Newly-Released Volume Dedicated to Discussing ברכת שלא עשני אשה

Keren-vol2-coverLast week, Yeshivat Maharat released the second volume of their journal, Keren. This volume focusses on the saying or not saying of the blessing shelo asani ishah.  With contributions by Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber, Dr. Joseph Tabory, Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, Rabbi Avi Weiss, Dr. Erica Brown, Giti Bendheim, Ronda Angel Arking, and Belda Lindenbaum, the impetus for the topic of this volume was the publishing of a post of Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky on Morethodoxy in early August 2011.

Rabbi Kanefsky’s original post, “Adieu to ‘for Thou hast not made me a woman'” – which has since been taken down1 – caused a great deal of conversation and controversy and, subsequently was transformed into a follow-up post,2 “modified and somewhat softened as a result of some of the critical comments the he received.”3

From there, Rabbi Dr. Farber “originally began the research for his article as a result of the response” to Rabbi Kanefsky’s post.4 From there, Rabbi Dr. Farbers’s “essay was then shared with a select group of scholars and thinkers, who were asked to respond to the content of the essay as well as to express their own approach to this challenging berakha. Our main goal in publishing this material is to move the communal conversation one step further.”5

The editors continue:

This compilation of articles represents the work of experienced rabbis and poseqim alongside the input of thoughtful lay leaders. We recognize that communal change comes from two directions simultaneously. The first step is a deep engagement with the halakhic system followed by a communal conversation.6

It’s really wonderful that, despite the editors’ assertion that “[b]log posts are not the place of thoughtful reflective scholarship”,7 blog posts can certainly initiate a great deal of scholarship to advance the broader communal knowledge and understanding 🙂  I look forward to reading it!
1 – Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, “Adieu to ‘for Thou hast not made me a woman'”, Morethodoxy: Exploring the Breadth, Depth and Passion of Orthodox Judaism (5 August 2011) []
2 – Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, “A Calmer and Fuller Articulation”, Morethodoxy: Exploring the Breadth, Depth and Passion of Orthodox Judaism (8 August 2011) []
3 – Rabbi Jeffrey Fox and Rabba Sara Hurwitz, “Introduction”, Keren 2 (2014), 4.
4 – Ibid.
5 – Ibid.
6 – Fox & Hurwitz, “Introduction”, 5.
7 – Fox & Hurwitz, “Introduction”, 4.

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