Her Glory All Within: Rejecting and Transforming Orthodoxy in Israeli and American Jewish Women's Fiction

Her Glory All Within: Rejecting and Transforming Orthodoxy in Israeli and American Jewish Women's Fiction

Barbara Landress

Series: Studies in Orthodox Judaism
ISBN: 9781618111715 (hardcover)
Pages: 215 pp.
Publication Date: December 2012

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Representation of the religious sector is a new phenomenon in modern Israeli literature, emerging from a diversification of Israeli culture that began in the 1970’s. In this volume Landress explores the intricacies of fiction stories about Orthodox women in contemporary contexts, offering subtle interpretations of the conflicts in Orthodox women's lives as they weave their way through daughterhood, motherhood, politics, and personal dilemmas, negotiating between tradition and modernity. This body of Israeli women’s writing is considered in comparative perspective with contemporary American Jewish women’s writing that engages Orthodoxy, and draws on sociology, anthropology, and feminist theory. 


Barbara Landress (JD Harvard University, PhD New York University) is the director of graduate affairs at the New York University School of Law.


Landress’ pioneering work establishes the roadmap, and provides the key, for women’s literary treatments of orthodoxy in the two largest centers of contemporary Jewish life. This is a must-read, not only for those interested in the fraught relationship between feminism and orthodoxy, but also for those curious about the tensions between national, religious, and gender identities in America and Israel, and the provocative parallels between the two. An elegant and sensitively-drawn dialogue between Israeli Jewish and American Jewish literature, Her Glory All Within is a vital contribution to the study of comparative Jewish literatures.
— Jill Aizenstein, Ph.D., author of Engaging America: Immigrant Jews in American Hebrew literature

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements
INTRODUCTION


Chapter One
FEMINISM AND ORTHODOXY
A. Israeli Feminism and Literary Feminism
B. Feminism and the Haredi Woman
C. Feminism and the National Religious or Modern Orthodox Sector
Chapter Two
REPRESENTING ORTHODOXY
A. Female Embodiment
B. Mother-Daughter Relations
C. Appropriation of the “Language of the Fathers” [leshon ha’avot]
D. The Secular-Religious Gap and Politics in Israel
Chapter Three
THE ORTHODOX ROMANCE: VEILED COMPLAINT AND AMBIVALENCE EXTREME IN HANNA BAT SHAHAR
A. A Double Life
B. No Body—Th e Ice Queen and the Mummy
C. Jewish Art and Jewish Life: Contesting the Images of the Fathers
D. Varieties of Pathology: The Mother-Daughter Connection in Bat Shahar and Reisman
Chapter Four
YEHUDIT ROTEM’S CONSCIOUSNESSRAISING NOVELS
A. The Consciousness-Raising Paradigm
B. The Body as Carnal Other
C. Ironizing the Language of the Fathers
D. Mothers and Daughters in the Confessional Mode [I Loved So Much]
E. Tired Plot or Grand Recit—Is there an Israeli Haredi Audience?
Chapter Five
REVALUING THE TRADITIONAL IN AMERICAN JEWISH WOMEN’S WRITING
A. Enlightened Orthodoxy
B. Reclaiming the Mother—Maternal Intelligence, Maternal Regrets
C. American Orthodox Diversity
D. The Daughters’ Orthodox Romance
E. Translating the Language of the Fathers
Chapter Six
POLITICS, NATIONALISM AND THE SECULAR-RELIGIOUS RIFT
A. Yocheved Brandes
1. Confrontation of Others—Th e Pioneer and the Yeshiva Student
2. The Settler as Other
3. Appropriation and Misappropriation of the Language of the Fathers
4. Mind, Body and the Mother-Daughter Connection
B. Mira Kedar
1. Sacralizing Space
2. Mending Otherness
3. Writing the Language of the Fathers
4. Mind, Body and Women in the Vanguard
Chapter Seven
INCLUSIVITY AND TRANSFORMATION
A. Mira Magen
1. Fertile Land, Fertile Bodies
2. Bodily Bonds
3. Exploiting the Language of the Fathers
B. Lilach Galil El-ami
1. Imagining Th rough the Mother: A Lesbian Continuum? 
2. Unfettering the Body, Unfettering the Self
3. The rough the Body—God

CONCLUSION

Bibliography
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Index