• “At ‘Amen Meals’ It’s Me and God” Religion and Gender: A New Jewish Women’s Ritual

    Author(s):
    Rivka Neriya-Ben Shahar (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6WK1F
    Abstract:
    New ritual practices performed by Jewish women can serve as test cases for an examination of the phenomenon of the creation of religious rituals by women. These food-related rituals, which have been termed ‘‘amen meals’’ were developed in Israel beginning in the year 2000 and subsequently spread to Jewish women in Europe and the United States. This study employs a qualitative-ethnographic methodology grounded in participant-observation and in-depth interviews to describe these nonobligatory, extra-halakhic rituals. What makes these rituals stand out is the women’s sense that through these rituals they experience a direct con- nection to God and, thus, can change reality, i.e., bring about jobs, marriages, children, health, and salvation for friends and loved ones. The ‘‘amen’’ rituals also create an open, inclusive woman’s space imbued with strong spiritual–emotional energies that counter the women’s religious marginality. Finally, the purposes and functions of these rituals, including identity building and displays of cultural capital, are considered within a theoretical framework that views ‘‘doing gender’’ and ‘‘doing religion’’ as an integrated experience.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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