Reflections on Orthodox Feminism
By Shani Berrin
Not only in our individual lives, but also as Orthodox feminists, most of us experience various periods of satisfaction, despair, hope and pride. At times, any of us may view our individual situations or emotions as purely personal: gratification for an advanced level of Jewish education; a sense of isolation in the inability to say Kaddish for a loved one; uncertainty about how to celebrate the birth of a daughter. These are indeed very personal feelings.
They also are much better understood and addressed within the larger context of Orthodox feminism. We may view ourselves and the status of Jewish women generally, as advancing two steps forward, one step back. The emergence of this publication is an exciting beginning, and a wonderful step forward. At the start of this new year, and in the initial issue o f JOFA Journal, I would like to wish all of us much success in awakening divine compassion and our own motivation. Let us pray that we may be blessed with a techila tova, a shana tova, and a g'mar chatima tova: a good beginning, a good year, and a good final seal.
Nitchadeshl Sbani L. Berrin is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University specializing in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls.