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VCU Menorah Review Summer/Fall 2011
Number 75
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

New Approaches to Gender and Feminism: Jewish Philosophical Perspectives

A review essay by Rochelle L. Millen

Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy, edited by Hava Tirosh–Samuelson, Indiana University Press.

Culled from presentations made at a 2001 conference held at Arizona State University, the essays in this volume explore significant facets of the intersection of Jewish and feminist philosophy. In her introduction, the conference organizer and editor, Hava Tirosh–Samuelson, relates how the conversation regarding the confluence of these disciplines began with a 1986 essay by Heidi Ravven titled “Creating a Jewish Feminist Philosophy.” But the feminism that has indeed transformed contemporary Judaism since the 1970s has focused upon the theological and hermeneutical rather than the more narrowly philosophical. Authors such as Judith Plaskow, Rachel Adler, Judith Romney–Wegner, Rochelle L. Millen, and Judith Hauptman, among others, reframe issues in rabbinic texts, examining their content and context through a feminist lens. Without analyzing the counterpoint of rabbinic texts and Jewish philosophy, one might claim that Tamar Ross in her analysis of the impact of R. Kook’s philosophy of history upon Jewish feminism is among the few thinkers who assess the issues from a more strictly philosophical framework.

The essays in this volume continue the conversation between Jewish philosophy and feminism begun by Ravven in 1986 and extended by Tirosh–Samuelson in her 1994 article, “Dare to Know: Feminism and the Discipline of Jewish Philosophy.” They cover a broad range of philosophical themes and while of high quality, vary in their precision of analysis. A positive aspect to the work is its lack of consensus, its exploration of nuance and complexity. Some contributors articulate discomfort with feminist philosophy, while others see Jewish philosophy as a possible enriching corrective to feminist philosophy. Undergirding this diversity of viewpoints are various ways of construing just what feminist philosophy and Jewish philosophy are, questions of definition that continue to invite discussion. The interested reader will find much to ponder and will gain from the presentation of new perspectives. In order to convey this diversity and nuance, I have chosen to comment in detail on five of the twelve essays, briefly mention the others, and conclude with some general remarks.

Sarah Pessin’s “Loss, Presence, and Gabirol’s Desire: Medieval Jewish Philosophy and the Possibility of a Feminist Ground” opens Part I, “Re–reading Jewish Philosophers.” Trained in medieval Jewish philosophy, Pessin affirms the well–known conception in classical Greek philosophy, that “the feminine” indicates passivity, loss, and the negation of goodness. From the pre–Socratics through Plato and Aristotle, “the feminine”, although acknowledged as nurturer, is consistently defined as weak, obedient, and mired in matter rather than characterized by rationality. Pessin sets as her task the attempt to redeem “the feminine” from its negative connotations in medieval Jewish philosophy through an examination of the thought of Solomon Ibn Gabirol.

Ibn Gabirol’s philosophy of matter serves as the means for his transvaluation of “the feminine.” Pessin demonstrates that Gabirol praises the material, pairing it with Divine essence and therefore giving positive value to the heretofore passive realm of the material. From its earlier low status, materiality becomes the very focus of Divine Essence itself. For Gabirol (feminine) receptivity, clothed in eros replaces (masculine) power “in the estimation of the highest existential possibility of human being” (Pessin, 28). The feminine thus comes to represent not loss, but presence, both of the human and the Divine.

Pessin makes clear that “finding a feminist ground” in Gabirol’s metaphysics does not make him a feminist. She discusses neither women nor misogynistic assumptions. Rather, Pessin claims that Gabirol’s analysis “signals a rupture” (Pessin 29) in medieval philosophical thinking by reconfiguring “the feminine” as presence rather than loss. While Gabirol, in the tradition of Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle and Philo does articulate “the feminine” as privation, Neoplatonism leads to his developing the notion of a higher level of matter, a sublime kind of materiality. It is this conception of the highest grade of matter that offers the opportunity to prioritize and privilege the passivity of the material, and thus of “the feminine.”

In Gabirol’s gradations of matter, materiality is the means through which God connects to God’s essence. Thus, as Pessin notes “Gabirol…creates a conceptual space in which matter trumps form” (Pessin 39). From the usual identification of matter with negation, passivity, and evil, matter here becomes the very correlation of the Divine Essence. It is fascinating that Gabirol voices this in language later incorporated into Kabbalah. The material in the Divine is “hidden,” as both matter and God are hidden aspects of reality. God’s nature, that is, is revealed through its concealment, just as the nature of matter is concealed in its being revealed.

