Women And Rosh Chodesh

Women's association with the new moon dates far back in history.

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rosh chodesh quizAdelman describes, for example, an "anointing ritual... which invokes the messiah in each individual"; creating a small model of the gallows so that participants can hang "the Hamans of women's lives--sexual harassment, low pay, the beauty industry"; and "group wailing" to recall the wailing women in the Book of Jeremiah. In addition to feminist groups focusing on personal spiritual growth, like those that began in the Seventies, a wide variety of Jewish women--feminist and non-feminist--now meet to celebrate Rosh Chodesh. Some groups are sponsored by synagogues, others by non-denominational organizations, and a few meet independently. Activities range from reciting the traditional liturgy and sharing a meal to discussing Jewish ethics and working for social change. Some groups, like those following Hadassah's Moonbeams guide, set aside Rosh Chodesh for Jewish study.

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Leora Tanenbaum

Leora Tanenbaum is the author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation and a rising young talent of journalism today. She has written for Newsday, Seventeen, Ms., and The Nation, among others, and appears regularly on a variety of national television programs.