Book: The Religious Body Imagined
Chapter: 1. People of the Book, Women of the Body: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Women's Reproductive Literacy
Michal Raucher’s “People of the Book, Women of the Body: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Women’s Reproductive Literacy” relies on two years of ethnographic research among Haredi mothers in Jerusalem. Her research reveals that the women’s lived experience of repeated pregnancies cultivates a kind of embodied knowledge and self-reliant, self-validating authority that no longer consults the normative rabbinic and male-dominated authority systems that regulate all other sectors of Haredi life. In so doing, Raucher expands our understanding of embodied female agency in a tradition that has long been assumed to subjugate women.