Religion & Beliefs

Women in/and the Bible

Interesting story at the Baltimore Jewish Times, about this: In 1993, Reform Judaism was given a challenge. At an assembly of the Women of Reform Judaism, the Union for Reform Judaism’s women’s division, Cantor Sarah Sager urged the movement to … Read More

By / November 13, 2006

Interesting story at the Baltimore Jewish Times, about this:

In 1993, Reform Judaism was given a challenge. At an assembly of the Women of Reform Judaism, the Union for Reform Judaism’s women’s division, Cantor Sarah Sager urged the movement to find women’s voices in the Bible.

That challenge is nearing completion. Almost all of "The Torah: A Women’s Commentary" has been written, is almost ready for the final editing stage and will be officially launched at the URJ’s/WRJ’s convention in 2007.

I'll be interested to see this, as someone who has tried to read the "interfaith voices" in the bible.  Because in a pursuit like this, what we come up against is whether we're going to selectively cull the good book for affirmative/progressive "voices", "voices" that support our agendas, or whether we're truly looking for the voices of the age, which might cast a light back on the age/historical perspectives.  Basically, do we want to take off our rose colored glasses, or not?

Both projects are worthwhile, but I find (almost always) the more difficult/edgy/angry/bloody project more interesting. I mean, I want to hear about Tamar's voice.  Judith's voice.  Bathsheba's voice, not to mention King David's other poor wives..

But this project sounds more like the feel-good version, at least according to this story:

In the sample booklet’s parshah, Rabbi Elwell pointed out, Sarah has a name she is not anonymous "so we know she is an important person." Besides being Abraham’s wife and Isaac’s mother, she is also the "First Matriarch," and with that title, "we think of her differently, we think of her as her own person."

Which is cool and all, but what about Sarah the bitch?  I want to hear about Sarah the screwed… Sarah whose husband went and fucked her handmaid and got himself an heir, and only THEN God is like, "Okay, Sarah… now you can have a baby."   I want to hear that voice!