I started wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and laying tefillin (phylacteries) 15 years ago. It has taken me years to get over my internalized judgment as a woman wearing these items that are “traditionally” worn only by men. Even on the best of days, tefillin are a strange and uncomfortable feature of Jewish practice. I’ve had to consciously push myself beyond my own discomfort to own this mitzvah (commandment) that has come to mean so much to me.
TV interview on Rising Antisemitism in “Ethical Perspectives on the News” by the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County. Featuring Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz and Lisa Heineman, Professor of the University of Iowa.