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The Role of Women in Judaism

Judaism is thought to be founded almost 3,000 years ago. This religious idea is based on the Jewish ways of life. A lot of reverence is annotated from the account of Abraham and Moses in the Biblical writings. That is the covenant affiliation between the patriarchs and matriarchs and God (Blu 36). There are several forms of Judaism. For example, traditional Judaism belief has a different setting where the women are postulated as separate but nonetheless equal to the masculine gender. It is meant to promote spirituality and joy through the harmonization of the teachings learned from the Patriarchs named above. As said earlier, women live under extreme restrictions that seek to challenge their responsibilities, roles, and several obligations. However, women’s roles are just the same as men’s. Women in Judaism are given a central and important role that was reflected by God during creation; this means that equality and responsibility are both accorded to the woman who serves as a helper and a companion in the family which is a basic unit of life.

The basic belief of Judaism is founded on concepts from the Old Testament account in the Bible. The Hebrew Bible is the main reference of facets that form the basis of Judaism. The book gives this account with a representation of the origin of man. In the Book of Genesis, the first chapter verse 27 the text states that God created the human being in His own image. Therefore, God made Adam with feminine and masculine attributes. He later separated these attributes by making Eve. Hence, from this argument, the women should have similar gender roles bestowed upon them with the least of scorn and neglect. This basis of equality makes Judaism religion correlate changes in its doctrines for over the past 30 years.

The role of women in Judaism has raised issues hence making confusions about their roles. The role bestowed upon the women is full of more feminine roles that are handsome than the current American civil law. The respect accorded to women was similar to the respect shown to them during the Bible stories. The Jewish law dates back, as result, it accorded women both negative and positive roles. For example, the negative role was given to the first woman, Eve, belittled her function. Eve was the first person on earth to sin. This is seen in the third chapter of Genesis where Eve breaks God’s Law. She eats the forbidden fruit from a tree that knows. She makes the step that later influences Adam to commit the same transgression of God’s law. This gives women seductive prowess and in some instances, they are depicted as prostitutes. Contrary to this negative image portrayed, some other women in the Bible contribute to salient leadership that becomes one of the most referred doctrines by Judaism. For example, Moses as one of the patriarchs is helped by his sister called Miriam to safeguard his life and infancy.

In traditional Judaism, women are given prestigious roles that are quite different but equal and far much greater. As noted earlier, man and woman were created to be equal; to be given equal roles and responsibilities. God creates a being that resembles Him and has absurd features that define man and woman. This means that there is no genitalia hence the formation of man and woman from such a being explains the original purpose of God to make equal feminine and masculine partners. Well, the basic reason that God did in separating the dual-gender was to make a unique purpose in each sex. The vital reason was to fulfill God’s aspiration in the Universe that He created. One of the profound Judaism concepts is the Family. A few roles given to the Family by God are one, to invest in children by caring, raising them according to Taharat laws. These laws are meant to instill purity or holiness and avoid impureness in a dead body. This is can be shown by when a woman menstruates, it is a sign of life and death. To give the woman purity she must be immersed in water that signifies life called Mikvah. Secondly, during the observance of the Sabbath light should be there to signify the Torah or the gift of peace. When a woman lights the candle she brings light or peace to her house. This is because light drives away the darkness, and the woman must be there to light the candle to show love and peace. Lastly, Taharat law acknowledges the tithe given to the high priest. This tithe or Chalah should be from bread dough that weighs approximately 1,500 grams. This tithe is burned in a respectful manner. This gives prosperity in terms of spirit and economic endeavors in the home of the woman. This is because traditionally women are meant to bake bread dough called Challot on Friday to prepare for Sabbath (Schochet 63).

Judaist women are bequeathed with respect because of their brainpower and insight into a law called Binah. From God’s creation, Genesis 2:22, we see how Eve was built and not created or formed. Therefore, the matriarchs like Sarah, Miriam, Rebecca, and Rachel are superior like the patriarchs named in the Bible. During the Exodus trip from Egypt to Canaan most women did not participate in the idolatry of the Golden Calf although they just donated their rings and ornaments; hence symbolizing their withdrawal from the slavery of sin. Hence, they can be depicted to be closer to God than men. This is ideally showing the role women play in Judaism, rather than the equality intended during the creation process.

A few Judaism writings show the essence of learned women and their important roles. For example, Talmud which was adopted to be rabbinical writings makes notes on the wisdom of a woman called Berurya (Hauptman 172). She was an adorable wife of a Rabbi or Judaist teacher called Meir. She was instrumental in the making of the Jewish Laws called Halakhah. Her opinions were incorporated in the law and were accepted by men. In fact, the woman is supposed to be consulted about marriage and entitled to teach the man concepts of the Torah. Hence, the woman is an instrumental companion in a man’s life (Biale 94).

However, there are weaknesses or negative aspects of Judaism. Women are vehemently discouraged to go on with further or higher studies. This is meant to safeguard them from exploitations that may make them forget their marital duties (Nadell 91).

From the above discussion, we can conclude that the women in Judaism are given a central and important role that was reflected by God during creation. This means that equality and responsibility are both accorded to the woman who serves as a helper and a companion in the family which is a basic unit of life.

Works Cited

Biale, Rachel. Women and Jewish Law: An Exploration of Women’s Issue’s in Halakhic Sources. New York, NY: Shocken Books, 1984. Print.

Blu, Greenberg. On Women and Judaism: A View from Tradition, Ohio, OH: Jewish Publication Society, 1998. Print.

Hauptman, Judith. Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voice. Colorado, CO: West-view Press, 1998. Print.

Nadell, Pamela. Women Who Would Be Rabbis. New York, NY: Beacon Press, 1999. Print.

Schochet, Immanuel. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Canada: Liebermann, 1961. Print.


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