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The Tea of Our Roots: Body Autonomy & Trans Herbalism in Jewish Sacred Texts

Saturday, October 28, 2023 13 Cheshvan 5784

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Tea of Our Roots: Body Autonomy & Trans Herbalism in Jewish Sacred Text

Herbal remedies for reproductive autonomy and hormone regulation have existed across time, space & lineage. To find this thread we need look no further than our own Jewish sacred texts.

Talmudic texts speak of an Herbal remedy listed as one that causes both contraception & sterility. Hidden just beneath the surface of further Rabbinic writings are hints that these herbs could cause other changes as well.

In this workshop we will deep dive into this remedy: What plants were used? Which Rabbis (of which genders) knew of this recipe & its medicinal properties? Are there ethnobotanical or pharmacological grounds to its effectiveness? What were the cultural & medicinal contexts? What were the gender and sex paradigms? What were some halakhic attitudes towards the contraceptive effects referenced? Are there further references in other Jewish texts to this or other remedies of this kind?



Ayelet Hashachar dreams of trans women thriving & schemes about ways that biomedicine, holistic medicine and plant magic can work in synergy towards that end. She is a clinical herbalist & a research lover dedicated to mutually uplifting plants & trans people, in service of the larger urgent anti-colonial & anti-capitalist imperative to restore and remediate this earth. Ayelet is an anti-zionist, a radical diasporist Ashkenaziyah, & a proud self loving Jewish educator, spiritual consultant  & language nerd based in occupied Lenapehoking / Brooklyn. You can currently find her work on Instagram: @ayelet___hashachar

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