Women and Halakha: Past Traditions and Future Development

Teacher: Rahel Berkovits

Level: Open to All

Description:In this course, we will explore and discuss women’s role in ritual practice, both personal and communal, through the study of classical and contemporary Jewish legal texts. Questions of custom vs. law, societal and historical influences, and future development and change will be addressed. We will examine the topics of women’s obligation in and exemption from certain mitzvoth: kiddush on Shabbat, Grace after Meals and zimmun, tefillin, tzitzit, and issues surrounding prayer in the synagogue, such as reading from the Torah and counting in the minyan. The course will focus on textual analysis and interpretation. All sources are provided in both Hebrew and English and the course is open to all levels and genders.