Gabirol’s privileging of the material—its receptivity and eros—create a novel axiology, one in which masculine desire–for–power–over is less significant that the passive feminine yearning for presence and becoming. Desire–for–completion trumps desire–for power, leading to a “willingness to engage the self through an engagement with the other” (Pessin 40) His philosophy creates a new and different hierarchy, one in which Aristotle’s view of matter as negation and the source of evil is transformed. Through its potential for receptivity, matter, as the source of eros, is the center of human engagement and culture. From “the feminine” sprouts the totality of life, the most fundamental and deepest human truths.

Idit Dobbs–Weinstein’s “Thinking Desire in Gersonides and Spinoza” continues Pessin’s reassessment of the status of matter in the history of philosophy, although with a sharper bite. Weinstein argues that feminist philosophy generally accepts the mind/body dualism, which results in a devaluing of the physical. Through examining the thought of Gersonides and Spinoza, Weinstein claims that “feminist philosophy can be transformed from an abstract critique of dualism, or anti–dualism, to a concrete mode of a–dualist philosophizing” (Weinstein 56). Weinstein asserts a blindness at the core of feminist philosophies, one which accepts “the canonical authority which they question and the fathers whose recognition they seek” (Weinstein 59) and gives examples of what she terms “reticent” feminist readings of the canon. In this category she includes Luce Irigaray’s reading of Plato’s Symposium, Judith Butler on Spinoza, and Cathy Carruth on Freud.

For Spinoza, “the mind is nothing but the idea of the body” (Weinstein 70), and prejudices, which hold powerful affects, form obstacles which even rational demonstrations cannot weaken... The qualities attributed to God, for instance—despite contradictory experience, are maintained by elaborate human mythologies and explanations. The issue of what Weinstein terms “prejudice,” for Spinoza, is political, since religion is central to the rule of law.

Weinstein considers questions regarding the use of gender categories as “anachronistic” (Weinstein 74), wishing instead to explore how—and if—Jewish philosophy encourages thinking about the philosophical canon “against the grain.” The brief consideration of Gersonides and Spinoza exemplies her claim that religion and politics are complicit in oppression. Similarly to Pessin, Weinstein wishes to recover a materialist theory of knowledge as the means to undermine the dualism in Western—especially Christian—philosophy. Politics cannot be based on an abstract human being, separate from her/his natural, physical self. In the seeds of democratic thinking sown by Spinoza, Weinstein finds positive value for both feminist and Jewish philosophy.

A different perspective is articulated in Leora Batnitsky’s “Dependency and Vulnerability: Jewish and Feminist Existential Construction of the Human.” Batnitsky’s aim is to describe how Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emanuel Levinas define what it means to be human and how their Jewish existentialist thinking compares with that of “women centered” feminist philosophy, especially feminist philosophies of care. By the latter, Batnitsky refers specifically to those who argue that aligning “women,” “the feminine,” and “mothering” is not reactionary. Rather, such interconnection transforms not only feminist, but also moral and political thinking. She argues—quite astutely—that these Jewish existentialists share three notions with feminist philosophies of care. They work to develop a concept of the self who is vulnerable and dependent on others and not wholly autonomous. They suggest that responsibility and ethics grow out of this dependency. And they designate dependence and our response to vulnerability as “feminine.” Contemporary feminist philosophy can then help us understand the use of gendered terms in Jewish philosophy. In essence, the philosophical accounts of the human as dependent are “philosophically and politically valuable” (Batnitsky 128). They insist that relationality is the foundation from which all else evolves. Levinas, for instance, insists that the passive capacity in the human being, “the feminine,” is the source of ethics.

While Buber famously maintains mutuality and reciprocity as hallmarks of the dialogical I–Thou relationship, Levinas takes a more radical stance. For him, ethics derive from relationship precisely because of its assymetry. Indeed, Levinas criticizes Buber precisely for the emphasis upon mutuality, insisting that ethics emerges from a one–sided responsibility for the Other. The Levinasian dialogical relationship is not reciprocal. It is also non–cognitive; “Relation itself...differs from knowledge,” Levinas writes (Quoted in Batnitsky, 131).

