I need you to write a reaction paper to the following two essays and include 3 references for each response. Each reaction should be at least 150 words in which you should explain if you agree or disagree with the writer of the essay and support your opinion. You need to make sure that you research about JUDAISM and the role of woman it this religion. It’s very important that you show that you have done research and you are knowdlegable. (you did the same for me for SIkhisim if you remember)…Also, I had to write a paper for this religion which I’m going to post it here before the essays so you would know what I have written about it before. Please make sure that you support whatever you say and show that you have done research on this topic (Women In JUDAISM) and don’t use the references that the writers of essays already posted.) First I post the essay I had to write which I did a research in a temple in Irvine, California. Then I will post you the essays numbering them 1 and 2. Please number your responses so I would know which response belongs to the first essay and which belongs to the second one. Thanks
Paper on Judaism (this is just for you to read so you would know what I’m going to post as my paper, but you don’t need to writer a reaction to this…you have to write a reaction to essay 1 and essay 2 that are written by someone else. Introduction
Judaism is an Abrahamic religion that deals with way of life of the Jewish people and recognizes Abram as the Patriarch .They are other religions in the World that consider Abraham as the Patriarch are Christianity Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. Although Jews comprise a minimal of the world population, which is estimated to be 13.4 million or 0.2 % of the world population their influence has been felt more than their numbers. The Judaism spans over 3000 years and is one of the oldest monotheistic religion in the World. The Hebrew Bible is known as the Tanaka reveals the Jewish people are the children of God and he reveals his commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in both Written and Oral Torah.
Women and Religion, Judaism
The role of women in Judaism in illustrated in the Hebrew Bible, the Oral Law by both custom and non religious aspects. The book mentions various women role models; the religion law treats women different from men in various aspects. It is imperative to note that women are a major component as far as religion is concerned. For instance, an individual taking on a study in a church session will realize that the majority of participants in religious activities will be the women. The research can further illustrate that women outnumber men across the various denominations (Nadell et al, 2001). In Judaism, however, the role of women in religion is defined by the Hebrew Bible. There have been fundamental equality measures in regard to the religion. A perception of the religion asserts that women in Judaism have received proper treatment from the Jewish men with strong cultural values having an impact on this environment (Greenberg, 1981). The status of women in the society has been uplifted by the Jewish traditions. The following research best illustrates how women are vital in the centre of Judaism, for they are highly valued.
Research at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma?alo Temple
It is also true that many people have had a negative view of the role of women in Judaism hence leading to misunderstanding, as I leant on my research at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot, A Jewish Temple located in California and which I visited. The respect that was accorded to the women in the religion was part of a traditional setting that had to be adhered to. In traditional Judaism, women are depicted as a separate entity but regarded as sharing equal status to the men. The women were assigned various roles and responsibilities which were different from men while in other instances, their responsibilities were very important unlike the men (Prell, 2007). In Judaism the male and women aspect are regarded as being equal for it was the criteria of God to have both masculine and feminine as equals.
In Judaism as noted by a Jewish woman at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot, women are characterized with a higher degree of binah which means understanding, intuition and intelligence that their male counterparts, a notion shared by women at Congregation Shir Ha Ma?alot. (Sacks, 1978). Jewish women holds in tradition believing that women were build rather than being formed and hence the notion of deriving their status in the society. Being built in the Jewish tradition refers to intuition, intelligence and understanding or in other terms the binah. Referring to the matriarchs Rebecca, Rachel, Leah and Sarah, they are all seen as having been superior in terms of prophecy to the likes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Cohen, 2005). Women are therefore regarded as being closer to G-d than the men, a situation best illustrated by their absence at the worship of the Golden Calf.
In comparison with other religions, women in Judaism, as depicted one of the members at the Temple, have the right to buy, sell and even own property. Unlike the tradition in Islam, Jewish women reserve the right of being consulted as far as marriage is concerned (Ashton, 1997). I also found out that marital sex is regarded as being a right held by the women unlike other religions where the men have dominance. Christianity is perceived as the man being the head of the family and so have influence on any decision. Judaism on the other hand suggests that men have no authority of mistreating or beating up their wives. This is however beginning to be adopted but Christianity as well as Islam (Cohen, 2005). Jewish religious life of women does not revolve in the synagogue but at homes where their roles are just the same as men?s.
In my research at the Temple on Judaism and women, the study found out that the Jewish women refer to them as being connecting people. A Jewish man, Baabar, who is a member of the Temple at Carlifonia, believes that Jewish women are better organized than other religions (Prell, 2007). For instance, Baabar notes that Neshei is a popular group in the Temple which does not exist in other religions. The purpose of Neshei is acting as voluntary women?s group in the neighborhood whole sole role is to share problems that the women encounter. He believes that as a Jewish man, he tends to withdraw with his problems while the women will seek guidance from the Neshei (Nadell et al, 2001). He further notes that women in the Jewish tradition are more consensuses oriented than men.
Conclusion
The research that was carried out at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot has indicated that Women are highly rated in Judaism unlike in other religions. This is also an indication through the people and more so men who acknowledge that religion in Judaism is mostly adhered to. In conclusion, it is imperative to note that other religions should emulate the tradition in the lineage of Judaism.

