“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.
Every Friday, My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›
“A passion for Jewish peoplehood — for the collective identity and survival of the Jewish people, and a concern for the actual individual Jewish people who make up the peoplehood — requires the inconvenient act of caring about the survival and safety of Jews everywhere regardless of the version of antisemitism that they face or that they fear.”
Source: Yehuda Kurtzer, “Antisemitism, and the Inconvenience of Collective Identity”
Every Friday, My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. This Friday, as you may have suspected, many of those links will reflect the influence of what happened last Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Continue reading ›
“People love dead Jews. Living Jews, not so much.”
Source: Dara Horn, “Becoming Anne Frank” (Smithsonian)
Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›
“It’s been four months now since Philip Roth died, long enough in our fast-paced media world that all the eloquent and moving obituaries have largely dissolved into a broader consensus of the kind of writer he was, our culture’s agreed-upon summation of his legacy. It was The New York Times that I think best articulated this mainstream view:
Roth was the last front-rank survivor of a generation of fecund and authoritative and, yes, white and male novelists — the others included John Updike, Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow — who helped define American experience in the second half of the 20th century.
Yet I could never see Roth as simply a ‘white’ novelist. Certainly, he was a ‘male”’novelist, and like all the men on that list his he was to some degree problematic in the way he depicted women (though nowhere near the level of Norman Mailer). But to me, it felt wrong to call someone whose novels were so deeply concerned with Jewish identity ‘white’ (the same is true of Saul Bellow, though that deserves a separate blog post). The truth is, Roth wrote about identity and assimilation as powerfully as any writer of color, and as a Muslim American growing up in a post-9/11 America, I often saw myself in his novels and his characters.”
Read the rest of Aatif Rashid’s “Was Philip Roth a White Author?” over on the Kenyon Review blog.