For Nashim no. 28, under the consulting editorship of Prof. David Golinkin of The Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, the editors of Nashim invite proposals for articles that explore Jewish women and Torah study throughout the ages, from the Second Temple period until contemporary times.
Ever since Rabbinic Judaism took shape in the first centuries of the first millennium CE, the study of Jewish texts has been seen as a holy duty and an ideal. The Tannaim were divided regarding women and Torah study: Rabbi Eliezer was opposed, others thought that women were exempt, and Ben Azzai obligated women to study Torah. In the course of time, Rabbi Eliezer’s approach became the dominant one, as epitomized by Maimonides.
Throughout the ages, there were notable exceptions to this rule, and in the modern era, with the spread of universal education, the lure of non-Jewish culture and the spread of Hebrew literacy spurred by the Jewish Enlightenment, the ideology of Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, barriers to Jewish education for women have fallen. Today, Jewish girls and boys study Torah side by side or in parallel classes throughout the world; young Jewish women crowd into midrashot to immerse themselves in full-time Torah study, with some carrying on to advanced courses to train as yo‘atzot halakhah and to‘anot rabbaniyot; and women earn rabbinic degrees and staff academic positions as professors of Bible and Talmud. Even in ultra-Orthodox settings, women’s Torah literacy has reached levels never known before.
Possible topics for submissions to Nashim no. 28 may include (but are not confined to) analysis of rabbinic responsa from any period or locale regarding the permissibility and modality of women’s Torah study, individual experiences, modern phenomena such as women’s yeshivot, innovations in the world of Torah study, and more.
Proposals for submissions of up to 12,000 words, not previously published or under consideration for publication elsewhere, should be sent to Deborah Greniman, Managing Editor of Nashim, by February 1, 2014, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Final date for submission of articles: May 15, 2014. All scholarly articles will be subject to double blind peer review. Academic Editor of Nashim: Renée Levine Melammed.
Nashim is published jointly by the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Indiana University Press.