“The feminine,” for Levinas, is thus non–reciprocal and non–cognitive. Barnitsky sees this definition as part of Levinas’s lament against what he terms “the totalizing” propensities of modern culture. “The feminine” resists seeking the universal much as Judaism, according to Levinas, emphasizes the particular, in contrast to Greek thinking. Batnitsky analyzes in detail several works of Levinas, drawing conceptual parallels between Levinas’s theory of ethics and various feminist philosophies of care. For instance, she shows how Levinas’s conception of “the feminine” accords with Carol Gilligan’s description of “women’s morality.” For Gilligan, women define themselves in the context of relationships and judge themselves in terms of the ability to care. Woman is both creator and nurturer of the web of human relationships. Such a web spawns moral conundra different from the universal rule orientation written about by those such as Lawrence Kohlberg, whose ideas originally challenged Gilligan to rethink “women’s morality.” Levinas would agree that the varied and manifold tasks of mothering give rise to ethical dilemmas quite distinct from those of the universal vs. self–interest, the Western, male–oriented, Kantian–influenced format. Instead, the many demands of mothering compel women to weigh the claims of one self–other relationship against another; to balance, reconcile, accommodate, satisfy, and act. Thus ethics are seen as infinite—the constant juggling of priorities in relationships—and action oriented. Batnitsky quotes Levinas’s words about what it means to be oriented by and toward ethics, which for Levinas are always understood in material, concrete form. Ethics, he states, “is to give to the Other...a gift of my own skin” (Quoted in Batnitsky, 134). Levinas’s stress on the material correlates with both feminist and Jewish ethics, and echoes Pessin’s analysis of Gabirol. He insists that human effort must be channeled toward maintaining and encouraging the flourishing of an ethic of care.

Some have argued—correctly, I believe—that the emphasis in Western philosophy on moral autonomy leads to the privatization of women’s experience and, as in Kohlberg, the exclusion of that experience from the accepted moral compass. In Western moral thinking, a la Kant and Rawls, the moral agent is a disembodied self–activated by reason and the abstract concept of justice. Levinas, as a modern Jewish philosopher, thus connects “the feminine” with caring and the good, rather than with rationality and justice. He reconfigures Judaism and “the feminine” into an interpersonal ethic, which can neither be private nor based solely upon abstract principles, both aspects of Western philosophical notions, but must rather have a public, material (embodied) dimension focused on the good.

Investigating the theological background of Levinas’s use of “the feminine ”in his ethics, Batnitsky finds its roots in Rosenzweig’s arguments about the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. This is an unexpected—and tenuous—connection, which she summarizes this way:

“Levinas represents the ethical obligation to the other as the eternal mark of humanity while Rosenzweig describes the Jewish People as themselves living this timeless ethic for the sake of others” (Quoted in Batnitsky, 138). This is a creative, insightful analysis. In Batnitsky’s paraphrase, “A woman embodies natural openness to the supernatural realm of love, just as Jews embody in their love God’s revelation to them” (Batnitsky 140). Most disconcerting, however, is how Rosenzweig characterizes “Jewish blood.” Rosenzweig’s understanding of Judaism as a “blood community” fits the prevalence of eugenics in the 1920s, but surely jars when one confronts it in the twenty–first century! The same can be said for Levinas and Rosenzweig when they both justify and laud Hermann Cohen’s concept of exile and homelessness as part of the Divine plan for Jews and Judaism.

Batnitsky concludes that engaging Jewish existentialist configurations of “the feminine” is useful for both feminist philosophy and moral thinking. Buber, Rosenzweig and Levinas articulate innovative perspectives in philosophy and ethics from within a canon largely Christian and often anti–Jewish. After carefully laying out the value of “the feminine,” she inquires rather unexpectedly: “When does the notion of ‘the feminine’ do more damage that it does critical work?” She responds that Buber, Rosenzweig, and Levinas’s use of “the feminine”, despite their best intentions, does tend to relegate women to the traditional roles of homemaker and mother. But is this so? Does writing of “the feminine” in traditional categories necessarily preclude independence, autonomy, and egalitarianism? From a philosophical perspective, I would respond, “not necessarily.” It seems to me that Judaism, as well as feminist philosophers of care, emphasize what I would call practical or reasoned ethics. The system of mitzvoth (commandments) creates internal awareness as well as external discipline. But this system requires knowledge of how to be virtuous and act ethically. Perhaps this is best seen by the question posed in BT Kiddushin: which is greater, study of Torah or the doing of (practical acts of) goodness? A system which weds learning to action so intricately surely can be egalitarian.

