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Hanna. Gebet- und Andachtsbuch für israelitische Frauen und Mädchen. (Jacob Freund et al, 1867)

After the popular reception among German speaking Jewry of Fanny Neuda’s Stunden Der Andacht (1855), additional sifrei teḥinnot, collections of prayers composed in the vernacular for women, were published in German. One of them, Hanna. Gebet- und Andachtsbuch für israelitische Frauen und Mädchen, published in 1867, was compiled with teḥinnot composed by the leading luminaries of Liberal Judaism in Breslau, Silesia: Jacob Freund (1827-1877), Rabbi Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), and Rabbi Moritz Güdemann (1835-1918), Manuel Joël (1826-1890), and Moritz Abraham Levy (1817-1872). The title of the collection is a direct reference to the biblical figure, Ḥanna whose petitionary prayer for a child was answered with the birth of her son, the prophet Shmuel. . . .

Feminist Influences on Jewish Liturgy: The Case of Israeli Reform Prayer (2009)

In Israel, the Reform movement, which is called the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), dates back to the 1950s, but a serious concern for women’s role in liturgy is a relatively recent development, namely since the last decade of the 20st century. This paper examines the modes of liturgical change with regard to the role and presentation of women in Jewish ritual and worship within Israel: what they do to regain their voice[s] through worship and how they are depicted in contemporary liturgies. Today, gender-related issues are among the most heated issues faced by contemporary liberal, non-Orthodox Jews; discussions on the subject dominate the religious and academic spheres as well as the socio-cultural arena. This paper is based upon the assumption that the Israeli case is a distinct one compared to the North American treatment of gender in the liturgy, because Hebrew is not only the liturgical language, but also the vernacular for Israeli Jews. This makes it much harder to change liturgy, as it is perceived as holy matter. Another unique aspect of the Israeli liberal liturgy is the fact that it operates in a rather conservative religious environment: both Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel are less prone to experimental approaches toward liturgy and ritual. . . .


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