Hanukkah and Women’s Voices

The story of Hanukkah is, well, all about men. For the most part, we learn it that way, unless you’re lucky enough to have grown up in a feminist house committed to breaking that cycle, or you’ve seen this great video, courtesy of the Jewish Women’s Archive.  It covers the role of the heroine  Judith in the Hanukkah story, and also highlights other important Judiths in history (Judy Blume is my personal favorite).  The project is a fantastic example of dynamic history, and of the power that comes with reclaiming and rewriting.

Filed under Ancient, Feminism, Gender, Media

7 Responses to “Hanukkah and Women’s Voices”

  1. Pluswhich it gives us cause for eating cheese on the holiday!

    dlevy · November 29th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
  2. My mom dressed up as Judith for Purim one year. Then she repeated the costume for Halloween.

    David A.M. Wilensky · November 29th, 2010 at 5:46 pm
  3. Portraying a virtuous decapatrix really cuts down on small talk at parties.

    Glenda · November 29th, 2010 at 6:34 pm
  4. Did she have to haul around a decapitated head all night?

    Kol Ra'ash Gadol · November 30th, 2010 at 8:54 am
  5. (Glenda being my mother, for those keeping track.)

    She did carry around a decapitated head, actually. The key elements of the costume included a bloody sword and decapitated head. She got a full-head rubber mask of a grim old man and sewed the opening for the wearer’s head shut with blood red cloth. She carried it around by the hair.

    It was really special.

    David A.M. Wilensky · November 30th, 2010 at 12:34 pm
  6. I love this. Personally, I’ve been seriously considering having fabricated my own “inflatable” holiday lawn decoration, much like those that surface on Halloween or Christmas, except that mine would be a Jewish soldier of old, with a bloody sword in one hand and the head of a Syrian in the other! My children are discouraging me.

    Too Old to Jewschool Steve · November 30th, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  7. Noooo, I did not carry a sword. The sword Judith used belonged to Holofernes, and she left it behind when she took his head.

    I did carry a basket of food the first time I used this as a costume. Judith brought her own kosher food into the enemy camp, which was a key element in the story, and the basket made a good place to carry my keys.

    Glenda · December 1st, 2010 at 7:40 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik