All posts by Judith A. Kates

Seventy Faces of Torah Judith Kates

Woman as God’s Partner in Creation (Parashat B’reishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8)

In my lifetime, the Torah’s story of the beginning of humanity has loomed large. The version we find in Genesis 2-3, the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, has especially been a matter of intense and fruitful controversy in the years in which I’ve studied and taught Torah. For me, it all started with the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s book, The Second Sex, in which… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori

The Forgotten Miracle of Hanukkah

Why is this month (Kislev) different from all other months in the Jewish year? It offers us a holiday (Hanukkah) that (at least in the Northern hemisphere) resists and subverts the natural order. At the darkest time of year, we celebrate light. And the stories we tell to explain our rituals of creating light emphasize the overturning of “natural” expectations. A small band of improvised fighters defeats an imperial army…. Read Article →