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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Fertility and Jewish Law

Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Responsa Literature

This book presents, from the perspective of feminist jurisprudence and feminist and liberal bioethics, a complete study of Jewish law (halakhah) on contemporary reproductive issues such as birth control, abortion, and assisted fertility. Irshai examines these issues to probe gender-based values that underlie the interpretations and determinations reached by modern practitioners of halakhah. Her primary goal is to tell, through common halakhic tools, a different halakhic story, one that takes account of the female narrative and its missing perspective.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • Introduction: Epistemology, Jurisprudence, and Halakhah: A Feminist Critique • SEX WITHOUT PROCREATION • “Be Fruitful and Multiply” • Birth Control and Family Planning • Halakhic Rulings on Abortion: A Historical Survey from the Rabbinic to the Modern Period • Abortion in Contemporary Halakhic Rulings • PROCREATION WITHOUT SEX • Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilization, and Surrogacy in Liberal and Radical Feminist Approaches • Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilization, and Surrogacy: Halakhic Analysis • Afterword: The Gender Project in the Philosophy of Halakhah as an Exercise in Criticism • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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