Category Archives: Jewish Bodies

Free Loans and Housing

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April 1, 2009

Shana Novick The highest degree of tzedakah, most famously articulated by Maimonides, is to help someone achieve self-sufficiency by means of a gift, an interest-free loan, or a partnership. Of these, only loans preserve the dignity of the recipient while also offering the possibility of enormous philanthropic leverage. That is why Central and Eastern European More »

Personification of the Patriarchs as Judaism

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April 1, 2009

Abraham is the head, the source of the knowledge of God,     providing understanding and direction. Isaac is the neck, connecting the head to the body,        essential and vulnerable. Jacob is the body, Israel, performing Judaism, tribes being limbs and fingers expressing Jewish life.

Reciprocal Inscription: The Jewish Body in Story and History

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April 1, 2009

Lori Hope Lefkovitz
The body and its parts come to life in stories where meanings and judgments attached to the body and sexuality are ever re-invented. Biblical foundation stories — not so much what they say, but how we have apprehended them over time — have been formative of the Jewish self image, even as the refashioning of the Jewish body throughout history governs how we interpret Bible stories. More »

Bodies and Communities

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April 1, 2009

Stephen Hazan Arnoff
A passage from Midrash Tanhuma makes a compelling case for understanding the essence of Jewish community through the lens of one of the central teachings of tradition — that human beings were created in the image of God, b’tzelem Elokim. More »

Discussion Guide – Jewish Bodies

April 1, 2009

Does “a Jewish body” conjure a dangerous genetic way of looking at Jews? Made in the image of God, btzelem Elkokim — what impact does this have on how we care for our bodies? How does body image influence Jewish decisions?