Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.
Matthew Lippman has played an important role in my own evolution as a poet who writes on Jewish themes, so when I received an announcement regarding a crowdfunding project connected with his latest poetry collection, I was happy to support the work. Now, the book—Salami Jew—has been published, and this week I had the pleasure of reading through my copy.
A quick summary, taken from Matthew’s website:
Matthew Lippman’s latest collection of poems, Salami Jew, is an extended rumination on one man’s relationship with Judaism. In these poems Lippman grapples with and explores the power of being a Jew under the umbrella of observance/non-observance. The tension between the secular and the religious is the driving force behind these introspective, witty, and fiery poems. Salami Jew pulls no punches and does it with sensitivity, honesty, and aplomb. These poems illustrate a man struggling with his identity as a Jew, with his place in the world as a Jew, and with what it means, on a daily basis, to feel the spirit move him in this highly complex world.
Yes. This is as accurate a book description as you’re going to find. You can get a taste of the book from the title poem, which won an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. But you can also just go ahead and order your own copy. I think you’ll be glad you did.
“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)
“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)