Vulnerable and Empowered

Widows as Objects of Care and Agents of Change

Ruth Messinger Rabbi Avi Killip

Again and again the Torah calls our attention—in both law and story—to the widow. Why is care for the widow so urgent? What is gained by grouping the widow with the orphan and the stranger—and what is lost? Through exploring the experience of widowhood in Jewish tradition we will uncover the complex interplay of power and powerlessness of those on the margins and ask what it means to “care for” categories of people who blur the distinction between vulnerable and empowered.

Lecture by Rabbi Avi Killip followed by a dialogue with Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador at AJWS. Recorded live on May 16, 2017 as the second of three parts in our Spring 2017 Lecture Series, Caring for a Vulnerable World: The Stranger, Widow, and Orphan –Then and Now.