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In this online CLGS Jewish Queeries Series event, Justin Jaron Lewis explores Eydl of Brody (d. 1885), who is remembered as one of the few Hasidic Jewish women to become a Rebbe (a spiritual leader and wonder-worker). Our changing views of gender, however, raise the possibility of understanding Eydl as a trans man, or as non-binary. Much depends on our selection from contradictory stories and artifacts. For example, it was a common belief among her followers that Satan had prevented this great soul from being born in a male body. Justin will share some of these stories, and invite reflection on how we may wish to remember, understand, and learn from Eydl.
Justin Jaron Lewis (any pronouns) is a rabbi, maggid, and Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Lewis has authored Imagining Holiness: Classic Hasidic Tales in Modern Times (2009), and translated Many Pious Women, a Yiddish text from Renaissance Italy in praise of Jewish women.