A Conversation with Haviva Ner-David, Tova Mirvis, and Anita Diamant

Wrestling with Gender and Commandment:

A Conversation with Haviva Ner-David, Tova Mirvis, and Anita Diamant

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 7:30pm - 9:00pm


Mayyim Hayyim is excited to welcome Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David to discuss her new book, Chanah’s Voice: A Rabbi Wrestles with Gender, Commandment, and the Women’s Rituals of Baking, Bathing, and Brightening.

Joining Haviva will be Tova Mirvis, Newton resident and author of Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary, and Mayyim Hayyim’s own Founding President Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent, Good Harbor, and the upcoming Boston Girl, to be released in December 2014.  Together, Haviva, Tova and Anita will discuss their literary treatments of themes related to women and Judaism.

There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door. 

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Tova Mirvis

Anita Diamant

Rabbi Ner-David, the first Orthodox woman rabbi to be ordained in 2006, is the director of Mikveh Shmaya, a mikveh and education center on Kibbutz Hannaton in northern Israel where she lives with her family. Rabbi Ner-David’s acclaimed memoir, Life on the Fringes, was published in 2000. 

In Chanah’s Voice, Rabbi Ner-David calls our attention to Chanah, mother of the prophet Samuel, who is traditionally lauded as exemplifying the model for prayer.  Chanah is also an acronym for the three traditional mitzvot reserved for Jewish women: baking challah and making a small offering of the dough; niddah, women’s monthly mikveh immersion; and hadlakat ha-ner, the lighting of Shabbat candles.  In her new book, Rabbi Ner-David asks:

“Can one be both feminist and committed to classical Jewish law?”

“Can Jewish law’s gendered categories of ‘obligated’ and ‘exempt’ be replaced with the non-gendered category of ‘committed’?”

 “What is the place of the sacred in domestic life? Can a life of attention to the needs of one’s family be a holy calling?”

Ultimately Haviva stresses the importance of listening to “Chanah’s Voice” – the inner call for justice and morality, egalitarianism and individuality in the practice of Judaism today.  

Questions? Contact Lisa Berman, Mikveh and Education Director, lisab@mayyimhayyim.org, 617-244-1836 x205.

Read a recent inteview with Haviva about gender in Judaism: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leora-tanenbaum/does-judaism-need-gender_b_5556150.html

Thanks to our co-sponsors:
Hebrew CollegeTemple Beth Zion