Podcast Ep #15: The Women Are Waiting for Us To Speak
Too often, we start from an assumption of women’s absence. And what I would like to ask is, how do things change if we begin with an assumption of women’s presence rather than an assumption of their absence?– Rabbi Jane Kanarek
In this episode of Speaking Torah, we are pleased to share a d’var by Hebrew College 2022 alumna, Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz, and hear her teacher, Hebrew College faculty member Rabbi Jane Kanarek’s, thoughts on the piece. Genevieve explores the difficult reality of women’s silence in our textual tradition and shares her journey as she finds new ways to give voice to the voiceless.
Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz Assistant Rabbi and educator at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo, California. Rabbi Jane Kanarek is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew College.
Tune in this week as Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz weaves together the words of the Bavli, Ancient Greek Philosophers, contemporary literature, and her own thoughts on finding women’s voices in our ancient texts, and Rabbi Jane Kanarek discusses the importance of observing Talmud with an assumption of women’s presence, rather than an assuming their absence.
Before you go, take a listen to this special story from Rabbi Jane Kanarek.
What You’ll Discover from this Episode:
- Why Genevieve felt compelled to explore where Rabbis had appropriated the voices and preexisting customs of women.
- What Genevieve means when she says she rests her head on the text and listens to the voices of the words.
- How the Rabbis’ voices live because of their bodiless privilege to communicate, and the folly and imagination required to find the voices that didn’t make it onto the page.
- What allowed Genevieve to develop a solo study practice, taking the stories of the Talmud deeper than their traditional interpretations and translations.
- The difference between text that comes at the reader, versus text that invites the reader in.
- What changes when we begin with an assumption of women’s presence, rather than an assumption of their absence.
- Where to listen to find women’s voices in our ancient texts.
Featured on this Episode:
Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz is assistant rabbi/educator at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo, CA. Local to the East Bay, Greinetz was ordained in 2022 at Hebrew College. Before rabbinical school, she studied philosophy and religion in her undergraduate at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, and completed a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. After her undergraduate, Genevieve pursued a yoga teacher training at the Mount Madonna Center near Santa Cruz, CA, worked on several farms in northern California and Hawaii, and spent several years studying Chinese tea while working at a teahouse in Berkeley.
Rabbi Dr. Jane Kanarek is Associate Professor of Rabbinics and Associate Dean of Academic Development and Advising at Hebrew College. She is the author of Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law and the co-editor of Learning to Read Talmud: What It Looks Like and How It Happens and Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination, both of which were finalists for the National Jewish Book Awards.
Rabbi Jessica Lowenthal `19 (Host) is the spiritual leader and Education Director at Temple Beth Shalom in Melrose, MA. She was ordained in 2019 at Hebrew College. Before attending rabbinical school, Rabbi Jessica was Assistant Regional Director at the Anti-Defamation League in Boston, working with partners like MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition) and MassEquality. She holds an MBA in non-profit management and MA in Jewish Leadership from the Hornstein program at Brandeis University and a BA from George Washington University in Religion and Judaic Studies.
A special thank you for this episode’s musical contributions:
Intro by: Jackson Mercer
Jackson is an Ordination Candidate at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He grew up at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, CA where he cultivated a love of Judaism, embolden with music, spirituality and justice.
Esa Einai (Psalm 121:1)
Music by Jackson Mercer
Guitar and Melody by Jackson Mercer
Harmonies by Cantor Rosalie Will, Ilana Sandberg, Rabbi Micah Shapiro, Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Noah Diamondstein, Ryan Leszner, Eliana Light.
Featuring Cantor Dara Rosenblatt `18
Temple Beth-El, Richmond, VA