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Fertility and Jewish Law
Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Responsa Literature
Ronit Irshai




Brandeis Series on Gender, Culture, Religion, and Law
HBI Series on Jewish Women
Brandeis University Press
2012 • 376 pp. 6 x 9"
Jewish Studies / Women's Studies

$39.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-240-3
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-239-7

$34.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-241-0

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Cloth edition is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)



“Irshai demonstrates again and again that many of the conclusions reached by recent decisors are not the inevitable outcome of their source materials. She ends, however, on a hopeful note, one that stresses the importance of this work and others like it, particularly for ‘women who feel committed to halakhic discourse but also to the values of equality.”—Lilith

A comprehensive comparative study of Jewish law on contemporary reproductive issues from a gender perspective

This book presents, from the perspective of feminist jurisprudence and feminist and liberal bioethics, a complete study of Jewish law (halakhah) on contemporary reproductive issues such as birth control, abortion, and assisted fertility. Irshai examines these issues to probe gender-based values that underlie the interpretations and determinations reached by modern practitioners of halakhah. Her primary goal is to tell, through common halakhic tools, a different halakhic story, one that takes account of the female narrative and its missing perspective.

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Endorsements:

“This book is a first class pioneering effort in what may eventually become a critical area of research for students of Jewish law—uncovering the extent to which unstated gender assumptions have informed halakhic process over the generations. In its focus upon issues related to the realm of reproduction, Irshai’s study is of particular interest to women. However, in her application of feminist legal theory to a masterly grasp and analysis of the relevant halakhic sources, this study also converges with a broader need currently felt by several Anglo-American theoreticians to articulate a post-positivist vision of law.”—Tamar Ross, Bar-Ilan University

“Ronit Irshai has written an impressively learned and well documented book detailing Jewish laws related to fertility and critiquing the application of these laws and their impact on women. Irshai’s feminist critique is thoughtful, moderate, and deserving of discussion. It urges us to consider a different story than the one legal decisors tell, and that is the story women themselves would tell about living out these laws.”—Rachel Adler, Hebrew Union College



RONIT IRSHAI is an assistant professor in the gender studies program at Bar Ilan University and a lecturer in the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.






Fri, 8 Aug 2014 12:06:56 -0500