I maintain two blogs: Practicing Writing and My Machberet. Posts for both blogs show up on this page, but you can visit each blog by clicking on the appropriate link. It's also possible to subscribe to each feed.
Practicing Writing: Here you'll find updates on writing and publishing opportunities (especially handy between issues of our popular monthly newsletter). You'll discover ONLY opportunities that charge no fees, and ONLY publications/contests that will pay for your writing. The blog also shares writing-related news, resources, and quotations; book reviews; and occasional updates regarding this practicing writer's own work.
My Machberet: "Machberet" is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it's also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I've chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.
In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”
(“Remember, my name is Nahum Grzywacz,” enjoins one of the authors at the end of his testament, emphasizing this final line.)
Source: Jessica Lang’s “Measure for Measure: Narrative and Numbers in Holocaust Textual Memorials,” a chapter in Third-Generation Holocaust Narratives: Memory in Memoir and Fiction (edited by Victoria Aarons); the sentence ends with a footnote citing material from the Ringelblum Archive as described in Samuel Kassow’s Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto.
The brilliant Adam Kirsch has a new book out, and it’s a must-read for anyone who’s truly seeking to educate themselves in Jewish history and literature. Here’s the wrinkle: Unless you’ve already benefited from a pretty comprehensive Jewish education, The People and the Books will likely make you want to place on your own to-read list each of the 18 “classics of Jewish literature” that it analyzes. And since some of titles discussed—take the Zohar, for instance—total thousands of pages and require multiple volumes, that list is going to get much, much longer.
I’ve decided to begin with a less ambitious goal. Having read through Kirsch’s new book, and recognizing my own reading preferences, I’m going add to my tbr list only five of the titles discussed in The People and the Books. For now.
The five I’ve chosen: Continue reading ›
Sorry to do this again so soon, folks–but things are BUSY! Look for the next Midweek Notes next week, please. Thank you!
“Can we get beyond the toxicity? That depends in large measure to what we attribute its origins. While the panoply of its causes is beyond the scope of this essay, one contributing factor reigns supreme: Many participants in the conversation have turned up the volume to camouflage an overwhelming ignorance about issues. It is no exaggeration to say that many of those who advocate ending the occupation tomorrow or continuing it forever have given much more consideration to which smartphone to purchase next than they have to the likely repercussions of the position they advocate with absolute certainty.
Many American Jews despair about Israel’s conduct of its conflict, but know nothing about how Israel responded to the very same challenges in the 1940’s and 1950’s, even in its public school curricula. We know the names of the prime ministers we detest, but cannot name five Israeli poets or novelists and say something about what they sought to communicate to and about Israeli society. Most young American Jews are largely opposed to the occupation, yet are unaware that the Palestinians’ explicit drive to destroy Israel began before there even was an occupation.”
Source: Daniel Gordis, “We Need to Talk About Israel” (Tablet)
I have just purchased a copy of Gordis’s new book, Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn.