Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

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.

  • For your viewing pleasure: a video of Adam Kirsch speaking on the topic, “Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?”
  • One of the most interesting articles I’ve read thus far on Patrick Modiano in the wake of his Nobel-prize win, by Michael Weingrad for Mosaic Magazine.
  • A trove of Hanukkah fiction from JewishFiction.Net.
  • My thanks to Christi Craig for inviting me to expound on “Jewish storytelling.”
  • And last, but by no means least: the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books!
  • Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach!

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Watching my grandfather--a refugee from Nazism and a U.S. Army WWII veteran--kindle the Hanukkah candles in 1972.

    Watching my grandfather–a refugee from Nazism and a U.S. Army WWII veteran–kindle the Hanukkah candles in 1972.


    Since Hanukkah began last night, I planned to share something I posted here last year: this photo of my grandfather and me, accompanied by a link to the archived story of mine that was included on National Public Radio’s “Hanukkah Lights” broadcast back in 2011. That story, “Fidelis,” was on my mind again last year when I caught this article in The New York Times Magazine on the anniversary of a World War II battle (Tarawa) that is central to it.

    Lo and behold, I returned from a Hanukkah celebration last night (to which I happened to wear, as I often do, a ring that belonged to my grandfather on a silver chain around my neck), to discover that “Fidelis” has been “re-upped” to be part of the 2014 “Hanukkah Lights” broadcast, too. Icing on this cake (or jelly doughnut, as the holiday case may be): NPR is calling the story “a classic” from its “vault.” To which all I can say is: Wow.


    Last week I had the pleasure of attending two literary-award events. Continue reading ›

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    Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

    dollar-sign-mdMonday brings the weekly batch of no-fee competitions/contests, paying submission calls, and jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Continue reading ›

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    Sunday Sentence



    In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

    If you have to end up in the hospital, try to focus all your pain in your heart rather than your head.

    Source: Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows (NB: this book is filled with potential Sunday Sentences)

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    Words of the Week

    “Rabbi Held and other Jewish leaders involved in the protests fittingly cited the Torah, and its insistence on equality, for their actions. ‘Do not stand idly by while the blood of your neighbor is shed,’ the passage from Leviticus (19:6), was noted in Rabbi Ayelet Cohen’s opinion essay on the Garner death and its aftermath. She also quoted Leviticus 24:22: ‘There shall be one law for all of you.'”
    –Source: Editorial (The Jewish Week)

    “The issues here in New York and across America are great. I bless you, and ask you to bless me that we meet the challenge of our community, inspired by the glorious and holy words of the Torah, tzedek tzedek tirdof. (Deuteronomy 16:20) This does not only mean ‘justice, justice you shall pursue’ but even more importantly, ‘justice you shall justly pursue.'”
    –Source: Rabbi Avi Weiss, “Eric Garner, Jacob and Esau: The Ethics of Confrontation” (The Jewish Week)

    “While Open Hillel’s stated aims are open dialogue and inclusiveness—worthy goals—the organization in actuality has something else in mind. The people who claim that Open Hillel’s main objective is to garner support for the BDS movement may not realize just how right they are.”
    –Source: Holly Bicerano, “Standing Athwart Lies: Why I Left Open Hillel” (The Times of Israel)

    “We need you to keep the faith, and become the advocates that Israel deserves and we and the Jewish people need.”
    –Source: Rabbi John Rosove, “An Open Letter to Young American Jewish Liberals About Israel” Continue reading ›

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    Friday Finds for Writers

    Treasure Chest
    Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. Continue reading ›

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