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From My Bookshelf: Rachel Mennies’s Jewish Poems

290_glad handMy online path recently crossed that of poet Rachel Mennies, and how glad I am that it did. Soon enough, I was immersed in Mennies’s debut full-length poetry collection, The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards. The book was published this year as the winning manuscript in the Walt McDonald First-Book Series in Poetry, housed at Texas Tech University Press.

Here, in part, is how ImageUpdate has described the collection:

Rachel Mennies’s first collection is a powerful lyric account of a woman’s search for self through her relationship to God, Judaism, and history. These carefully-shaped poems arrest the reader with startling imagery and sound. With a compelling voice that is at once anguished and utterly composed, these poems ask: how does one reconcile one’s personal faith and struggles with those of one’s ancestors? And how, within the context of this history, does one come to terms with a God of witness and mercy?

But, wait–there’s more. I’m so grateful to Mennies for the permission to publish this sample from the book: Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

Another week has begun; here is another installment of words I am compelled to share with you.

From Elliott Hamilton’s “Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook,” on The Times of Israel:
“It should not be politically correct to give anti-Semites a voice and an outlet to call for murdering Jews. It should not be acceptable for a social media service to allow such blatant Jew-hatred, or any hatred for that matter. This is not a matter of allowing open dialogue and fruitful discussions on a conflict that has troubled the region for decades; this is a matter of common decency and human dignity….

So Mark Zuckerberg, if you read this letter, I hope that you take my words to heart and do the courageous thing. Do the humane thing. Do the right thing. Remove all Facebook pages that call for the death of the Jewish people.” Continue reading ›


Words of the Week, VI

From Amos Oz, quoted in an interview with Deutsche Welle:
“I have been a man of compromise all my life. But even a man of compromise cannot approach Hamas and say: ‘Maybe we meet halfway and Israel only exists on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.'”

From Uriel Heilman, “The Images Missing from the Gaza War,” on JTA.org:
“Either reporters and editors are uninterested in telling the side of the story that shows what Hamas is doing in Gaza or they’re unable. Let’s consider that latter possibility.”

And on a related note: “Forty Questions for the International Media in Gaza”

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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. This week, we’re on a bit of a hiatus. The links will return next Friday. Thank you for your patience, and Shabbat Shalom.


Words of the Week, V

More current-events items culled from the news (& the blogosphere).

John Ging, UN

From Terrence McCoy, “Why Hamas Stores Its Weapons Inside Hospitals, Mosques, and Schools,” in The Washington Post:
“During one short-lived lull in rocket fire, The Washington Post’s William Booth saw a ‘group of men’ at a mosque in northern Gaza. They said they had returned to clean up glass from shattered windows. ‘But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque,’ Booth wrote. He also reported that Shifa Hospital in Gaza City had ‘become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.

Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Casey tweeted an image of a Hamas spokesman giving an interview at a Gaza hospital. With the shelling, ‘You have to wonder … how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.’ The tweet was later deleted.” Continue reading ›

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