In this work-in-process, Hadar Ahuvia and Avi Amon imagine an ancient and continuous womyn lead Jewish ritual of torah cantillation. Inspired by Jewish feminist scholarship and stories of womyn in the Tanakh and apocrypha, the piece draws on the ancient practice of cheironomy, in which hand gestures were used to teach and denote the chanting melody from the Torah scroll. The shapes and names of the written cantillation system are derivative of these hand gestures, though these gestures are no longer used in many communities. Focusing on rituals surviving through ‘old wives tales’ in the Middle Ages in Europe, Ahuvia and Amon create gestures, movement, and notation, to canonize womyn’s voices and priorities.
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