Don’t Mansplain God to Roseanne Barr — She’s a Hebrew Priestess by the Forward

Don’t Mansplain God to Roseanne Barr — She’s a Hebrew Priestess

Image by Facebook

You may know rabbis, cantors, and gabbais, or prayer leader, from synagogue. But have you met a Jewitch, healer or priestess?

You may soon. There is a growing movement to carve out alternative spaces for distinctly female leadership roles in Jewish life, as well as honor feminine characteristics of the divine — some call it Goddess Judaism.

One of the movement’s most enthusiastic advocates is onetime presidential hopeful, comedian, activist and overall outsize character Roseanne Barr.

Among other priestess-associated activities, Barr inaugurated a “Women’s Temple for transformation and tikkun olam” (repairing the world) in Hawaii and co-hosted a Priestess Purim celebration at the Isabella Freedman Center, in Connecticut.

Barr peppers her social media with references to priestesses, Hebrew queens and the feminine divine. Here are some of the standouts, with hashtags like #princess, #Shekinah (feminine divine) and #treeofLIFE.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum


Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

Roseanne Barr is a Hebrew Priestess, So Don’t Mansplain God to Her

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Don’t Mansplain God to Roseanne Barr — She’s a Hebrew Priestess

Thank you!

This article has been sent!