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: Rabbi Lisa Greene

I am from it’s the season of Dad stressed sermon-writing and Mom making brisket and freezing applesauce and baking Marian Burros’ plum cake.

I’m from red and blue Flair pens for editing with lots of marks between the lines of those sermons and the Foley Food Mill coming out of the closet, three turns forward and one backward so it doesn’t get stuck when making the applesauce.

I’m from meeting Grandma and Grandpa with Dad and Jackie at Mountain Station when the Erie Lackawanna train, dusty and brown, chugs in so they can emerge gently down the big step with their valise, and with the chopped liver wrapped in fourteen layers of waxed paper and foil, and cookies from William Greenberg bakery in their hands. 

I’m from everyone getting dressed for temple and Dad leaving very early wearing a white shirt of course! for yontif and Grandma telling me I need pearls with that.

Read the full piece, “Where I’m From Right Now,” over on Intersections.

Words of the Week: Matti Friedman, Daniel Gordis, Yossi Klein Halevi

Yes, these three—again!

If you missed it, you can catch the recording of their webinar for Diaspora Jews (moderated by the Times of Israel‘s Amanda Borschel-Dan this past Monday).

Recording of “Diaspora Jews: Time to Take a Stand.”

Here’s an accompanying compilation of recommended resources.

(Don’t have time for the full recording? You can also consult this solid summary by Gary Rosenblatt.)