Elana Sztokman's JewFem blog

Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, writer, researcher, educator and activist, writing on issues pertaining to gender and Jewish life in Israel and around the world.

Sukkot, simplicity, and sleeping outside (and of course gender)

As a parent, I love the holiday of Sukkot, which begins Friday night. It’s a great family time – lots of al fresco dining, sleeping
outdoors, enjoying fresh air, singing, cooking favorite foods, and experiencing a welcome escape from the weightiness of an
excessively material life. There’s nothing like spending eight days inside four walls of canvas to remind us of the value of simplicity.
As a woman, though, I find Sukkot to be one of the most difficult holidays we’ve got. It is laden with messages about gender
differences and where women truly belong, and these messages seem to intensify each year.

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