Enlightening and challenging as is this essay, it concludes on a surprising note. Batnitsky suggests in her closing paragraph that the philosophy of Hermann Cohen can enhance that of these Jewish existentialists in a way that leads to greater balance. She points to Cohen’s stress upon hesed, or loving–kindness, a rationalized virtue that balances the pre–reflective ethic of Levinas. But one doesn’t need Hermann Cohen to have an emphasis on hesed, as it is found throughout the rabbinic corpus. Indeed, that corpus is the very foundation for the work of these thinkers. Turning to Cohen—especially since his anti–Zionism and neo–Kantianism can be problematic—seems lame. It is a weak conclusion to an otherwise stimulating essay.

The very structure of Suzanne Last Stone’s essay, “Feminism and the Rabbinic Concept of Justice”, conveys the complexity and subtlety of her subject: an analysis of rabbinic sources that deals with the tension between justice and mercy, both Divine and human, and the relation of that tension to gender imagery. Last Stone’s work traverses the boundaries between the philosophical, exegetical, legal, and the feminine/feminist aspect of each. She distills this theme in the literature from two perspectives. First, she examines the emotional framework supporting the legal concepts of justice and mercy in rabbinic thinking. Second, she explores the sources as a “window onto the role of the feminine in rabbinic tradition.” Writing with great clarity, she sees her essay as “a response to the challenge of Jewish legal philosophy to take gender categories seriously in thinking through how the law historically has been shaped and what shape the law may take in the future” (Last Stone 263). This is a large task indeed.

Feminism has led to new inquiries revolving around sex and gender in legal issues and jurisprudence. One question emphasizes the effect of existing law upon the actual lives of women, which leads to another: are men and women different, and if so, in what ways? Surely legal doctrine must take account of such issues. The second question asks us to consider in what ways, if any, the modernist conception of law is itself gendered. Can—should—the lines between self and Other, reason and emotion, justice and mercy be blurred? Can—should—there be a new paradigm to our binary way of thinking? Last Stone points out that while feminism has influenced general legal theory, its impact upon Jewish law has been far less. In the same way Christian feminists have often blamed Judaism and the Hebrew Bible for patriarchy in general (and in Christianity in particular) feminist legal scholars sometimes view the monotheism of Judaism as the foundation of authoritarian, patriarchal traditions in Western culture a perspective I heard espoused numerous times at meetings of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature. Monotheism is seen as cold, rigid, abstract, and hierarchical, while pluralism is viewed as open and more accepting of emotions and differences. This narrow construing of the rich traditions of Judaism arises primarily because familiarity with Judaism is usually based solely on knowledge of the biblical texts. Judaism—even in the twentieth–first century—is identified with the Hebrew Scriptures as mediated by centuries of Christian interpretation, and usually not at all with the corpus of rabbinic traditions. Understanding mercy and justice in Judaism requires sidestepping the Western Christian influence on the legal system and looking at the rabbinic system as an alternate paradigm, one able to critique the dominant conceptual perspective. Some claim that Jewish law has feminist aspects, despite its male focus. It emphasizes community, relatedness, and specific responsibilities and is framed by an ethic of care. Rabbinic law and feminist jurisprudence, according to Last Stone, illuminate and enrich each other.

Last Stone begins this exchange by exploring the rabbinic concept of justice. As multiple biblical sources indicate, God in the Hebrew Bible is a nuanced figure, having a variety of appellations, each indicating a different attribute. God manifests both strict justice and mercy. These polarities indicate the complexity of the Godhead and God’s relation to humanity and are found in numerous interpretations of the text. Justice and mercy are intertwined and interdependent, especially in the multilayered midrashic literature. The text upon which Last Stone grounds her analysis is the well–known midrash from Lamentations Rabbah based on Jeremiah 31:14–17. Why is it that God responds to the pleading of Rachel and not to the beseeching of the patriarchs and even of Moses? Last Stone’s elucidation of the imagery in Jeremiah, including Jeremiah 11:19 and 31:28–29 is rich with insight, demonstrating how the etiology of the midrash comes to be that god “learns” mercy from the figure of Rachel. And what is mercy? According to Last Stone, it entails the ability to curb jealousy when overpowered by love, as exemplified in the midrash of Rachel sharing her secrets with Leah prior to Leah’s marriage to Jacob. Mercy is an act of love, outside the context of justice.

