"Women and Judaism" is about women's place in Orthodox society, and whether or not they are treated as inferiors

Essay by smeychaCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2003

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Women In Judaism

In the Orthodox (traditional) Jewish religion women are expected to stay at home and take care of the house and children. They do not do many of the religious mizvot (good deeds) that men do. Women are also made to dress modestly, and cover their heads. This does not mean that the Jewish religion looks at women as inferior to men. There are reasons why women are expected to act this way, and they have nothing to do with inferiority. Many Orthodox women are treated as inferiors. This is because some people misinterpret what the torah (Jewish bible), and rabbinic scholars say. In the Jewish religion Rabbis opinions are highly respected, especially by the orthodox. By using various texts, this paper will show that the torah and Rabbinic scholars do not look down upon women nor do they say that women should be treated as inferiors.

George Foot Moore, a gentile professor of theology and history of religion at Harvard University said that, "Women hold a higher position in Judaism than in other societies," (Kaufman xxv).

This shows that women are not treated as inferiors in the Jewish religion especially compared with other ancient religions and societies.

In the Torah Adam was created by G-d and contained both male and female parts, and then the female was separated and turned into Eve. Both of them are equal in G-d's eyes (Kaufman 35). Even though Adam was created first this does not make him superior to Eve. Actually before Eve was created Adam was both male and female so it cannot be said that man was created before women because Adam was both. Many Rabbis thought that women were equal to men. Rabbi Hirsch states, "The woman forthwith on a footing of equality with the man," (Swidler 7).