Reference
Ashton, D. (1997) Rebecca Gratz: Women and Judaism in antebellum America. Michigan: MI. Wayne State University Press.
Cohen, D.J.S. (2005) Why aren?t Jewish Women Circumcised?: gender and covenant in Judaism. California: CA. University of California Press.
Greenberg, B. (1981) On women & Judaism: a view from Tradition. Pennsylvania: PA. Jewish Publication Society.
Nadell, S. P et al. (2001) Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives. New Hamphire: UPNE.
Prell, E. (2007) Women remaking American Judaism. Michigan: MI. Wayne State University Press.
Sacks, J. (1978) The Role of Women in Judaism. Retrieved 16th March 2011 from
HYPERLINK “http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/sacks.asp”http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/sacks.asp

ESSAY 1:Judaism Religion and the women in it.

Judaism is an ancient religion. Abraham is seen as the first Jew to have made a covenant with God. The Jewish people are known to trace their origin to Abraham, who is the man that established the belief that there is only one God and that was and is the creator of the universe. Today in the United States we have six million people who practice Judism and around the world there are about 14 million. The Jewish people hold their spirituality through the Tanahk or also known as the Hebrew Bible.

When it comes to traditional Judaism women are seen as equal but at the same time separate in regards to the different task and responsibilities they each hold. In traditional Judaism, the women?s role is seen as a wife and mother, someone who is the keeper of the household. Even though this is so, this role is still held as very meaningful and important and it?s given its credit and is not looked down upon. Most people make the mistake of thinking that Judaism religion revolves around the temple but it does not it revolves around the home and at the home the women?s role is just as important at the man?s role and because of this people believe that they exclude women from temple like duties such as the mitzvot this exemption is not a prohibition because if women really wanted to attend the temple they have all the right to do so and observe as the service is taking place. Women in the Judaism religion are not required or expected to perform time-based positive mitzvot, they are permitted to observe a mitzvot if they choose. In Jewish tradition, there are three parts to a mitzvot which are commandments these commandments are only served for women. The first is nerot which is lighting candles, the second is challah which entails the separation of a portion of dough, and third niddah which is the sexual separation during a woman’s menstrual period and a required ritual immersion afterwards.

In the Jewish religion women are not encouraged in pursuing a higher education or religious pursuits. But the reason for this is because they feel that if women were to pursue these pursuits she would neglect her roles in the home and as a mother. So because of this women just like men when in the home are seen as equals doing and sharing equal roles. Judaism takes women?s role in the home very serious and precious to them. They say that a woman was made with more patience and guidance to raise and nurture their children.

There are three types of Judaism Orthodox, reform, and conservative. Orthodox Jews believe that Jewish law is the right thing to believe they feel that they are following the bible and Talmud closely as well as the traditions that come with it. Conservative Jews seek nothing but equality between men and women and the acceptance of education toward women and being able to give them the opportunity of becoming a rabbi. Reform Jews on the other hand believe that Jewish laws are merely guidelines that individuals can choose to follow or not. For Reform Jews Judaism is a culture rather than a religion a way of life. Orthodox Jews live a life that works to fulfill what they believe to be the teachings of their religion straight out of the Torah and Because of this they adapt their lives to the teachings and commandments. Orthodox Jews follow a strict code and most parts of their lives are structured to those teachings. Along with these teachings one of the most important rules that Orthodox Jewish women hold is they must wear modest clothing girls and women wear long skirts and avoid pants. Along with this orthodox women cover their hair they do this with a wig or a scarf. Jewish women of the Orthodox religion cannot have contact with their husbands while they are menstruating and for seven days after menstruation has stopped. This strictly believed because women are seen as not clean while they are menstruating. Women in the orthodox religion are also not given a voice in a rabbinical court. This led to problems in the court systems, because as it is women are sometimes left without a voice even in times when they need one.

