In celebration of Jewish Book Month, The Arty Semite is partnering with the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and the Jewish Book Council to present “30 Days, 30 Texts,” a series of reflections by community leaders on the books that influenced their Jewish journeys. Today, Nigel Savage writes about “On Being a Jewish Feminist” by Susannah Heschel.
I read Susannah Heschel’s “On Being a Jewish Feminist” in the mid-1980s, when I was an English junior-year abroad student at Georgetown, in Washington D.C. I don’t know how or why I happened to see it, or buy it, or read it. Perhaps the title alone was startling for an English Jew who had grown up in a small and very old-fashioned Orthodox shul and cheder. I had stopped being observant at the age of 15, when I realized that the literal “bereishit bara elohim” that was being taught to me simply made no sense.