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Much of the ideology that shapes Judaism is rooted in patriarchal traditions. Gender defines most of the roles in traditional Judaism, both inside the home and outside. The basis for Jewish law, or Halacha in Hebrew, is the Torah, which is the first five books of the Bible. Countless scholars have made interpretations of the Torah, leading to many different sects of Judaism and many different interpretations of the responsibilities of men and women. This entry provides a basic overview of the ways Judaism views gender differences with regard to roles and responsibilities, paying special attention to the roles and responsibilities of women. Domestic violence will be examined in this context to provide an example of the ways in which gender plays such an integral ...

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