New Positions in Tradition: American Jewish Responses to Queer Jews

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dc.contributor.advisor Kellman, Ellen Cohon, Blossom 2012-06-12T16:35:31Z 2012-06-12T16:35:31Z 2012
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the American Jewish response to queer Jews. All three of America’s major movements, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox, have approached the issue differently and drastically varying responses have been reached. I begin with a discussion of modern critical biblical scholarship and the notion that the Bible does not reflect a single, unified story. I then return to the prohibitions found in Leviticus and review different readings and interpretations of these texts. I demonstrate the wide array of meanings a seemingly simple passage can hold. Next I transition to brief histories of each movement’s dealings with the question of queer Jews. I discuss the role of halakha in each movement, as well as other traditional Jewish values that inform the decision making process that arises with issues of modernity. I then illustrate the experiences of queer Jews within the respective communities with a selection of personal accounts. I conclude that each movement places a different degree of importance on halakha and combines other traditional Jewish values in such a way that allows for substantially different conclusions on the same issue. Increased weight given to halakha makes changes that come with modernity happen at a slower rate. In spite of the diverse decisions reached about queer members of the community, all three movements claim to have reached their decision by upholding Jewish values.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Blossom Ruth Cohon 2012
dc.subject Queer
dc.subject Judaism
dc.subject homosexuality
dc.subject Reform
dc.subject Orthodox
dc.subject Conservative
dc.title New Positions in Tradition: American Jewish Responses to Queer Jews
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies MA Masters Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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