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Gender equality in Jewish rabbis and feminism

Gender equality in Jewish rabbis and feminism

Form last many years the role of the women is a concerned topic which has risen a lot of question in the Jewish community. In ancient times, the role of women was very limited. But now, due to influence by trends in secular feminism, women are participating in several rituals and leadership. Most of the traditional community has uprooted the barrier of not participating in the various religious events whereas in Jewish the exclusion of women remains there.

Women in Traditional Jewish Sources- There is no role of women in the big and well known religious books whereas the in Genesis- a story of creation, the women are introduced equal to men. In some laws, the place of women is supposed to be under the authority of their husbands and fathers.


In Talmud and Midrash, the rabbis have discussed the role and status of the women in Judaism more openly and in a clear manner. Rabbinic experts define women as licentious, foolish, and idiotic but also kind and intelligent. It is also claimed by many that some of the rabbis have tempered the biblical laws to better the conditions for women.

In middle ages, the Jewish laws had scripted the life of women and their role. In addition to this, the general settings of Jewish communities had an important impact on the lives of the women. In the Muslim areas, women tended to be safer than in the areas of the Christians. In certain cases, it is seen that the Jewish community was more helpful and generous in the Islamic areas. According to the Hebrew law, the right of a woman must induce divorce whereas, the  Talmud was in the favor of it. It is important to mention here that some of the European rabbis tried to restrict this right.

Even today, the Jewish feminists want to exclude Jewish women from traditional rituals and practices. For these feminists, the male is one of the important parts of the Judaism. To know more about the role of women in Judaism, contact Ari Afilalo.