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A Body Of Her OwnA Body Of Her Own by Ella Kanner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An insightful and inspiring book...

For those unfamiliar with Jewish culture, ‘The mikvah is a ritual bath designed for the Jewish rite of purification – to achieve ritual purity.’ Israeli author Ella Kanner PhD is a feminist activist in Israel’s religious sector. Her work also includes education, training individuals and groups, running a dance studio, and promoting the values of equality, female expression, coexistence and peace.

To paraphrase the Foreword: The author began writing this book with a doctorate in mind. She was instinctively drawn to the connection between monologues and feminist interpretation. Initially, she thought of combining interviews with being a participating observer, interweaving them with the writings of prominent thinkers, and deal with what would emerge from the texts about the body, sexuality, power relations, religion, rituals and so on. But the more monologues she heard from the mikvah, the more firmly she decided to submit them in their untouched purity, and allow their voices to be heard, free and unbounded by the confines of interpretation.

Pseudonyms are used for the contributors to tell their stories more freely, and what results makes for some very insightful and interesting reading. This is a book that all women will appreciate and cherish. It’s also a book that will shed light on an aspect of female life that will allow men to appreciate more what it means to be a woman. Highly recommended reading.

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