Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Challenge and ConformityThe Religious Lives of Orthodox Jewish Women$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941718

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941718.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 04 December 2021

The View from the Ladies’ Gallery: Women’s ‘Official’ Life in the Community

The View from the Ladies’ Gallery: Women’s ‘Official’ Life in the Community

(p.69) Three The View from the Ladies’ Gallery: Women’s ‘Official’ Life in the Community
Challenge and Conformity

Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

Liverpool University Press

This chapter documents and analyses women's activity in and experience of formal public worship in the synagogue. The synagogue is central to the performance of male religious obligations, but much less so to the performance of women's religious duties. Many observant women rarely attend synagogue, even if their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons go every week. Women have mixed feelings about synagogue attendance. Some find it essential to their experience of the sabbath, and some are resigned to their synagogue experience. Women traditionally play no or very little role in life-cycle celebrations. At some synagogues, women's participation is actively discouraged. Women held formal titles in the synagogues of ancient Rome, but there are no further instances of this until the twentieth century. Most Orthodox women emerge from the Jewish educational systems with little competence in reading Hebrew or in studying classical texts. Women find it hard to place acquired knowledge in a wider context, and tend to describe themselves as 'not very learned', ignoring their often immense expertise in areas of domestic knowledge, such as the running of a Jewish household. Women's lack of confidence, text-based knowledge, and training has prevented them from becoming Jewish educators. This survey of women's activity and experience in the 'official' communal sphere clearly illustrates the different attitudes and strategies of the three groups identifiable in the London Jewish community: Haredi, Modern Orthodox, and traditionalist.

Keywords:   women's religious duties, Jewish women, synagogue attendance, Jewish celebrations, Jewish religious activities, London Jewish community

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.