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Engendering Judaism-Girsah Ivrit


Haaretz has an article about the Hebrew publication of Rachel Adler’s Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics. An interesting article was again marred by bad translation. See the following from the English version of the article. The emphasis is mine.

These insights are not acceptable in any way to scholars of the Conservative stream of Judaism, almost all of them men, says Weiss. “Once at a seminar at the Hebrew University, someone brought a quote from Adler’s book, and the head of one of the departments, an important scholar, attacked her personally and spoke about her personal family status.” Weiss adds: “And he is considered an enlightened person.”

It is customary to attack the womb and ovaries of feminists when there is no better way to respond, Weiss says. “Conservative scholars in the field of Jewish studies in Israel ignore Adler,” she says.

One who reads this would think that there is some strong polemical argument between scholars affiliated with the Conservative movement and Rachel Adler. While it would not surprise me if some of them may feel that this is so, the original Hebrew, and possibly the second use of the word “Conservative,” makes it clear to me that the reference is to scholars who are small “c” conservative. The original Hebrew version uses the phrase “הזרם השמרני” which to me seems obviously to refer to scholars who are conservative in their methodology and world-view. Don’t let this criticism prevent one from reading the article or the book.

One Response to “Engendering Judaism-Girsah Ivrit”

  1. 1

    I reject her interpetation of Sarah’s “laughter” as tendentious. Hebrew has a limited number of words and being a root based language, has a great range of fluidity to the meaning of its words, all of the words of the same root “sharing” tonalities with one another. As such, context and theological assumptions are very important to determining the actual meaning of a word in a sentence. One can therefore read a great deal into words, if one wishes but it would not be correct within the limits of traditional Jewish interpetative tradition. I dismiss Adler’s readings for that reason.

    More on that here,




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