Torah Queeries

Author: David Shneer
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814769772
Format: PDF, ePub
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Commentaries from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight contributors examine modern concerns of sexuality, identity, gender, and LGBT life.

Torah Through Time

Author: Shai Cherry
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
ISBN: 0827609760
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"This book provides a highly readable, engaging introduction to Jewish biblical interpretation." - Jewish Book World "Cherry has analyzed the biblical commentary of some of the renowned Jewish scholars of the last 2,000 years. The result is a work of excellent scholarship and imagination." - Booklist ?Cherry shows how the Torah functions as literature that is fluid, compelling, and persistently generative of new meanings.? ? Christian Century Every commentator, from the classical rabbi to the modern-day scholar, has brought his or her own worldview, with all of its assumptions, to bear on the reading of holy text. This relationship between the text itself and the reader's interpretation is the subject of Torah Through Time. Shai Cherry traces the development of Jewish Bible commentary through three pivotal periods in Jewish history: the rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. The result is a fascinating and accessible guide to how some of the world's leading Jewish commentators read the Bible. Torah Through Time focuses on specific narrative sections of the Torah: the creation of humanity, the rivalry between Cain and Abel, Korah's rebellion, the claim of the daughters of Zelophechad, and legal matters concerning Hebrew slavery. Cherry closely examines several different commentaries for each of these source texts, and in so doing he analyzes how each commentator resolves questions raised by the texts and asks if and how the commentator's own historical frame of reference -- his own time and place -- contributes to the resolution. A chart at the end of each chapter provides a visual summary that helps the reader understand the many different elements at play.

Balancing on the Mechitza

Author: Noach Dzmura
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1583949712
Format: PDF, Kindle
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***WINNER, 2011 Lambda Literary Award - Transgender Non-Fiction While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, transgender and gender-variant people have emerged as a distinct Jewish population and as a new chorus of voices. Inspired and nurtured by the successes of the feminist and LGBT movements in the Jewish world, Jews who identify with the “T” now sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza offers a multifaceted portrait of this increasingly visible community. The contributors—activists, theologians, scholars, and other transgender Jews—share for the first time in a printed volume their theoretical contemplations as well as rite-of-passage and other transformative stories. Balancing on the Mechitza introduces readers to a secular transwoman who interviews her Israeli and Palestinian peers and provides cutting-edge theory about the construction of Jewish personhood in Israel; a transman who serves as legal witness for a man (a role not typically open to persons designated female at birth) during a conversion ritual; a man deprived of testosterone by an illness who comes to identify himself with passion and pride as a Biblical eunuch; and a gender-variant person who explores how to adapt the masculine and feminine pronouns in Hebrew to reflect a non-binary gender reality.

Queering the Text

Author: Andrew Ramer
Publisher: Lethe Press
ISBN: 1590211839
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Andrew Ramer's new book, Queering the Text: Biblical, Medieval, and Modern Jewish Stories, plays and grapples with traditional midrashim, drawing inspiration from the homoerotic love poems of medieval Spain, and envisioning alternate versions of the present. Inspired by the pioneering work of Jewish feminists, Ramer has crafted stories that anchor LGBT lives in the three-thousand-year-old history of the Jewish people

Queer Jews

Author: David Shneer
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415931670
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Queer Jews describes how queer Jews are changing Jewish American culture, creating communities and making room for themselves, as openly, unapologetically queer and Jewish. Combining political analysis and personal memoir, these essays explore the various ways queer Jews are creating new forms of Jewish communities and institutions, and demanding that Jewish communities become more inclusive.

