This paper expands the "family resemblance"metaphor, frequently used to explain orthodoxies' diversity and Orthodoxy's multivalence, by emphasizing familial politics and interrogating contentious dynamic belongings. It examines how central negotiating the politics of belonging is for Orthodox Jews, and how categorization and differentiation pose fundamental challenges in the production of scholarly knowledge on contemporary Orthodoxy. Focusing on the Israeli case, it highlights current lacunas in the study of dati (modern Orthodox) Jews, and the urgent need for social science-oriented research of "lived orthodoxies"to better understand the sector's myriad dimensions and shifting terrain. Using examples from a qualitative study on dati feminist ?agunah activists, it calls for exploring orthodoxies as contested "projects of belonging"aimed at producing specific articulations of "the right way"to be Orthodox. This approach shows how orthodoxies' messiness confounds and revitalizes the idea of a shared framework, highlighting tensions between Orthodoxy as a descriptive, discursive, and constitutive notion.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Association for Jewish Studies 2022.