Hasidism Was for Women, Too

A recently published history of the ḥasidic movement, composed by a number of prominent scholars, has been attacked in academic circles for having an insufficient number of female contributors. By contrast, Glenn Dynner offers a far more substantive critique: that the book’s authors vastly understate women’s role in Ḥasidism. Yes, most East European ḥasidic synagogues had seating for men only, and the crucial gatherings around the rebbe’s table were male-only affairs. But the book’s assertions that “female members of ḥasidic households did not historically define themselves as Ḥasidim, nor were they defined as such by others,” and that there were no specifically ḥasidic rituals in which women participated are wrong:

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Read more at Marginalia

More about: East European Jewry, Hasidism, Women in Judaism

For Sudan, Peace with Israel Marks a National Turning Point

For decades, Sudan has not only been a safe haven for terrorists and an ally of such unsavory regimes as Iran and Qatar, it has also suffered from poverty, a bloody civil war, and a despotic Islamist regime. Its recent decision to make peace with Israel follows on the heels of—and flows from—the end of this long period of misrule. Jonathan Schanzer comments:

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Read more at Washington Times

More about: Israel diplomacy, Sudan, U.S. Foreign policy