This blog is a project.
Growing up a secular Jew left me without much knowledge of traditional Jewish texts and the more religious aspects of Judaism. I am interested in breaking down the dichotomy of Jewish culture versus Jewish religion and this is (hopefully) a way for me to accomplish that. Because I understand Judaism as a peoplehood, I want to participate in as many aspects of it as possible, but in my own way. As a queer, feminist woman (socialist, progressive zionist as well), I approach this from my intersecting identities and I am also a Gender and Women’s Studies major. Therefore, I will be using topics that I am passionate about and am interested in to begin my studies.
So this is what I’m going to do: read midrash (commentary) on the parashat hashavuah (weekly Torah readings) from various sources and journaling my experiences. My goal is to learn from the Tanakh, the commentary that has been inspired by it, and then write my own thoughts, experiences, feelings, etc. as a way to document and explore.
The texts that I will be consulting:
- Jewish Publication Society (JPS) English-Hebrew Tanakh
- Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentary on the Hebrew Bible [Editors: Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer]
- The Woman’s Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions [Editor: Rabbi Elyse Goldstein]
- The Contemporary Torah: A Gender-Sensitive Adaptation of the JPS Translation [Editors: David E. S. Stein and Carol L. Meyers]
- The Torah: A Women’s Commentary [Editors: Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea Weiss]
- The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring The JPS Tanakh Translation [Editors: Adele Berlin, Marc Zvi Brettler, and Michael Fishbane]
- Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say About You-Know-What [Author: Maggie Anton]
On this blog I will:
- Post updates throughout my project
- Post quotes, passages, or things of that nature that stand out to me from any of the resources that I chose to explore
- Share learnings, thoughts, feelings, etc. from my journal to go along with the parasha hashavuah
- Ask myself (and hopefully my readers) questions that come up for me as I delve into these texts. I might offer some answers as well.