Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jewish Feminist History and Influence

It was no easy feat for her to remain Orthodox while stationed at the forefront of feminism; her organization advocated equal rights for women in religious as well as secular realms....  Although she required time to find her way, she ultimately became a selfless, charitable, idealistic and energetic mover and shaker. A woman lacking a role model for herself actually became one.

Who is she?

[A] writer who explored the double marginalization of being Jewish and female, producing a body of fiction and nonfiction that placed her in the vanguard of Jewish feminist letters, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 83. ....  [She] was among the first writers to consider feminism and Judaism as parts of a seamless if difficult-to-integrate whole. While her work was often likened to that of postwar feminist novelists like Doris Lessing, Marge Piercy and Marilyn French, it was distinguished by its specifically Jewish focus.

Who is she?

She has had some influence when Jane and friends are breaking bread together, singing together, asking together,
The Song of Questions

Mother, asks the clever daughter,
Who are our mothers?
Who are our ancenstors?
What is our history?
Give us our name. Name our genealogy.

Mother, asks the wicked daughter,
If I learn my history
will I not be angry?
Will I not be bitter as Miriam
who was deprived of her prophecy?

Mother asks the simple daughter,
If Miriam lies buried in sand,
Why must we remove her from sun and stone?
Where she belongs?

The one who knows not how to question
she has no past,
she can have no future
without knowing her mother,
without knowing her angers
without knowing her questions.

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