriage ritual and do not act as radically as they feel.

Pride and Piety
Photo by: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/The Jerusalem Post
There is a revolution occurring in the modern-Orthodox Jewish world, and the pivotal axis of change of this revolution is the issue of the status of women. In her book, Irit Koren, a graduate of Bar-Ilan University, who researches and lectures widely on gender and Judaism, selects as a case in point women who are choosing to make changes in the Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony to make it more egalitarian, yet still acceptable within their community’s interpretation of halakha (Jewish law).

Dr. Koren’s claim is that Orthodox feminists today represent a larger phenomenon of modern religious people who live in two contradictory worlds – the traditional world of old and the progressive world of today – reconciling those two worlds through reinterpretation and/or pushing the boundaries of what is considered within the realm of acceptable in that community.

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