Reform Jews are more open than other Jewish movements women in a Reform religion may be rabbis, cantors, and synagogue presidents. In a Reform religion interfaith families are accepted. Along with this Reform Jews are acceptable to the full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life as well as their society at large.

In Conservative Judaism women have been known to play a big part throughout the twentieth century and have also been a big part of the Conservative Movement. With their partnership in the Conservative Movement they have been given the opportunity to confront important issues like Jewish education, gender equality and religious leadership. They also focus on issues such as the religious education of Jewish girls, and equal participation of women in ritual and the ordination of women in Judaism religion.

Jewish women?s equity in the Jewish religion is as Proverbs 31:10-31 states, this Proverb is traditionally read at Jewish weddings and speaks of business acumen as a trait to be prized in women. The rights of women in traditional Judaism were that they had no property rights and all inheritances where passed through male lineage. Women in this sense where limited to all spheres of the religion except in the home where they were believed to belong and play an important role.

All of this great research and reading that I have done on Judaism religion and their outlook on women and the roles they hold have only been nothing but a great experience for me?.along with learning about the Judaism religion through text and online resources I was also able as part of my fieldwork to visit a Reform Jewish Temple. This temple was located in Ventura and it is called Temple Beth Torah. When visiting this temple I did not get the opportunity to observe their service. I did have the chance to look around and speak with people of the temple that where there at the time that I had gone. The Temple was very pretty and different than anything I had ever seen. It looked very sacred and inviting. The staff was very nice and welcoming even though I was non- Jewish. Something that I found very interesting while I was visiting was that as I asked questions about women involvement in their temple they did not seem upset or as if they were trying to hide something. Something that all of the women who were there said to me when I asked as a women how do you feel your role is in contribution to Jewish religion? And they all said that its within the family as the mothers that raise their children to be good Jewish children and acquire Jewish customs to enrich their homes. I did notice that their Rabi was a woman and unlike traditional Judaism in a Reform Judaism religion you are able to be a Rabi if you are women. Another thing that I did observe was that both men and women where conducting the daily activities and were working together. I could not tell who held a higher position and who did not because they all did a great job of making each other feel as equals. So this was it for my fieldwork I learned what I could while on my short visit but what I did observe helped me better understand how a Reform Judaism religion worked.

References:

“The Role of Women” Judaism 101 retrieved March 17 2011 http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm

“A History of Woman’s Ordination of rabbis” by Avi Hein Retrieved March 17 2011 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/femalerabbi.html

Women in Religion Text by Mary Pat Fisher copyright 2007

Temple Beth Torah, Ventura Ca

Essay 2:Abstract

The roles of women in Judaism are imperative, meaningful, and instructed by Jewish Law. Having suffered much oppression such as the Holocaust, contemporary Jewish women are now far more respected and acknowledged for the fulfillment of their responsibilities. ?Oppression and suspicion notwithstanding, some Jews developed a rich inner spiritual life?? (Fisher, 159). Many would say that this notion is due to the women who maintain the home and have a strong spiritual influence on their families. This essay will examine the roles of Jewish women as mothers, wives, and keepers of the kosher home. Through my conducted field research, personal observations, and extended research on women in the religion of Judaism, I will identify the important roles that Jewish women hold emphasized by their religious laws.

Main Body

I had the opportunity to interview a woman who works at and attends a local Conservative synagogue called Congregation Beth Shalom. As a Jewish woman, she emphasized the importance of raising her children in the Jewish faith, and her main role as Jewish mother and wife, ?the keeper of the household.? She told me that she feels abundant honor to her religion by maintaining a kosher home and raising G-d fearing children. She says that her role to maintain her home allows her family to fulfill Jewish Law and honor G-d. Additionally, she stated that while she knows some individuals perceive Jewish women?s roles as ones of inequality, she knows her husband respects her for everything she does to follow the Jewish Laws and that she wouldn?t have it any other way. I admired her honesty and it was evident to me that she is a hard working woman who if faithful to the teachings of the Hebrew Bible.

