Ms. Daniali 's Presentation in the Second Pre-con Meeting
05 August 2023
Ms.  Daniali 's Presentation in the Second Pre-con Meeting

Here is the English abstract of Ms. Daniali's (Researcher in Jewish culture / Member of the Board of Directors at the Iranian Jewish Committee in Isfahan) presentation at the 2nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in the Iranian Jewish Committee in Isfahan on June 8, 2023.


The Position of Women in Judaism

In the history of Judaism, the legal and social status of women has been highly variable over the past 3,300 years. Although most laws and texts of Judaism have revolved around men, it has always been some women who have had a significant influence on determining the position of women. In Old Testament, the stories of many women have been narrated, sometimes praised and sometimes criticized. These women can be divided into four major groups based on the roles they have played: 1. The most common roles of women are related to their relationship with prominent men, including motherhood, wifehood, sisterhood, and daughterhood. Women like Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, the mothers of the Jewish people, fall into this category, 2. Prophetesses and saviors, such as Deborah, Sarah, Miriam, and Esther, 3. Queens and rulers, the most notable and influential of whom is the Queen of Sheba (Bilqis), 4. Women in the position of beloved, who are more condemned than praised in the Torah, such as Zuleikha (Potiphar's wife) and Delilah. However, Jewish women in contemporary society have also strived to determine their position and have promoted themselves, their families, and their communities. Today, the most significant role of a Jewish woman is motherhood, and the preservation of the family is dependent on her existence. Jewish women engage in various and extensive professional occupations alongside their family responsibilities, activities ranging from charity work to social management and institution administration. One of the prominent women in this regard is the late Farangis Hassidim, a nurse, one of the managers of Dr. Sapir Hospital, and one of the founders of the Jewish Women's Organization. Another is Parvaneh Sarraf, an educated lady who currently serves as the deputy of Rabbi and the director of Yeshiva North Shore. Thus, it can be concluded that apart from the prevailing laws and regulations that have been determining the position of women in Judaism, the individual Jewish woman and her actions also define the position of Jewish women.


Translator: Mahdi Qasemi