In Lamentations Rabbah, the male figures—the patriarchs and Moses—question the justness of God’s decree through logical argument, while Rachel’s response embodies the emotional aspects. But does the choice of Rachel as this embodiment reflect assumptions about the nature of “the feminine” in rabbinic thinking? The interpretations are varied. Some see Rachel as a generic representation of human mercy, while others note that national suffering in the Book of Lamentations is personified as a woman in distress. Thus it makes sense that the source of solace in the midrash is a feminine voice. Last Stone also discusses the image of God as parent and the people Israel as children, an image made explicit in the pleadings of the patriarchs, Moses, and Rachel. Does Rachel’s voice succeed in arousing God’s compassion because it is maternal? It seems that only occasionally is God’s attribute of mercy specifically associated with the feminine, despite the etymological connection between the Hebrew word for “compassion” and the noun meaning “womb.” The image of God as a loving parent equates maternal and paternal love, demonstrating fluidity in the rabbinic use of gender imagery. But an assymetry exists in that while men are often characterized as having feminine qualities, such as mercy, other attributes, such as legal reasoning, are seen as exclusively male. Is this assymetry due to an essentialist understanding in rabbinic culture regarding male and female nature or is it motivated by molding societal behavior so as to build a particular vision of community? As Last Stone notes, this question divides the modern Jewish community and she does not argue for either side. She states, however, that the gender imbalance “seems to be less a function of assymetrical valuing of the genders themselves than will elevate the importance of the role they believe they are obligated to perform”(Last Stone 283), a valuable insight.

Feminist jurisprudence seeks to reveal the gender and theological assumptions undergirding modern law in order to consider possible new configurations and concepts. It has uprooted itself from ancient roots which are modeled on impersonal rules and divine (male) justice and logic. Rabbinic ruminations on justice and mercy contribute to this rethinking by offering an alternate model of Divine justice, one which includes compassion and connectedness, jealousy and love, as integral to the notion of how God acts in the world. As Last–Stone indicates, how feminist discourse and rabbinic law will influence and enhance each other is a project just begun. This thought–provoking essay is an excellent contribution to the conversation.

In “Reconstructing Divine Power: Post–Holocaust Jewish Theology, Feminism, and Process Philosophy,” Sandra B. Lubarsky brings the perspectives of feminism and process philosophy to bear upon the thorny problem of theodicy as considered in post–Holocaust theology.

Her thesis is that post–Holocaust Jewish theologians, for the most part, have continued to view Divine power in traditional terms (i.e. God’s omnipotence as coercive power), which Lubarsky finds problematic. She begins by exploring the thinking of Eliezer Berkowitz and Irving Greenberg, both of whom write of God’s self–limitation of power as the sine qua non for human freedom, thus explaining God’s lack of intervention in the face of suffering due to moral evil. Lubarsky then critiques the notion of Divine hiddenness using a feminist lens and finally analyzes power based on the principles of process philosophy. The philosophical transformation of power based on a “relational metaphysics” has a significant impact, she claims, upon post–Holocaust theology and theodicy.

Lubarsky characterizes Martin Buber, Eliezer Berkovits, and Irving Greenberg as “absence theologians, “releasing God from the culpability of inaction. God’s refraining from intervention, God’s seeming indifference to suffering reflects, in their understanding, God’s hiddenness, which is then, indeed, also God’s presence. Put another way, “...divine absence is a structural requirement that protects human existence in relation to divine omnipotence” (295). But there are certain problems in Lubarsky’s formulation. The complexity of theodicy requires meticulous attention to the minutiae of philosophical analysis. Even as she sets up the argument, she notes that for “absence theologians,” the power which God curtails is coercive power. Yet there is a distinction between brute force—as in the power of Niagara Falls—and coercive power, which requires intent and control. There is also relational power. I would say that omnipotence does not always—or necessarily—connote physical power. That omnipotence is traditionally construed only as coercive power is not the full picture. One might also question the notion of God’s restraint/indifference in order to allow for free will. It could be argued that God would permit no more evil than absolutely necessary for free will to exist. Yet the Holocaust surely goes beyond this In Berkovits’s theodicy, God abandons the world out of respect for human freedom, no matter how abused. But God’s indifference is predicated, it seems, on an understanding of God’s power as physical and coercive. Thus God is essentially omnipotent, yet “impotent in history” (296).

