A s the High Holy Day season draws to a close, let us face the reality that many Jews, in particular young ones, are going to show up at a synagogue only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — and some will not show up at all.
The portion of Shemini details laws of animal sacrifice and of kashrut. Without a Temple, we no longer bring God animal offerings. As a result of rabbinic interpretation, we now observe many more rules of kashrut than those written in the Torah. Over time, Jewish practice sometimes expands and sometimes contracts. For what reason? One good answer is ethics.
Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories By Tikva Frymer-Kensky Schocken Books, 446 pages, $28.95. * * *Midrashic Women: Formations of the Feminine in Rabbinic Literature By Judith R. Baskin Brandeis University Press, 232 pages, $60. * * *|For a largely androcentric book, the Bible has more stories about women