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In this issue: Documents from medieval Spain reveal a housemaid’s incriminating testimony and make the Inquisition appallingly real.  Blu Greenberg’s “Revolution in Small Steps” brings feminism into Orthodox Judaism. A “Red-Diaper Daughter” grows up in a 1950s Marxist-Jewish family. An innovative rabbi hikes new converts to a hot-springs mikveh. Roberta Kalechovsky explains becoming vegetarian.

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Red – Diaper Daughter

by Ilana Girard Singer

Growing up in a Jewish-Marxist family in the frightened ‘50s, the author feels alien in white-bread America—-and estranged from rye-bread America, too.

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Feminism Within Orthodoxy

by Blu Greenberg

Is feminism possible within Orthodoxy, or is it oxymoronic? Greenberg, in this state-of-the Union message, defies both right and left, and insists—-through an accretion of radical anecdote—-that women are launching Orthodox Judaism inexorably into gender equality.

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Legajoo 162: The Rediscovered Case of Isabel Lopez, Burned at the Stake November 30, 1518

by Claudia Wise with Susan Schnur

New documents from medieval Spain bring to life a Spanish-Jewish woman who could have been us—-had we lived 500 years ago. Homely but incriminating testimonies from Isabel Lopez’s housemaids make the Inquisition painfully real. Isabel Lopez’s relationship to Catholicism makes Wise ponder her own conversion to Judaism.

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Sharon Lieberman and Andrea Boroff Eagen

This is the other fight for abortion rights. The abortifacient drug that has been lurking at the periphery of our consciousness is being kept out of the U.S. by those who don’t much like Jews or women.

Hot Springs Mikveh

by Marna Sapsowitz

Two Jews-by-choice and their funky feminist rabbi pack hiking shoes and a bracha for a dip in the hot springs of the Pacific Northwest.

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Myself Surprised at Becoming a Jewish Vegetarian

by Roberta Kalechofsky

If, as the author posits, in Judaism the sensual precedes the intellectual, how do you give up Bubbie’s delicious brisket for tofu?

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The Back of Men’s Heads

by Hedy Markowitz

A Kurdish boy's Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall brings an intimacy of strangers, and what feels like a blessing from the grave.

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