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Courtesy Alissa Gold
Women Who Choose Rules
June 23, 2017
Young Jews, Christians and Muslims who are bucking the 'spiritual but not religious trend' and deciding they want deeper observance in their lives.
Courtesy Alissa Gold
Orthodox Judaism: Alissa Gold June 23, 2017
As a kid, Alissa Gold never imagined she would become an Orthodox Jewish woman who wears long skirts in the summertime and bakes bread every week for the sabbath. She attended the all-female Wellesley College-- bastion of feminism, alma mater of Hillary Clinton-- and assumed that Orthodox women were oppressed. But then she took a trip to to Israel, and finally got a chance to meet some. "I was pretty shocked," she tells us.




Our guest host this week is Emma Green, who writes about religion for The Atlantic. We recommend her 2016 feature on young Jews who gravitate toward Orthodoxy.
 
Making the Ritual Her Own: Rachell Goldberg June 23, 2017
Rachell Goldberg used to see the Jewish ritual of immersing in a mikvah as just another religious obligation--something to check off her to-do list. Nearly every month for thirteen years, she visited a Jewish ritual bath to cleanse herself after her period, a practice commanded in Jewish law. But this time, after enduring seven months of chemotherapy for breast cancer, she's making the ritual her own. And a health update: Rachell tells us that while she’s not fully in remission, she’s done with chemotherapy and radiation for now.

Produced by Abigail Holtzman, who wrote an in-depth, print version of Rachell's story for Narratively.



 
Rachel sits on the edge of the mikvah water. Photo credit: Lauren Murphy.
Protestant Christianity: Ekemini Uwan June 23, 2017
Ekemini Uwan is a devout, orthodox Christian who admits she doesn't "check all the boxes" for liberals or conservatives. Her conservative friends bristle at her bold opposition to white supremacy; her liberal friends scoff at her refusal to support gay marriage. And she doesn't apologize for her embrace of traditional gender roles: women and men are "made distinctly," she says. "We are different."

Islam: Fatima and Hagiraa Tipu June 23, 2017
Fatima and Hagiraa Tipu are sisters. One wears a hijab (a headscarf) for modesty, and the other doesn't. Hagiraa tells her sister that she hopes to wear it one day, but right now she doesn't have the confidence. Her sister understands. "It's going to be tough but you're going to get through it," Fatima tells Hagiraa. "It's for yourself, and it's for God and it's not for anyone else."




Catholicism: Eve Tushnet June 23, 2017
"What I am is someone who is not, say, available for same-sex romantic or sexual relationships," Eve Tushnet tells us, of her decision to be celibate. Eve is a devout Catholic convert, and takes seriously the Church's prohibition against gay sexual relationships. But that hasn't stopped her from forging deep bonds of friendship. "This is different from the friendship you see on Facebook," she says. "This is a life-shaping form of love."
Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz: Choosing Religion June 23, 2017
In his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz argues that unlimited options don't liberate us or make us happier--they paralyze us. He sits down with guest host Emma Green and applies his theory to the subjects of our show: religious women who consciously choose lives with fewer choices and deeper observance. Schwartz says they're on to something.

Barry Schwartz is a retired professor of psychology who has written several books about human nature, decision making, and morality.

You can catch his TED talk on the paradox of choice right here.
Credit_SaraRahim
Sara and Sajida: "You Don't Marry the Person, You Marry the Family" June 23, 2017

After years of falling for men outside of her faith, Sara Rahim has decided she’s done with all that. Now, she's looking for a Muslim husband... with her mom's help. In the past, Sara kept finding that no matter how much she cared about someone, if he wasn’t Muslim, she couldn’t imagine building a life together. So, at 25, Sara is looking for a man who will make both her and her parents happy. And she’s taking her inspiration from her parents’ arranged marriage. Produced by Abigail Holtzman. Music composition by Elias Newman.


Sara Rahim, Masters of Public Policy candidate at the University of Chicago, specializing in international policy and inclusive development.

Sajida Inam, owner and manager of Yoomna's Boutique, a Pakistani bridal & designer clothing business in Naperville, Illinois.