To me, this seems a misreading of Berkovits, who attempts, perhaps desperately, to maintain the paradox of a powerful God who cares about the covenant with the God who remained hidden during the Shoah. Lubarsky reads Berkovits as removing God entirely from the historical arena. I would say that Berkovits affirms two contradictory ideas. To construe this as a removal from history and the covenantal arena is to affirm a kind of deism and to carry the idea to a conclusion Berkovits would have rejected.

Greenberg’s view of God as self–limiting is similar to that of Berkovits, but moves in a different direction. Greenberg argues that God is present in history, but not as an all–powerful, supernatural being. Rather, God remains hidden in order for human beings to become more and more responsible. As covenantal partners in perfecting the world, each person has the task of increasing the way s/he reflects God’s image by augmenting responsibility for the events of history. God’s overwhelming supernatural powers were manifest in the infancy of history. Now, however, we are ever more accountable for our world, which increases human dignity. Similarly to Berkovits, Greenberg writes: “The deepest paradox of the Rabbis’ teaching was that the more God is hidden, the more God is present” (297). For Greenberg, the establishment of the state of Israel (for Jews) is the strongest validation of God’s hiddenness through human effort. Greenberg confronts the despair over the Holocaust, yet affirms covenantal renewal “in the living presence of a redemptive God” (294).

Two interesting points arise in Lubarsky’s critique of Greenberg. First, she insists that Greenberg construes God’s power solely as physical force. And secondly, she maintains that since God’s activity is expressed through human agency, the covenant is undermined. Both of these claims require further analysis and support; I am not sure they will stand up to scrutiny.

Based on the earlier claim that in post–Holocaust Jewish theology divine omnipotence always connotes physical power, Lubarsky identifies omnipotence with the patriarchal, dominating power rightly criticized by feminism. “For it is patriarchal power,” she writes, “that inform the thought of most post–Holocaust theologians” (301) She then identifies the hiddenness, or invisibility, of women with the hiddenness of God, arguing that feminist emphasis on relational power offers a corrective to the faulty theological strategy of divine hiddenness.

While astute in some ways, this argument is flawed, for the hiddenness of women means culture and society conspire to make women invisible. This is much different from the conscious withdrawal or abandonment ascribed to God by Berkovits and Greenberg.

The concluding section of this essay is a fascinating application of process theology to the concept of divine power and is based on the writings of Alfred N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. The two sources of power in process theology are self–determination and efficient causation, which alter the traditional understanding of omnipotence to mean Divine power existing in relation to human power. That is, divine power need not be curtailed to allow for human freedom. Evil exists not because God “allows” it, but because free human beings choose to ignore or contravene God’s will. According to Lubarsky, feminist and process thinkers affirm that true empowerment derives from “persuasive agency,” the strongest aspect of which is love. Thus God can be powerful without being coercive and without affecting human freedom. Applying process theology to the conundrum of theodicy is creative, although feminist theory doesn’t fit quite as snugly. Both, however, are assumed to circumvent the problem of Divine power as formulated earlier in the essay. Despite its interesting parallels and insights, the thorns still prick on the issue of theodicy.

Finally, two small things: notes 28 and 32 should cite the primary sources, and I would have wished for at least a brief reference to Zachary Braiterman’s book, (God) After Auschwitz: Tradition and Change in Post–Holocaust Jewish Thought (Princeton University Press: 1998), probably the best modern treatment of theodicy.

The other essays in the volume are as intriguing as these. Their themes range from feminism and Marxism, to epistemology, rabbinic exegesis, political philosophy, and even more about Emanuel Levinas. Rich and variegated, this collection illuminates the intersecting of gender and Jewish philosophy, constructing a foundation for further analysis.

Rochelle L. Millen is a professor of religion at Wittenberg University and a contributing editor.

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