Share your thoughts on the summer issue

The summer issue is up! Share your thoughts and responses below.

5 comments on “Share your thoughts on the summer issue

  1. Beth on

    I have the exact same thing happen! My kids are 7 and 4. I’ve been mistaken for the nanny and the sitter since my first was a baby. I used to get crazy questions as a practicing attorney (age 25: a court clerk told me I looked about 12; age 26: a Southwest FA told me I had to be 15 to sit in the exit row; age 27: I couldn’t buy a lottery ticket in FL without getting out my driver’s license). The thing that’s changed since having two is that I no longer get carded at the liquor store (I take it to mean that I now look 21/22–at age 37).

    I haven’t heard of this happening to too many others. As we all get older, I keep hearing that’s it’s better to be thought to be younger, even if it makes us feel like we’re trespassing in someone else’s life–during that moment that our kids are not thought to be ours. So, I definitely hear what you’re saying.

  2. Linda Cohen on

    I very much enjoyed your article on Feminist Funerals and as a woman who just finished saying kaddish for my father, ever grateful that as a Conservative Jewess, being counted in a minyan and saying kaddish was never an issue. However, referring to the side-bar on page 26, I was taught that kaddish for a parent was said for eleven months less a day and not, as the article says, eleven months and a day.

  3. admin on

    We got the following comment from Julia Wolf Mazow:

    yasher koakh for your wonderful article on feminist funerals. There is a lot I liked about it, not least of which is your writing. I recently told someone I wanted my beloved woman friends as pallbearers & he laughed. (To my knowledge, I am in good health, I feel compelled to say)
    thanks so much for this really excellent article.

  4. admin on

    The Lilith office received this amazing letter from Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips:

    Dear Amy and Editors of Lilith,

    Thank you for the complimentary copy of “Feminist Funerals”, which cites the manual
    that I compiled for our hevra kadisha (Jewish sacred burial fellowship). As an
    activist who has been “looking at death and mourning through a feminist lens [and]
    connecting the dots” for nearly two decades, I appreciate your efforts to highlight
    this still-neglected part of the life cycle.

    I also understand that the breadth of issues raised in “Feminist Funerals” may have
    mitigated against a fully nuanced presentation of all particulars. That being said,
    I’m concerned that your final editing did not present our resource accurately.

    Amy had informed me–following an extended dialogue on the relationships between
    feminist consciousness and traditional liturgy–that our burial fellowship guide
    would be referenced in her article with the following commentary: “The manual?s
    English translation does not change ‘the master of the universe’ language of the
    original but its highly egalitarian language in both the Hebrew and the English
    honors all six matriarchs.” I appreciated this, because Jewish feminist liturgy has
    been slow to overcome the social class bias that excludes Bilhah and Zilpah from
    their rightful place among the matriarchs (our manual being one of few exceptions,
    as explained on page 23).

    Unfortunately, this wording was omitted. Instead, the published article
    states–somewhat cryptically–that our manual’s “translations are generally
    non-sexist.” To label something “generally non-sexist” implies that at least some
    part of it is “sexist.” Beyond how this comment reflects on our guide for honoring
    the dead, it also begs the question of what “non-sexist” language actually is–and
    whether feminists should recite such apparently “sexist” prayers as the mourner’s
    kaddish, for example.

    The pages of Lilith have long provided a forum for feminist discussions of the
    Jewish life cycle. Betsy Kaplan’s compelling first-person account of her
    involvement in the hevra kadisha (“The Rituals of Death,” Lilith #22 / Winter 1989)
    continues to be a key resource in my educational outreach work. I hope that the
    broader survey of issues in “Feminist Funerals” will be followed by a return of more
    regular, focused attention to each of the various aspects of accompanying and
    honoring the dying and the dead.

    This is, after all, a realm in which women have played central roles since ancient
    times, as documented in both the Bible and the Talmud. (The latter, by the way, is
    where we first find mention of Jewish burial societies, about a millennium before
    16th-century Prague).

    I also hope that–in the apparent absence of a “Letters to the Editor” section in
    the magazine–the foregoing concerns can be acknowledged in a way that carries this
    dialogue forward in print.

    In sisterhood–AND “fellowship”,

    Rabbi Regina L. Sandler-Phillips, MSW, MPH

    (The writer is the founding chair of the 70-member hevra kadisha and simple Jewish
    funeral plan at Park Slope Jewish Center, a traditional egalitarian congregation
    under the leadership of Rabbi Carie Carter in Brooklyn, New York.)

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