My Machberet

“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, until I returned to language study well into adulthood, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remembered), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Words of the Week

“There is a way that a member of a small audience will smile at you, if you’re lucky, that denotes not just understanding and appreciation but a conviction that they get you in a special way, as though your words are just for them. Two or three such people in your audience and you are an unstoppable force. Tonight, the whole room smiles at me that secret smile of special one-to-one knowingness and I smile it back. What this really means is that they recognize in me what I recognize in them—the family likeness, not just of feature, but of manner of discourse, the worrying one’s way to truth, the holding back of final assent, the sense that we’re all in the Great Yeshiva of the Mind together.”

Source: Howard Jacobson, “Russia, My Homeland” (Tablet magazine)

Words of the Week

“In order to help make a positive impact on this world, and to foster compassion and gain a better understanding of antisemitism, we ask that our literary organizations include Jewish representation in our diversity conversations and programs. The goal is to show respectful, thoughtful, and non-stereotypical portrayals of Jewish people. We add our names to help unite our community to educate, support, and share resources that promote such understanding and counteract antisemitism.”

Source: “Book Community Statement Of Solidarity Against Antisemitism”