Women Writing Megillah

Megillah handwritten and illustrated by women

Rachel Jackson

Illustrator Rachel Jackson explains: “During my first year studying in Israel I discovered a pathway into Jewish ritual. I am an Orthodox woman and it isn’t always clear how to meaningfully participate in ritual. Yet there is an art form which has traditionally been practised by women: over centuries, megillot were written and illustrated entirely by women. Unlike a Torah scroll or a mezuzah, it is halakhically permissible for women to write out megillot. That said, this art form has been divorced from the modern practice of reading megillah, where most people follow the reading in printed booklets set in modern fonts. Along with two friends, I decided to change this. We created a megillah that we wrote and illustrated in the style of a traditional megillah based on our research of megillot created by women over the past millennia. However, in one regard we departed from tradition — we printed many copies so that they could be used each year. We hope that our megillah helps contemporary Jewish women connect to the long tradition of brave women who wrote our people’s history. To see more of my artwork and Judaica, visit binahdesign.com.”

Read more by Rachel.

Megillot Esther handwritten and illustrated by women make great gifts! Find them online!

Megillah written by women