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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • One of this week’s favorite reads: Roz Chast’s “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” in The New Yorker.
  • Just in time for Purim, Rebecca Klempner shares some literary lessons from the Book of Esther.
  • Superb profile of Molly Antopol by Sandee Brawarsky for The Jewish Week. (I’ve finally bought Antopol’s The UnAmericans–now I just need to find the time to read it!)
  • From the same source that brought us the PJ Library: “The Massachusetts-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation recently launched Maktabat al-Fanoos, Arabic for Lantern Library, which provides Arabic children’s books to Arab Israeli children in kindergarten and pre-K.”
  • I’m unfortunately not likely to make it to this event, but if you’re in New York, you may want to try to attend “Making it New: Contemporary Novelists and the Jewish Literary Tradition,” a program that will feature Jonathan Rosen, Tova Mirvis, and Josh Lambert ($10 admission fee).
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Liel Leibovitz

    To argue that only an openness to all points of view is acceptable, to claim that unless we invite our fiercest critics into our house and let them thunder we’re somehow abdicating our responsibilities as mindful and moral human beings is to adhere to the most flightless form of relativism, the kind that believes in nothing save for the fact that all values are equal, which, of course, makes all values meaningless.

    Source: Liel Liebovitz, “Why Talk About Israel With People Who Want It To Disappear?” (Tablet)

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Superb review by Ron Radosh of a new book by John Judis, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. (You’ll recall my enthusiasm for the book that Ron Radosh co-authored with Allis Radosh covering some similar territory.)
  • This week also brought an excellent piece by another author I admire: Lucette Lagnado’s “Anti-Israel Jews & the Vassar Blues.” (And to refresh your memory, here’s my take on Lagnado’s The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit.)
  • Learn more about Fig Tree Books, a new publisher for fiction on American Jewish experience, in this Q&A with senior editor Michelle Caplan.
  • Beth Kissileff writes about “‘Ex-Frum’ vs. ‘Datlash’: Two Very Different Literary Genres.”
  • “Sotto Voce” is “a dream play in which a passionate, Jewish-Cuban young man (Saquiel) sets out to recover memories of the S.S. St. Louis which, in 1939, left Nazi Germany for Cuba filled with Jewish refugees but was turned back by Cuba, the U.S. and Canada.” And it’s in New York until March 9. (h/t @BarbaraKrasner)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • This Fiction Writers Review interview with Molly Antopol heightened my interest in Antopol’s debut story collection The UnAmericans (although my interest level was already pretty high). Note the segment in which Antopol answers the question, “So do you consider The UnAmericans a Jewish book?” (On a related note: I have a guest post this week on The Whole Megillah in which I reflect [again] on what defines a “Jewish story.”)
  • Joanna Chen’s essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books introduced me to the poetry of Agi Mishol.
  • If, like me, you missed the chance to see the Elif Batuman/Gary Shteyngart double-feature at the 92nd Street Y earlier this month, you can catch the video here.
  • You’ve probably seen plenty of laudatory reviews of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land (including some cited here on My Machberet). More recently, I’ve caught two less enthusiastic takes: one on The Daily Beast and one from Moment magazine. See what you think about them.
  • And last, but definitely not least: the latest Jewish Book Carnival, hosted most graciously by the Jewish Book Council.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Avi Mayer


    An extraordinary week (thus far) for Israel in The New York Times.

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