In an article written in 1989 by Rebecca Alpert on the subject of lesbianism and Jewish tradition, lesbianism is assumed to be a fundamental challenge to Judaism. Homosexuality does not pose this threat because men, "are accepted as men, [and] they often lose sight of the necessity to change Jewish tradition so that women can be full participants. Lesbians are in the unique situation of having to contend both with issues of gender and sexuality in combination."  Most of the secondary material on lesbianism does not attempt such ambitions of placing it at the site of halakhic discourse, but rather is confessional in nature. For instance, the early material in Nice Jewish Girls,  or the Israeli women of the English language journal Lesbiot,  or the more recent Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian, Gay and Jewish,  all offer much material to raise consciousness on the subject. However, those writers who address the topic as it operates within the halakhic system appear to assume the same basic requirement: the need to first locate lesbianism in the Bible and in the classical corpus of Jewish legal texts.
Whether it is a certain type of reading of chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus, where homosexuality is prohibited, or Howard Eilberg-Schwartz's approach to creation,  many of the non-narrative works treat lesbians as if they are alluded to in the Bible. One may even suggest that there is a desire to place lesbianism in the realm of prohibitions. Again we may cite Rebecca Alpert, who notes that although the Leviticus text "specifically refers to relationships between men, lesbians experience the power of this prohibition in reference to themselves as well."  Alpert also criticizes both the Bible and later texts for their lenient approach to lesbianism, as contrasted to the stricter view on homosexuality.  It does not help matters that Maimonides claims that the punishment for lesbianism is neither biblical nor rabbinic.  This lacuna for Alpert demonstrates a "disinterest in bonding beween women."  What is at stake is the whole realm of women's sexual activity, that it matters, that it's there, and that it counts.  Other authors reflect a similar theme: Elizabeth Sara portrays an impoverished womanhood because females are, indeed, included in some of the laws of forbidden unions in Leviticus, but "women are the objects, not the subjects, of the different types of sexual union, and there is no mention at all of women in relation to one another."  Rodney Mariner is sympathetic to the fact that in the later Jewish texts the female equivalent of male homosexuality is regarded as "mere obscenity."  Consequently, in a strange, but necessary, corollary to this apparent need to equate lesbianism with other biblical prohibitions, these writers then dismiss halakha or offer creative exegesis to rescue the women from their enslavement to traditional law!
Before we pronounce on these issues, let us investigate certain significant Jewish texts which appear to deal with lesbianism, from the Bible to contemporary Responsa.
Lesbianism is assumed by many modern authors to be implied in Leviticus chapters 18 and 20. The eighteenth chapter is introduced with a general prohibition against subscribing to the practices of Egypt and Canaan (Lev. 18:2-3):
I am the Lord your God. You shall not copy the practice of the land of Egypt where you dwell, or of the land of Canaan to which I am taking you; nor shall you follow their laws.
The chapter continues with pronouncements against various sexual unions, especially with family members. A second set of prohibitions includes offering children to Molech, sexual union between males, and sexual union with animals. Leviticus 18:22 is the text prohibiting homosexuality: 
Do not lie with a male as one lies with a women; it is an abhorrence.
Leviticus 20:13 specifies the punishment:
If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death--their blood guilt is upon them. …