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Expanding the Palace of Torah (Hardback)
  • Expanding the Palace of Torah (Hardback)
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Expanding the Palace of Torah (Hardback)

(author)
£55.95
Hardback 360 Pages / Published: 30/06/2004
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Expanding the Palace of Torah offers a broad philosophical overview of the challenges the feminist revolution poses to Orthodox Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism's response to those challenges. Writing as an insider (herself an Orthodox Jew), Ross confronts the radical feminist critique of Judaism as a religion deeply entrenched in patriarchy. In exposing this bias, she sees this critique as threatening the theological heart of traditional Judaism - the belief in divine revelation. Ross seeks to develop a theological response that fully acknowledges the male bias of Judaism's sanctified texts, yet provides a rationale for transforming today's world. Uncovering aspects of Jewish tradition that support this response, Ross proposes an approach to divine revelation which she calls "cumulativism." This approach is based on a conflating of strict boundaries between text and its interpretation, or divine intent and the evolution of human understanding. Emphasizing that continuity with tradition can be maintained only when the halakhic system is understood as a living organism that grows via affirmation of its historical legacy and respect for its constraints, her book shows that the feminist revolution in Orthodox Judaism reaches beyond its practical effect upon individual lives to teach us something more profound about the nature of religious practice in general.

Publisher: University Press of New England
ISBN: 9781584653899
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 703 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This may be one of the most important works to date in tracking the changes in Judaism over the past 2000 years." --Jewish Book World
"Addressing the practical and the theological challenges that feminism poses to halakah, Ross offers a brilliant study, informed not only by ancient, medieval, and modern Jewish sources, but also by postmodernism, the history of feminism, process theology, mysticism, and legal theory . . . She finds the key to change in women's increasing knowledge of halakah, whose meaning women can transform by weaving a different narrative . . . Highly recommended."--CHOICE
"Ross' conjoining of the patriarchal past with a feminist future in the single unfolding process of divine revelation is an unprecedented, and I would suggest brilliant, move in the world of Jewish feminism... this book is ground-breaking in the field of theology (Jewish, feminist and otherwise). It is beautifully written, masterfully insightful in its analysis of earlier feminist attempts to resolve a similar set of challenges and subtly brilliant in the presentation of its own solutions. I simply cannot say enough positive things about it. It is thought-provoking and sophisticated. I have no doubt that this book will become a standard textbook for courses on Jewish feminism."--Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues
"[Expanding the Palace of Torah is] a brave, in many ways radical and essential, attempt to deal with the problem seriously, and is a model of erudition and scholarship... Her book offers a powerful alternate theological vision that challenges some of the basic assumptions of the Orthodox Jewish world, and gives a glimpse of just how revolutionary feminism could be to Orthodoxy."--Forward

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