Wrestling with God and Men

Author: Steven Greenberg
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 0299190935
Format: PDF, Kindle
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For millennia, two biblical verses have been understood to condemn sex between men as an act so abhorrent that it is punishable by death. Traditionally Orthodox Jews, believing the scripture to be the word of God, have rejected homosexuality in accordance with this interpretation. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg challenged this tradition when he became the first Orthodox rabbi ever to openly declare his homosexuality. Wrestling with God and Men is the product of Rabbi Greenberg’s ten-year struggle to reconcile his two warring identities. In this compelling and groundbreaking work, Greenberg challenges long held assumptions of scriptural interpretation and religious identity as he marks a path that is both responsible to human realities and deeply committed to God and Torah. Employing traditional rabbinic resources, Greenberg presents readers with surprising biblical interpretations of the creation story, the love of David and Jonathan, the destruction of Sodom, and the condemning verses of Leviticus. But Greenberg goes beyond the question of whether homosexuality is biblically acceptable to ask how such relationships can be sacred. In so doing, he draws on a wide array of nonscriptural texts to introduce readers to occasions of same-sex love in Talmudic narratives, medieval Jewish poetry and prose, and traditional Jewish case law literature. Ultimately, Greenberg argues that Orthodox communities must open up debate, dialogue, and discussion—precisely the foundation upon which Jewish law rests—to truly deal with the issue of homosexual love. This book will appeal not only to members of the Orthodox faith but to all religious people struggling to resolve their belief in the scriptures with a desire to make their communities more open and accepting to gay and lesbian members. 2005 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, for Religion/Spirituality

Keep Your Wives Away from Them

Author: Miryam Kabakov
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1556438796
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Collects first-person accounts of Orthodox Jewish lesbians trying to reconcile their commitment to their faith with their sexuality, telling the stories of those who have come out, those still in the closet and those living double lives. Original.

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes

Author: David Shneer
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813548845
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust. These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau. In this passionate work, David Shneer tells their stories and highlights their work through their very own images-he has amassed never-before-published photographs from families, collectors, and private archives. Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.

Five Cities of Refuge

Author: Lawrence Kushner
Publisher: Schocken
ISBN: 0307523780
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the ancient Jewish practice of the kavannah (a meditation designed to focus one’s heart on its spiritual goal), Lawrence Kushner and David Mamet offer their own reactions to key verses from each week’s Torah portion, opening the biblical text to new layers of understanding. Here is a fascinating glimpse into two great minds, as each author approaches the text from his unique perspective, each seeking an understanding of the Bible’s personalities and commandments, paradoxes and ambiguities. Kushner offers his words of Torah with a conversational enthusiasm that ranges from family dynamics to the Kabbalah; Mamet challenges the reader, often beginning his comment far afield—with Freud or the American judiciary—before returning to a text now wholly reinterpreted. In the tradition of Israel as a people who wrestle with God, Kushner and Mamet grapple with the biblical text, succumbing neither to apologetics nor parochialism, asking questions without fear of the answers they may find. Over the course of a year of weekly readings, they comment on all aspects of the Bible: its richness of theme and language, its contradictions, its commandments, and its often unfathomable demands. If you are already familiar with the Bible, this book will draw you back to the text for a deeper look. If you have not yet explored the Bible in depth, Kushner and Mamet are guides of unparalleled wisdom and discernment. Five Cities of Refuge is easily accessible yet powerfully illuminating. Each week’s comments can be read in a few minutes, but they will give you something to think about all week long. Lawrence Kushner teaches and writes as the Emanu-El Scholar at The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He has taught at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and served for twenty-eight years as rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. A frequent lecturer, he is also the author of more than a dozen books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism. He lives in San Francisco. David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright. He is the author of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cryptogram, and Boston Marriage, among other plays. He has also published three novels and many screenplays, children's books, and essay collections. From the Hardcover edition.

Transgender and Jewish

Author: Noach Dzmura
Publisher: The Forward Association, Inc.
ISBN: 193741700X
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Transgender and Jewish" tells the story of the first wave of gender-nonconforming Jews to take its place in the mainstream. Today, trans Jews direct summer camps, write ritual and even lead congregations as rabbis. Yet while non-Orthodox venues have made enormous strides in welcoming gay and lesbian members in recent decades, some trans people say they still feel like outsiders in Jewish settings, including, at times, the synagogues or camps they attended before their gender expression changed. "Transgender and Jewish" explores the world of trans Jews as they push for inclusion, and, through their presence, help congregations and denominations move beyond rigid definitions of male and female. For the people in the book -- and their communities -- being transgender and Jewish is not a contradiction in terms, but a viable and flourishing identity.