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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • You’re probably seeing lots of “best-of-year” book lists around. Here’s one that focuses on 2014’s Jewish books.
  • Rebecca Klempner remembers Gil Marks “and his contribution to Jewish books and cooking.”
  • Weekend reading: the new (December) issue of The Tower magazine.
  • A thoughtful piece by Phil Getz on “Eric Garner and Moshe Twersky Bound by History.”
  • And on the Lilith blog–a new poem of mine.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “If you were truly concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people there would be one, just one, resolution to address the thousands of Palestinians killed in Syria. And if you were so truly concerned about the Palestinians there would be at least one resolution to denounce the treatment of Palestinians in Lebanese refugee camps.”
    –Ambassador Ron Prosor, Address to the United Nations General Assembly on the Question of Palestine

    “‘Broadly speaking, most New York Jewish intellectuals tend to be anti-Israel, and I disagree with a lot of my friends on this,’ [playwright Kenneth Lonergan] said. ‘Someone asked me recently if I was pro-Israel. I said, “Well I’m not pro-Hamas!” The standard comment is, yes we know they’re terrible, the Islamic extremists and anti-Israel factions in the Middle East, but—and then they go on about how horrible Israel is.’ He said he felt that this common posture was a sort of liberal racism, ‘where you have an overly benevolent and understanding position toward non-white cultures that behave just as appallingly as white cultures that you are very quick to jump on and condemn. That’s a very common feature of the atmosphere I grew up in. It accounts for quite a lot of the strange bias that you hear in left-wing circles and it fits the pattern just as well as the clearly racist xenophobia that you hear in right wing circles.'”
    –Kenneth Lonergan, quoted in Tablet magazine.

    “What is certain is that, for Jews who make their lives in intellectual and academic circles, the growing prevalence of anti-Israel discourse is making things very uncomfortable.”
    –Adam Kirsch, “The Great Jewish American Liberal Academic Anti-Anti-Zionist Freak-Out” (Tablet magazine)

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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.

  • Upon the passing of Coffee House Press founder Allan Kornblum, Allan Appel reflects on Kornblum “and the Jewish Question.”
  • Another worthy essay from Nina Badzin, this time on “an unexpected improvement” to her marriage.
  • I’ve just finished reading Assaf Gavron’s The Hilltop (trans. Steven Cohen). Dan Friedman’s review sums up the novel nicely.
  • And I’ve just purchased this book, which, as you’ll see will be the focus of a forthcoming event at Hebrew Union College in NYC.
  • Tablet magazine is hiring two paid, part-time editorial interns.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “So, my dear friends with flowers in your hands, yes let’s convene another peace gathering and I will be there with bells on. But before that let us be discerning and draw clear lines. All is not a wash of oneness, equivalencies, equalities. There are cancers that can not be cured by chanting. Conflicts that can not be quashed through diplomacy. Aggressive medicine can sometimes be the most compassionate treatment for the disease.”
    Source: Chaya Lester, “Feeling ‘Peaced Off'” (Hevria)

    “If you’ve decided to turn the American campus into a war front, well, à la guerre comme à la guerre. Expect to take casualties.”
    Source: Martin Kramer, “Hero’s Welcome for Hater of Israel at MESA” (The Sandbox)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • The Jewish Week serves up its fall literary special section, with an emphasis on “the next wave of Russian-Jewish literature.”
  • “In the Schwarzwald,” a new poem by Lawrence Schimel.
  • From Tablet magazine: “Miriam Michelson, American Jewish Feminist Literary Star of the Western Frontier.”
  • “One author, raised in liberal Judaism’s bosom, has been quietly redefining what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century.” Batya Ungar-Sargon profiles Adam Kirsch for The Forward.
  • And the Fig Tree Books blog presents another roundup of links relating to American Jewish Experience in “AJE Around the Web.”
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    Lee Mandel’s “Unlikely Warrior: A Pacifist Rabbi’s Journey from the Pulpit to Iwo Jima”

    9781455619870Lee Mandel is another author I’ve come to know via our online interactions. I’m delighted to present his latest book–an important history you can learn more about here. And I have Lee’s permission to share his kind email message with you.

    Hi Erika- you probably know that you are a mentor to a lot of aspiring writers such as myself. I mentioned in the past that I frequently read your web postings. My new book, Unlikely Warrior: A Pacifist Rabbi’s Journey From the Pulpit to Iwo Jima, is due out late December (it’s been delayed from the original publication date of September 30). Last year I saved a file from your website “Advice for Writers: Six Ways to Publicize Your Jewish Book.” In it you mentioned that one of your first speaking engagements for Quiet Americans was at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. Well, I followed your lead and contacted Mike Rugel at the museum and I’m pleased to say that I’ll be speaking there on March 8. I thank you so much for the advice! Although the book isn’t out yet, I’ve already given two talks and the response has been highly favorable. My publisher (Pelican Publishing Company in New Orleans) is arranging several more and they have contacted the World War II Museum in New Orleans. They are very interested in the book, especially given that the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima is this coming February. Once again Erika, thanks for the guidance you provide to us all on your website!

    And thank you, Lee, for sharing the news of your book–and my small role in helping you help others get to know it.

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