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Living water, sacred space : an outsider's look at contemporary Mikveh practice


Living water, sacred space : an outsider's look at contemporary Mikveh practice

Searle, Suzan (2008) Living water, sacred space : an outsider's look at contemporary Mikveh practice. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR45327.pdf - Accepted Version


Mikveh practice is a Jewish ritual that often appears to be shrouded in mystery and misconception. This study has grown out of a personal desire to explore past and present attitudes towards this ritual, and to look beyond the surface issues surrounding the practice of mikveh amongst contemporary Canadian Jewish women in Montreal, Quebec. Consequently, Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the responses gained through personal interviews with women from different groups within Judaism. Some of these women use the mikveh for the traditional purpose of ritual cleansing, while others have developed more innovative practices. The first part of the study focuses on a brief history of mikveh ritual, its origins and its place in relation to Jewish menstrual laws. The last section includes the interviews, followed by an analysis and a summary of the collected material. One of the most common and often-voiced perceptions surrounding mikveh practice is that it is an archaic form of patriarchal control and subjugation of women. Added to this is the further observation that the ritual preserves and reinforces the flawed idea that women's bodies are categorically unclean by virtue of the menstrual flow. I intend to address these issues with a view to discovering what role perception plays in the way the ritual is understood or approached by Jewish women themselves

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Searle, Suzan
Pagination:vii, 94 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Joseph, Norma
ID Code:975985
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:18
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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