Posts Tagged: Lilith Results 7
Lilith, the first partner of Adam who rejected the subservient role that Adam and God tried to foist upon her, has been an inspiration for feminists for generations. As I was beginning my own young vocalizations and learning the power of naming things in my world, Judith Plaskow re-envisioned the traditional tale of Lilith in her 1972 essay, “The Coming of Lilith.” Plaskow imagined an alliance between Lilith and Eve: after the two shared stories from their lives, “the bond of sisterhood grew between them.” In this way, Lilith became an example of the power of consciousness-raising for Jewish women.
In her new story “Motherhood in the ‘Lean In’ Era for Lillith, former Sisterhood editor Gabrielle Birkner takes a look at the childcare crisis and what the Jewish communal world should, and is, doing about it.
Daycare programs and tuition subsidies are arguably as good an investment as trips to Israel. And there are fewer unknowns. Jewish children are already in the picture. Their parents need quality childcare, and help paying for it. Synagogues and community centers need to engage young families—families that look and work a whole lot different than they did a generation ago. That means overhauling existing programming models, like preschools that start at age two, and assumptions, like that one parent is always available for a noon pickup and a $2,200 a month childcare bill poses no hardship.
The Sisterhood blog and the “frankly feminist” Jewish magazine, Lilith, are jointly producing a series of podcasts about Jewish women’s issues. In our inaugural discussion, Forward and Lilith editors weigh in on what Sara Hurwitz and other Orthodox women serving in rabbinic roles should be called, revitalizing the word “yenta,” and the growing role food is playing in Jewish love stories.
Listen to the podcast here.
Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and writer of fiction about women, strip poles and sexual guilt, Mary Gaitskill read a story at Franklin Park bar in Brooklyn on April 12 in which cuckolded political wives Silda Spitzer and Elizabeth Edwards become the Eves to Ashley Dupré’s and Rielle Hunter’s Liliths, and in doing so they take a muted sort of revenge by way of compulsory pedicures in Queens.
Gaitskill prefaced the reading of her story, “The Astral Plane Nail and Waxing Salon,” which was originally published in New York magazine, by asking the packed room who had heard of the myth of Lilith. A few tentative hands rose. For the rest, she quickly sketched a figurative picture of Adam’s first wife, created from dirt like him, an equal and therefore rightfully unwilling to obey. Gaitskill’s austere gaze warmed when she engaged and audience and read her prose aloud.
In a just-posted Newsweek article, Jessica Bennett discusses her discovery of feminism at age 28. She writes that it wasn’t until she entered the workforce that she realized that things weren’t nearly as equal as she thought they would be:
So for all the talk about feminism as passé, mine wasn’t a generation that rejected it for its militant, man-hating connotation—but because of its success. Women were equal—duh—so why did we need feminism? It’s only recently that I, and women my age, have come to eat those words.