Delphine Horvilleur: l'indéfinissable

By: Isabel Janovsky

April 22, 2023

Spring 2023 Student Symposium: Berkley Center Students

There is no true consensus on what it means to be “Jewish,” despite Judaism’s existence for more than two millennia. Delphine Horvilleur, third out of six female rabbis in France, develops the idea of the impossibility of Jewish and female identity through her books, interreligious and intrareligious dialogues, and Torah workshops. Throughout her writings, she “commits violence against traditional Jewish texts texts to avoid violence against humanity” by examining the true origins of hatred and encouraging radical reinterpretations of Jewish law. Like Judaism, Horvilleur eschews the inertia of definition in her particularly Jewish, French, and feminist writings, without sacrificing one identity for the other.


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Cixous, Hélène. “Rire de la méduse.” L’Arc, no. 61 (1975): 45.

Horvilleur, Delphine. En tenue d’Ève : féminin, pudeur et judaïsme. Paris: Grasset, 2013. 

Horvilleur, Delphine. Réflexions sur la question antisémite. Paris: Grasset, 2019.

Horvilleur, Delphine. Vivre avec nos morts. Paris: Grasset, 2021.

Malinovich, Nadia, “Le judaïsme libéral en Europe et aux États-Unis. Une mise au point historiographique.” Archives Juives 40, no. 2 (2007): 9-22.

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