As I learned from my fieldwork, it is known and expected that the woman keeps a kosher home and keeps the laws of Shabbat. To keep a kosher home entails a variety of details. Some of which include: never mixing meat with dairy, only consuming meat products in which were slaughtered in a specific way, and drained of its blood. Keeping the laws of Shabbat means that from Friday at sundown to Saturday sundown, kosher individuals observe the Sabbath. The main preparation for the Shabbat dinner that occurs weekly includes the women (the mothers, wives, daughters, etc.) to prepare kosher meals including challah and wine, over which prayers are recited (Fox). Many Jewish women begin preparing as early as midweek for the Shabbat dinner. Additionally, many Orthodox Jews abstain from the use of any electricity during the Sabbath.

While Jewish women?s primary roles are mother, wife, and keeper of the home, Judaism holds great respect for these roles and considers women to have strong spiritual influence on her family (Rich, 2002). Jewish women hold a specific and special place in Jewish Law. ?Women have three mitzvot: nerot (lighting candles), challah (separating a portion of dough), and niddah (sexual separation during a woman’s menstrual period and ritual immersion afterwards)? (Rich, 2002). These mitzvoth preserved for women are seen as privileged and sacred.
One of women?s most important roles is that of a Jewish wife. Perhaps, the most powerful teaching about what it means to be a Jewish wife comes from the Proverbs located in the Hebrew Bible:
?Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life? (Proverbs 31:10-12)
?She is energetic and strong, a hard worker? (Proverbs 31:17)
?She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: ?There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!? Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise? (Proverbs 31:25-31)
These verses from Proverbs 31 are known as ?Aishes Chayil,? and are recited by the husband at the beginning of every Sabbath. As Michael Dallen states in his article ?A Good Wife,? no human can actually live up the ideals presented in this passage, but Hebrew women do try to live up to them (Dallen). One interesting fact about the woman?s role in her marriage is that marital sex is seen as the woman?s right, not her husband?s.

As previously mentioned, Jewish women?s roles are centered in the household. As Mrs. Sommers says in her article, ?The Jewish Home: The Nerve Center of Judaism,? ?the most central location in Judaism is not the Synagogue; it is the Jewish home? (Sommers). To elaborate, the majority of Jewish Laws are practiced in the household and put forth by the woman. ?The goal of the Jewish Homemaker is to create a round-the-clock center for Torah and Gemilus Chesed (helping others)? (Sommers). Furthermore, women do not have much involvement in the Synagogue. For example, women are not typically allowed to read from the Torah or stand on the Bimah (the platform where the Torah is located in the Synagogue). Also, women and men sit separately during prayer in Synagogue (this is mostly specific to Orthodox practice).

While Jewish women are limited in their roles in the Synagogue, they still hold vital importance and roles in the home. Specifically, housekeeping, cooking, and domestic matters are taken care of solely by the women. Personally, I have some family members who practice Orthodox Judaism and have observed them for many years in regards to the division of roles between men and women. The Orthodox women I know are proud and willing to fulfill the duties of the Jewish Law, otherwise known as ?halakhah.? Nothing pleases them more than to serve their husband and children by maintaining a Jewish home.

?Jewish history in the biblical period was dominated by men? (Fisher, 159). While it is accurate that there are mitzvot that women cannot participate in, there are many special roles that the religion of Judaism holds specifically and especially to women. Women are the keeper of the household. Without the women to maintain a kosher home, raise up Jewish children, and prepare Shabbat weekly, the family would not be living according to Jewish Law. There is an abundance of expectations held by Jewish women; however, they view their roles and responsibilities as honorable to G-d and sacred in their religion.

To conclude, through delving into the world of women in Judaism, I have seen that Jewish women are extremely hard workers who are loyal to their faith and families. I definitely have a newfound respect and admiration to those women who prepare a Shabbat dinner every week while maintaining their home, marriage, and children in harmony.

References

Dallen, M. (n.d.). A good wife. Retrieved March 13, 2011 from

http://www.jewishanswers.org/index.php?p=3324.

Fisher, M.P. (2007). Women in religion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Fox, T. (n.d.). What does it mean to keep kosher. Retrieved March 14, 2011 from

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/practices/Ritual/Kashrut_Dietary_Laws/Keeping_Kosher/keepkosher.shtml.

Rich, T.R. (2002). The role of women. Retrieved March 14, 2011 from

http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm.

Sommers, T. (n.d.). The jewish home: the nerve center of judaism. Retrieved March 13, 2011
from http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-category/social-issues/?p=3603.

Again, please don’t use any of the references as the references you’re going to post for each essay. You should post your own references, that’s why I posted all the references for you. Thanks

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