Chapter

Steps toward Feminine Imagery in Jewish Theology

Rita M. Gross

in A Garland of Feminist Reflections

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520255852
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943667 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255852.003.0011
Steps toward Feminine Imagery in Jewish Theology

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The most profound, intriguing, and inviting of all Jewish theologies, the Kabbalah, teaches us that galut, i.e. exile, is the fundamental reality and pain of present existence. It teaches that one of the causes of galut is the alienation of the masculine from the feminine in God, the alienation of God and the Shekhinah. But it also teaches, especially in its Lurianic phases, that everyone can effect the turning of galut by dedicating all their efforts to the reunification of God and the Shekhinah. As the linguistic forms and the sound of the words become less exotic, it no longer seems daring or unconventional to speak of God in such a manner. Instead, it seems appropriate, natural, what one would expect, the way things would be except for a massive skewing and programming of religious consciousness. It also frees us from alienation, anger, pain, and sorrow over the exclusion of women from the religious and spiritual dimensions of being Jewish in a way that is unsurpassed.

Keywords: Jewish theologies; fundamental reality; galut; Shekhinah; alienation

Chapter.  5277 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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