Examining Goddess Judaism and the Role of the Priestess

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Claiming the Title Kohenet: Examining Goddess Judaism and the Role of the Priestess Through Conversations with Contemporary Spiritual Leaders

Deborah Grenn



Among the most exciting areas in both feminist spirituality discourse and Jewish religious practice are the reemergence of Jewish priestesses, kohanot, and the formation of a small, growing movement called Goddess Judaism, a term coined by Jenny Kien, author of Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism (2000). I include this worship of the Sacred Feminine as a key part of this piece because I have found that the role of a Jewish priestess is only supported by groups when the Sacred Feminine is revered and held as part of our concept of deity. In what can only be a brief overview of a rich and broad subject, this paper addresses some of the new research into the presence of goddess worship, and its ritual functionaries, among Semitic peoples in the Ancient Near East, ranging from the Fertile Crescent to Canaan to Carthage. I also discuss contemporary goddess feminism and new practices combining Judaism with feminist spirituality, as forms of both worship and resistance to prescribed roles in a traditional religion. This resistance—and a creative insistence on egalitarian inclusion—manifests in debates around public worship by women’s prayer groups in Israel, and can be seen in the growing number of women rabbis and others taking spiritual leadership roles in the United States. I also look at women-centered midrashim–reinterpretations of canonical and apocryphal legends; empowerment of Jewish women’s personal and religious lives through creation of new rituals, and writing of new liturgy and sacred texts. Finally, I look at how women have incorporated the Sacred Feminine into their spiritual practices within existing Jewish frameworks, as well as the ways they handle opposition and derision of their ideas and practices. The paper will conclude with an assessment of shifts in consciousness in the Academy and the community brought about by this movement, and its impact on the liturgy and services of traditional religious institutions.

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Operation SPADE, JOINT HAMMER, NEST EGG, DELEGO, etc. all lead back to Tymoshenko’s Ukraine

March 5-6, 2014 – Operation SPADE, JOINT HAMMER, NEST EGG, DELEGO, etc. all lead back to Tymoshenko’s Ukraine

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, recently freed from prison by Ukrainian coup leaders and who remains the darling of neocons and bogus Democrats alike, may be known as a stalwart for the West in some countries but in her native Ukraine, she is known for harboring and giving sanction to a large child pornography industry.

WMR’s continuing investigation of the reported “suicide” of Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander has uncovered major links to Ukraine, particularly during the rule of Tymoshenko, who was jailed for corruption by President Viktor Yanukovych.

During Tymoshenko’s rule, successive international investigations of child pornography pointed to Simferopol, in Crimea, and the Artek International Children’s Center in the same Ukrainian-ruled but Russian majority autonomous republic, as virtual photo and video factories for the global pedophile market. Tymoshenko’s Economy Minister, Sergei Terekhin, was under investigation in 2009 for sexually abusing children at the Artek children’s camp. Now that Russian troops have taken control of Crimea, there is no word on how the child pornography industry, formerly linked to Azov Films of Toronto and Stafford, Virginia has been affected.However, it is known that it was primarily Russian and Ukrainian children from poor families or orphanages who were preyed upon by the pedophile rings that operated without much pressure from Tymoshenko’s government. Russia under Vladimir Putin has little tolerance for pedophiles.

Operations with the code names of ORE, SANCTUARY, THUNDERER, KOALA, DELEGO, JOINT HAMMER, NEST EGG, YEWTREE, and more recently, SPADE, have all discovered links between those who possess and distribute child pornography and filming facilities in Kiev, Kharkov, Simferopol, and Camp Artek. In fact, Operation SPADE shut down the operations of Azov Films, the Toronto and Stafford company that was named after the Sea of Azov, which surrounds the Crimean peninsula.

The discovery of the heavy involvement of Ukraine under Tymoshenko in the production of child pornography comes at the same time that Operation SPADE is continuing to implicate senior members of the governments of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Patrick Rock,Cameron’s chief assistant for identifying ways to combat child pornography on the Internet through the use of software filters, was recently arrested for possession of child pornography.

The fallout and links between pedophiles around the world, partly exposed by SPADE, continue to grow:



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