How has a legal tradition determined by men affected the lives of women? What are the traditional Jewish views of marriage, divorce, sexuality, contraception, abortion? Women and Jewish Law gives contemporary readers access to the central texts of the Jewish religious tradition on issues of special concern to women. Combining a historical overview with a thoughtful feminist critique, this pathbreaking study points the way for informed change in the status of women in Jewish life.
About the Author
Rachel Biale grew up on Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel. She earned an M.A. in Jewish history at UCLA and an M.S.W. at Yeshiva University. She lives in Berkley, California, where she is a practicing psychotherapist.
"An amazing book—rich in scholarship, deep in historical perspetice, and enormously interesting to anyone concerned with questions of Jewish life."
“An essential resource and entry point for understanding the construction of women’s roles in traditional Judaism.”
—Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Alone at Sinai
“With great precision and clarity, Biale ferrets out for us the inner meaning of the law, traces its development, and explores its relevance to Jewish women’s lives today.
—Blu Greenberg, author of On Women and Judaism
“[Biale] open[s] up the halakhic process to women, providing the reader who is unfamiliar with the original Hebrew texts with her first encounter of learning.”