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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.

Words of the Week

“When it finally happened, and someone I knew compared Israelis to fascists, I looked at her post for an hour before I gathered the courage — after four decades of keeping quiet — to speak up. Virtually, at least.”

–Margarita Gokun Silver, “From Russia With Anti-Semitism” (OZY)

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Coming in March, in Boston: an evening seminar on Writing About Religion, taught by Linda K. Wertheimer at GrubStreet.
  • Mazal tov to the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards winners and honorees.
  • On the Moment magazine blog, Nomi Eve and Stephanie Feldman discuss “Why We Write Jewish Historical Fiction.”
  • There’s always something thought-provoking on the Hevria site. This week, I was especially moved by Chaya Lester’s “The Laryngitis of Jewish Women.”
  • And last–but not least!–the January edition of the Fig Tree Books newsletter. Complete with giveaway info for three upcoming novels of Jewish interest.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “I feel a bit like a curmudgeon when I complain that the march’s wonderful joining of the victims of the attacks—journalists, polices, and Jews alike—felt hypocritical. But, given the silence at every other attack on Jews, it seems clear that the only reason the public at large paid attention was because of the Charlie Hebdo connection. I sadly predict that in the future, if only Jews are victims, people will just shake their heads and move on.

    I stress: I am not asking for sympathy. I ask the general European population to recognize that these attacks directly threaten them and the liberal democratic society they treasure. It begins with the Jews but it never ends with them. They must realize that they ignore atrocities against Jews at their own—not just our—peril.”

    Source: Deborah Lipstadt, “Hypocrisy After the Paris Terror Attacks” (Tablet)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Over on The Whole Megillah, you’ll find the latest Jewish Book Carnival–news, reviews & interviews galore.
  • In which Abe Mezrich argues that the late Robert Stone was “one of the greatest non-Jewish Jewish writers.”
  • Beyond “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Gabe Friedman summarizes the raising of the profile of author Stefan Zweig.
  • On Hevria, Chaya Lester offers “Welcome, Paris. With Love, From Jerusalem.”
  • And a France-related post of my own–including some specifically French-Jewish content–on my other blog.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • I was profoundly moved by Marc Kaminsky’s “First Cousins—A Visit to Israel in Verse” when I read it in Jewish Currents, and I’m so glad that it’s now available online.
  • “Israel Has An Amazing Literary Diaspora,” and Beth Kissileff reports on it for The Tower.
  • A short story that appeared in Lilith more than a decade ago is now part of Miryam Sivan’s Snafus and Other Stories. Lilith‘s fiction editor asks the author a few questions.
  • Speaking of fiction–this week brought a new story by Michael Chabon on Tablet.
  • And it has been a busy week at Fig Tree Books, the Jewish fiction-focused publishing company I work for. Among the highlights–the launch of our redesigned website. Please take a look; if you haven’t yet signed up for the FTB newsletter, please subscribe!
  • Shabbat shalom.

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