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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

As I mentioned on my other blog, I’m about to take a brief blogging hiatus (don’t worry–I’ll be back next week!). So I’m giving you the weekly Jewish literary links a day early. Shabbat shalom, and see you next week.

  • “We are delighted to announce that the Jewish Plays Project is now accepting Submissions for its 2015 season!”
  • The Whole Megillah interviews Kathy Kacer, author of fiction and nonfiction on World War II and the Holocaust.
  • New this week: Hevria, “a combination of the Hebrew words Hevreh (group of friends) and Bria (creation). We are a group of creators, coming together. By working together, by combining our forces, I believe we will be incredibly powerful. I believe we can make a difference in the way the Jewish world writes. And I believe we can raise the spiritual sparks of creativity.”
  • The YIVO fall events program is online.
  • And a fun Jewish literary quiz from My Jewish Learning.
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    Words of the Week

    “Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage. Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.”
    “Statement from Creative Community for Peace and Friends”

    “We didn’t have time to get the children and go into the protected room.”
    Gila Tragerman, mother of slain 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman z”l, quoted in The Times of Israel

    “The liberals among us must also understand that we’re not China or Russia, not a superpower. We’re a tiny minority-nation under attack, and sweeping criticism of this nation is like sweeping criticism of the black, gay or Yazidi minority. Despite the Zionist revolution and Israeli sovereignty, we’re still Jews. As Jews we must defend ourselves, and as Jews we must stand for justice.”
    Ari Shavit, “The Challenge of Anti-Semitism,” Haaretz

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Typically brilliant and especially timely work from Adam Kirsch: “Wicked Sons: Benjamin Kerstein, Doron Rabinovici, and Norman Finkelstein.” (The Tablet subtitle reads: “Is Jewish rebellion really a form of submission? Two new novels and one political critic examine apostasy.”)
  • Midmonth brought the latest Jewish Book Carnival, hosted for August by Ann Koffsky.
  • “This book had me hooked with the cover.” So writes Sandee Brawarsky about Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
  • The editors of a new volume, Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950, discuss their fascinating book.
  • “Philadelphia-based humorist and freelance writer Stacia Freedman has a knack for one-liners and her snappy new novel, Tender is the Brisket, is peppered with them.” Read more about Freedman and her work on the Lilith blog.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week, III

    Gary Rosenblatt, “The Editor’s Desk: 10 Lessons from the Gaza War” (The Jewish Week):
    “One can only imagine, with horror, the result if Israel did not have the Iron Dome and if thousands of Hamas rockets had found their targets: Israeli civilians. Would the nations of the world have been more sympathetic then to Israel’s plight? Maybe, but it is better to have their anger than their pity.”

    Ilana Curiel, “Hamas keeps up rocket pressure on Israel; man seriously hurt along Gaza border” (Ynetnews.com):
    “In Eshkol, a man in his 30s sustained serious chest wounds when he was hit by rocket shrapnel. The man, who was at the kibbutz children’s house with his wife, pushed one of the nursery teachers and a child into the safe room, saving their lives. Three-year-old children live in the children’s house that was hit.”

    Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky, “Stop Giving Money to the U.N.’s Relief Agency for Palestinians” (The New Republic):
    “As it is, UNRWA is effectively a branch of Hamas.”

    James Kirchick, “Excluded, for Zionism, at New York’s Inclusive LGBT Synagogue” (Tablet; I’ve opted for the article title that shows up at the top of the webpage, rather than the clickbait title you’ll see as you scroll down):
    “Yet having finally won the acceptance from mainstream Judaism that had so long eluded them, some gay Jews now feel excluded at CBST because of their Zionism.”

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    Tevye in Amherst: A Glimpse into the Great Jewish Books Program

    I have known Hannah Elbaum literally since before she was born. Hannah’s mom and I have been fast friends since our freshman year in college; I was a bridesmaid in Hannah’s parents’ wedding; and I was among the first to hear that Hannah was on the way (and to meet newborn Hannah in the hospital).

    So you can imagine how I began kvelling when I heard that Hannah had been accepted to the 2014 Great Jewish Books Summer Program for high school students at the National Yiddish Book Center. I asked Hannah if she would be kind enough to write up a guest post about her experience, in part because I wish I could attend the program myself. How I would love to spend an entire week in beautiful Amherst, Massachusetts, reading, discussing, and arguing about Jewish literature! When Hannah agreed to contribute her insights, I suggested that she might share with us a typical day in the program. She complied, and I’m delighted to present this glimpse into what was apparently a vibrant and memorable week.

    Hannah Elbaum is a high school senior, eagerly awaiting the next chapter in her life. She was a Diller Teen Fellow of 2012-2013, and a Rising Voices Fellow of 2013-2014. Currently, she is the president of the senior youth group at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she has held a variety of leadership roles and is an active participant in the North American Federation of Temple Youth-Northeast Region.

    Please welcome Hannah Elbaum! Continue reading ›

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