Nobody intentionally set out to make Sukkot and Simchat Torah feminist holidays. Yet, slowly but surely, these two Jewish festivals have evolved into a time of year when the envelope is pushed when it comes to women’s participation, even in Orthodox communities in which egalitarian practice isn’t easily accepted. Over the past four years, the changes picked up speed in Israel and the Diaspora as the awareness of the phenomenon of “exclusion of women” has heightened, inspiring many to push back against it at this time of year. On Sukkot, more and more women are buying and using Sukkot objects like the lulav and etrog, and helping to build and spending time in the Sukkah. On Simchat Torah reading from and celebratory dancing with the Torah on the holiday that celebrates the sacred scroll, and reading from it has become something that even women in very traditional communities are not willing to forgo.
“Pulpit Plus One: The Secret Lives of Rabbis’ Husbands, Partners, and Wives” features the voices and experiences of the partners of pulpit rabbis. In this interview series, “Pulpit Plus One” takes an honest and lively look into the nuances of a complex role.
On Wednesday, while many Jews were camped out in synagogue repenting, Gothamist ran a story entitled “Woman Claims Synagogue Fired Her for Having Pre-Marital Sex.” Alana Shultz, 36, had been employed as program director at Congregation Shearith Israel — the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States — on the Upper West Side, for 11 years.
Jackie Collins passed away on Saturday, September 19th after a six year battle with breast cancer. Survived by her three grown daughters and her sister, the actress Joan Collins, Collins was best known for her novels about Hollywood debauchery. Some of her books were so steamy, they were banned not just by a single library, or from certain stores, but by entire countries including Australia and South Africa. Not that banning really harmed her sales. Collins earned millions from her books (“Hollywood Wives,” “Lucky,” “The Santangelos,” “The Stud” among many others) and frequently topped bestseller lists. She sold over 500 million copies in her lifetime, more than four times that which “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James has sold.
His handwriting is terrible.