TransTexts, 2008

In 2008, Rabbi Elliot Kukla and Rabbi Reuben Zellman launched TransTexts. Originally hosted by Jewish Mosaic, it later moved to the Keshet website after Jewish Mosaic and Keshet merged.

Our goal for this project is to create a portal to Jewish traditions. It is not our intention to provide a complete or “authoritative” interpretation of these multi-faceted texts. Rather, we want to offer a variety of ways of looking at these remarkable texts — which have been, and still are, largely inaccessible to the general public. Some of the content of this site may be familiar to you; some of it might be very surprising. We invite you to read on and engage with all of it, in the great Jewish tradition of study and discussion.

The first section launched in TransTexts was “Queerly Created” which examines Genesis 1:27. “Crossdressing and Drag” launched later examining Deuteronomy 22:5. A third section was intended, but never published.

Each section includes background information on the historical context, authorship, Hebrew and perspective on rabbinic commentary.  Ancient and contemporary rabbinic comments are included. Pointed questions for thought and discussion round out each section in order to bring the texts home.

Along with Rabbi Elliot Kukla’s highlighting of classical Jewish ideas about gender, TransTexts is an important step in making these interpretations of Hebrew text and Jewish tradition more widely available. The launch of TransTexts in 2008 puts it just outside the period I call the “transgender spring,” but the work represented is reflective of TransTorah’s efforts in the preceding years.

MORE RESOURCES: Transgender and the (Christian) Bible

Compiled by Mx. Chris Paige in November 2018.

Note: This blog is intended to be an on-going work in progress. Please contact us if you have corrections or are able to contribute further context or reflections.

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