Patheos Featured Writers

Anna Batler
Contributor

Anna Batler is a writer and an attorney based out of Washington, D.C. She writes about faith, feminism, spirituality, and religious identity at Sotah.net

After moving to New Jersey from Azerbaijan, Anna attended an Orthodox Jewish parochial school that first inspired her faith while simultaneously prohibiting her from running for student body president because she was not observant. She became an Orthodox Jew when she started attending a public high school and was a regular at religious outreach events. Today, she no longer affiliates with a specific Jewish movement - though she is involved in a local, lay led, egalitarian community.

After college, Anna completed a one year fellowship at Drisha Institute, in New York, where she studied biblical texts and Talmudic law. She has been a Jewish educator at various schools in New Jersey and was a past programming co-chair at LimmudNY.

Anna conducted ethnographic research studying the lives of traditionally religious Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women at Rutgers University. In the process of getting to know the women, Anna attended evangelical Christian rock concerts, Islamic campus festivals, and classes on menstruation purity laws. 

Anna holds a B.A. in English from Rutgers College and a J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School.

Works by Anna Batler
Hillel vs. History at Chanukah
Anna Batler | December 21, 2011
The real miracle of the Chanukah story is our willful forgetting of the historic......
A Concubine on the Fringes
Anna Batler | December 07, 2011
The Torah's sexual ethic emerges in the narratives of Dina and Bilhah. Above all else is......
God Is Not the God I Knew
Anna Batler | December 01, 2011
Jacob discovers that his God had been too small, that his God was a God without borders....
A Thanksgiving Drash
Anna Batler | November 23, 2011
This Thanksgiving, may we dream not about first class citizenship for some, but about......
The Free Rebecca
Anna Batler | November 17, 2011
In this archetypal narrative, we see the myth of the powerful woman and the whipped man....
Telling Abraham's Story for Him -- and for Us
Anna Batler | November 01, 2011
Did God choose Abraham, or did Abraham choose God?...
Toying with Genocide
Anna Batler | October 27, 2011
The image of a child playing with Noah's Ark ought to be jarring. Why isn't it?...
Discomfort and ambiguity toward economic, social, and technological change is, perhaps,......
Dwelling in the Sukkah
Anna Batler | October 09, 2011
In the Sukkah the problem of the human gaze is resolved through the mutuality of simple......
You Say You Want a Revolution?
Anna Batler | September 27, 2011
Those of us seeking revolution and dissent can find a model in Hannah's famous prayer......
God, I Am Sorry You Feel That Way
Anna Batler | September 20, 2011
In approaching Rosh Hashanah and repentance, we must turn to the Torah and reconsider......
Afraid of the Dark? Or of Being Seen?
Anna Batler | September 13, 2011
What Michel Foucault's panopticon has to do with the Torah....
Dealing with Deuteronomy
Anna Batler | August 30, 2011
The dark and difficult Deuteronomy is the last book of the Torah, but it is not......
Destroying Idolaters, Destroying Ourselves
Anna Batler | August 23, 2011
Idol worship and human sacrifice are closer to the heart of the Torah than we might......
How Moses' speech in Deuteronomy shifts our attention between God's might and human......
Judaism's Fighting Words
Anna Batler | August 12, 2011
One Sh'ma, two translations: How should monotheism be expressed? ...
The Unreliable Narrator in the Torah
Anna Batler | August 02, 2011
When we read Deuteronomy, are we listening to Moses or God?...
How the Torah Anticipates Social Change
Anna Batler | July 26, 2011
Some ancient laws belong to an ancient time....
God Will Forgive Her
Anna Batler | July 18, 2011
The Torah helps us forgive ourselves for standing between our dreams and their......
Inheriting Justice
Anna Batler | July 13, 2011
How to both honor and bypass the ancient law....
Summer Camp Zealotry
Anna Batler | July 06, 2011
Does the Balak portion bear witness to a God who was wrong?...
Miriam, the Red Heifer
Anna Batler | June 28, 2011
I return to Miriam's proverbial ashes to exhume a feminist voice in our tradition even......
What If Korach Was a Woman?
Anna Batler | June 21, 2011
I imagine a woman, gathering her sisters in rebellion and going to the men in her......
The Stoning of the Wood Gatherer
Anna Batler | June 14, 2011
When the tradition finds itself facing a savage God, the tradition transforms the......
Outlaw Prophets: Eldad, Medad, and Miriam
Anna Batler | June 07, 2011
The text affirms that even before God we are not all equal, and yet the hint of an......
It is easy to forget that the ancients believed in magic. When the magic is abandoned......
On Abandoning Flags to the Angels
Anna Batler | May 24, 2011
I understand the desire to surrender to the flags, to be like angels, forever consumed......
The children leave to study and to grow, but what will they be like upon returning is......
Tikkun Leil Shabbat
Anna Batler | February 03, 2011
Be the change you wish to see in your potluck community....
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