Where once he had told me about the Jewish ritual practice of the bar mitzvah, he was largely MIA as I studied for mine. My mother toiled with all the financial and logistical preparations. Ultimately, he snuck into the synagogue and heard me daven. But he quietly absented himself from the party.
Source: Seth Gitell, “America’s Best: Raised By A Green Beret With PTSD” (HuffPost)
As you may already know, tomorrow brings the beginning of the 90th year of Jewish Book Month. And in anticipation, I’m sharing a few poetry titles that are on my tbr list.
But first, a quick look back on my latest read: Inspired by sample poems written by Dan Pagis (1930-1986) about the biblical characters Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel—poems distributed by instructor Amy Gottlieb in a class I’m taking at the Drisha Institute—I spent a chunk of last weekend reading Variable Directions, a full collection of Pagis’s work translated by Stephen Mitchell. And I’m very glad that I did.
Now that I’ve returned Variable Directions to the library, here are three additional poetry titles awaiting my attention.
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“Who would have thought that the killer would be a Jew? Even with all the demonstrations, it never entered our minds.”
Source: Leah Rabin, quoted in a profile written by Lisa Barr, reprinted this week by JTA.
“It is the job of those who care for Israel to understand what it means to us: a political entity torn up by its own internal contradictions and let down by its leaders; a vulnerable state surrounded by enemies and buffeted by religious fanaticism; or merely a home for Jews, young and old, for whom a bus ride to school or a walk to the market should not be a life or death proposition.”
Source: Andrew Silow-Carroll, “Zionist Whiplash” (New Jersey Jewish News)