Price: $22.00


    Edited by Micah D. Halpern and Chana Safrai

    Hardcover, 380 pages (308 English, 72 Hebrew)
    Urim Publications, 1998
    ISBN: 965-7108-00-4

    Jewish Legal Writings by Women is a revolutionary publication marking the first time in history where women are writing Jewish legal texts.

    This collection of seventeen original articles on Jewish Law (Halakha) by contemporary religious women from around the world is a monumental step for women as well as for Judaism. These authors are the product of the first generation of women to have studied Jewish legislation. They have studied at Yeshivot and in seminaries, in small private classes led by legal experts and Rabbis, in university Talmud departments, and rabbinical advocate programs. In past generations there have only been individual women who attained a degree of respect in this realm. As far as is known, there is no record of any legal discourses by them.

    Previously unchartered territory by women, this collection shows that women can, and do, contribute to the moral and authentic religious positions for the Jewish people.

    Aliza Berger
    Erica Brown
    Aviva Cayam
    Rachel Furst
    Susan Handelman
    Chanah Henkin
    Norma Joseph
    Maidi Katz
    Tirza Meacham
    Rochelle Millen
    Malka Puterkovski
    Gilla Rosen
    Dvora Ross
    Chana Safrai
    Deena Zimmerman
    Gili Zivan
    Devorah Zlochower

    About the Editors:
    Rabbi Micah D. Halpern is an educator, writer and Orthodox Rabbi, who received his rabbinical ordination from the Harry Fischel Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Halpern writes and lectures extensively in the areas of Rabbinics, Holocaust Studies, and intellectual history both in America and in Israel, and is the founder and Director of the Jerusalem Center for European Study. He also serves as Israel essayist and commentator for America Online.

    Dr. Chana Safrai is at the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Shalom Hartman Institute, and was formerly the Director of the Judith Lieberman Institute of Jewish Studies. She has written as well as edited numerous books and articles in the areas of Rabbinic literature and women's studies.

    Praise for Jewish Legal Writings by Women:

    "A magnificent compendium of groundbreaking studies on crucial issues of our time."

    - Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Dean of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges & Graduate Programs, Chief Rabbi of Efrat

    "This is a work to celebrate, for it introduces an altogether new genre in Jewish literature - Halakha by women...This is no small achievement."
    - Blu Greenberg, author of On Women and Judaism: A View From Tradition

    "These pages symbolize a new era in which women of all generations see themselves more and more attached to the study hall (beit midrash) and the lexicon of Jewish learning. Jewish Legal Writings by Women is a contribution to the wealth of Jewish legal history and represents tradition while expressing the female dimension of this legal analysis."
    - Nurit Fried, Director of Rabbinical Advocate Program for Women in Jerusalem

    "This book is an important and exceptional addition to the literature. It is a collection of seventeen original articles on Jewish law by contemporary religious women, from the U.S. and Israel, who share a feminist outlook... This fine book is highly recommended and certainly essential for academic Judaica libraries."
    - Esther Mann Snyder, Head Law Librarian, Bar-Ilan University, Association of Jewish Libraries Review

    "This book proclaims a turning point in Jewish history, a beacon for the other half of the kingdom who seek spiritual understanding in their terms... It is the nucleus of a Talmud written by women for women."
    - Gael Hammer, Australian Jewish News

    "...this is a first of its kind, a breakthrough. An entire book is composed of legal writings by women!"
    - Dr. Miriam Klein Shapiro, Jewish Book World

    "The book is highly recommended to those who take an interest in Sephardic ritual and Jewish thought; as well as anyone interested in the position of the woman in Jewish law."
    - Dr. Yitzchak Kerem, Sefarad: The Sephardic Newsletter

    " is both a monument to a new era in Jewish history, and a volume of halakhic discourse... The volume is successful on both counts."
    - Dr. Moshe Benovitz, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues

    "This volume is among the very first literary attempts at the very beginning of a movement of serious study of Torah she-be'al peh for women, barely three decades old."
    - Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot, Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought

    "The publication of this book represents a landmark in Jewish history and literature. All these women share a deep attachment to Judaism and have benefited from the revolution in women's education. The book is an exciting and wonderfully rich collection of scholarship. Hopefully, many such volumes will follow, in a process of such importance to the future of Torah learning and practice."
    - Dr. Evelyn Stern, Le'ela Journal of Jewish Studies

    "I would encourage everyone, particularly scholars, to read this volume. It will help cultivate a profound appreciation of women's efforts in Torah study and will set a standard of scholarship that many women in the broader Jewish community can aspire to."
    - Rabbi Yosef Adler, AMIT Magazine

    "There are a handful of observant women who are devoting long hours to the study of the complex legal argumentation. They have begun publishing articles on halakhic issues, as is evident by the publication of Jewish Legal Writings, edited by Micah D. Halpern and Chana Safrai, in which American and Israeli women analyze issues like "May Women Wear Tefillin?," "Women and Tzitzit," and "Artificial Insemination in Single Women." There are some larger, abstract discussions in the work, but in these early stages of women's study of Talmud, the new talmidot hachamot have basically applied their talmudic knowledge to practical decision-making involving women's issues. It remains to be seen whether they become erudite enough to affect the very body of knowledge that has guided Jewish life and thinking for centuries. This will be the final test of the Jewish women's study movement." 
    - Rochelle Furstenberg, Jerusalem Letter, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (No. 429, May 1, 2000)

    "A first-ever collection of essays written by Orthodox feminist teachers and scholars. Topics range from "hair distractions" and cosmetics to taking the pill, wearing tefillin and the role of intent in doing mitzvot."
    - Jewish Family Times

    "Before the publication of this ground-breaking volume, Jewish legal writings were an exclusively male province. Urim Publications of Jerusalem are performing an extremely valuable service by offering contemporary female Orthodox Torah scholars an outlet for their work.... This is a most valuable volume for anyone interested in the latest developments for women in Judaism."
    - Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph

    "The first-ever collection of halachic (Jewish legal) articles written by Orthodox feminist scholars and teachers."
    - Susan Sapiro, Ma'ayan: The Jewish Women's Project