Sunday, August 9, 2015

US blessing for British first Jewish priestesses

Jewish Chronicle Two women have become the first Britons to be formally ordained as Jewish priestesses.

Rachel Rose Reid, one of the country’s top storytellers, and Brighton-born Rabbi Sarah Bracha Gershuny, who now leads a Jewish Renewal community in Boulder, Colorado, are among this year’s graduates from the Kohenet (priestess) Institute in Connecticut, in the United States.

Rabbi Jill Hammer, co-founder of the institute in 2006, said that “with the ordination of Kohenet Rachel Rose Reid, Kohenet now has a base in the UK from which to grow, and we are excited to see what the future holds”.[...]

The institute was set up to train Jewish women as “facilitators of spiritual experience”.
It draws on stories of women in the Bible and Talmud, forgotten or suppressed traditions of women’s involvement in sacred rites and mystical ideas such as the Shechinah, the Presence of God, which the kabbalists portrayed as the feminine aspect of the divine.[...]

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