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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Bind These Words

Bind These Words

Parashat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25)

(p.240) Forty-Six Bind These Words
Torah Queeries

Ari Lev Fornari

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the practice of wearing Tallit Katan—an undergarment traditionally worn daily by observant Jewish men—in relation to patriarchy and queerness. The undergarment is considered a marker of masculinity and Jewish authenticity. In light of this fact, wearing these clothes is not inherently sexist. The rituals themselves are not problematic, but rather the culture and customs that surround as well as sustain them. Just as femme-identified women have reclaimed and “queered” many traditional markers of femininity (such as lipstick and high heels), trans people have the potential to liberate rituals and traditions from their oppressive boundaries and binaries.

Keywords:   Tallit Katan, Jewish men, masculinity, Jewish authenticity, femme-identified women, femininity, queerness

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