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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • One of this week’s favorite reads: Roz Chast’s “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” in The New Yorker.
  • Just in time for Purim, Rebecca Klempner shares some literary lessons from the Book of Esther.
  • Superb profile of Molly Antopol by Sandee Brawarsky for The Jewish Week. (I’ve finally bought Antopol’s The UnAmericans–now I just need to find the time to read it!)
  • From the same source that brought us the PJ Library: “The Massachusetts-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation recently launched Maktabat al-Fanoos, Arabic for Lantern Library, which provides Arabic children’s books to Arab Israeli children in kindergarten and pre-K.”
  • I’m unfortunately not likely to make it to this event, but if you’re in New York, you may want to try to attend “Making it New: Contemporary Novelists and the Jewish Literary Tradition,” a program that will feature Jonathan Rosen, Tova Mirvis, and Josh Lambert ($10 admission fee).
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Liel Leibovitz

    To argue that only an openness to all points of view is acceptable, to claim that unless we invite our fiercest critics into our house and let them thunder we’re somehow abdicating our responsibilities as mindful and moral human beings is to adhere to the most flightless form of relativism, the kind that believes in nothing save for the fact that all values are equal, which, of course, makes all values meaningless.

    Source: Liel Liebovitz, “Why Talk About Israel With People Who Want It To Disappear?” (Tablet)

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Superb review by Ron Radosh of a new book by John Judis, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. (You’ll recall my enthusiasm for the book that Ron Radosh co-authored with Allis Radosh covering some similar territory.)
  • This week also brought an excellent piece by another author I admire: Lucette Lagnado’s “Anti-Israel Jews & the Vassar Blues.” (And to refresh your memory, here’s my take on Lagnado’s The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit.)
  • Learn more about Fig Tree Books, a new publisher for fiction on American Jewish experience, in this Q&A with senior editor Michelle Caplan.
  • Beth Kissileff writes about “‘Ex-Frum’ vs. ‘Datlash’: Two Very Different Literary Genres.”
  • “Sotto Voce” is “a dream play in which a passionate, Jewish-Cuban young man (Saquiel) sets out to recover memories of the S.S. St. Louis which, in 1939, left Nazi Germany for Cuba filled with Jewish refugees but was turned back by Cuba, the U.S. and Canada.” And it’s in New York until March 9. (h/t @BarbaraKrasner)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Amos Oz

    AmosOzA Jew, in my unhalachic opinion, is someone who chooses to share the fate of other Jews, or who is condemned to do so.

    Moreover: to be a Jew almost always means to relate mentally to the Jewish past, whether the relation is one of pride or gloom or both together, whether it consists of shame or rebellion or pride or nostalgia.

    Moreover: to be a Jew almost always means to relate to the Jewish present, whether the relation is one of fear or confidence, pride in the achievement of Jews or shame for their actions, an urge to deflect them from their path or a compulsion to join them.

    And finally: to be a Jew means to feel that wherever a Jew is persecuted for being a Jew—that means you.

    Source: Amos Oz, “The Meaning of Homeland” (trans. Nicholas de Lange)

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Rabbi David Wolpe: “I’m often asked to recommend books. Here are five unique and powerful modern works that you may have missed or forgotten. These works will enrich, elevate and educate any Jew, indeed any human being.”
  • Moment magazine is looking for a part-time online editor.
  • Fathom shares an interview with Sayed Kashua, “one of the [Israel]‘s most successful writers.” (A lot to think about here–but I admit getting stuck with the suggestion that Gaza is currently “occupied” by Israel.)
  • I’ve got other plans, but if I were free to attend, I’d be interested in hearing Ruth Wisse speak about Jacob Glatstein at YIVO on March 4.
  • “As I discovered while conducting dissertation research on this topic, the ‘belle Juive’ (beautiful Jewess) trope was to early 19th-century French literature something like what the ‘shiksa’ would become for American Jewish writers: an exotic object of desire, but also someone one might marry to affirm progressive, universalist ideals.” Phoebe Maltz Bovy offers some interesting thoughts on “the intermarriage script.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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