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Fall 2006

How do women define what’s sacred? Lilith turns 30 and listens to 30-year-olds.  Honoring your best friend - a ritual Judaism forgot to create for us.    Be fruitful - but graduate!

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

At 30…

We asked women born the year Lilith was launched to tell us what they worry about today

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“Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person”

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Bat Mitzvahs, Birthmothers, Bombings

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Meet five fresh novelists you'll love: Meg Rosoff, Dana Reinhardt, Brenda Ferber, Carolyn Mackler and Lisa Ann Sandell.

Learning French

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I remember coming home late from school that April afternoon, deliberately dawdling, as my mother would put it, somehow knowing that whatever news awaited me wasn’t good. Walking down the block, I saw my grandparents, Bernie and Birdie, before they saw me; Bernie was bending down to pick up the garbage pail that the careless city... Read more »

How Do Women Define the Sacred?

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A slew of insights into a different kind of holiness through the bold, idiosyncratic and deeply personal prayer shawls women are creating for themselves. Additional first person stories by Ilana Kurshan, Marcia Talmage Schneider, Rena Olshansky, Anna Kolodner and Marcia Goggin.

Kaddish Keeper

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In which the author wonders how she ended up with all those candles on her stove.

50 Years and Counting

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"Best Friends"—a ritual Judaism forgot to create for us.

Clashing Expectations

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A professor exhorts her young religious students who are mothers to put themselves first, for once.

…redefining modesty

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When I hear the word “feminist” I think of women my mother’s and grandmother’s age; I shy away from the word myself. I grew up at a time when Jewish women were expected to obtain university degrees and pursue careers. My mother and grandmother are working women with master’s degrees and respectable salaries; “feminism” and... Read more »

…lesbian mom seeks spa

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In my early twenties, I identified strongly as a Jewish feminist, and most of my interests and concerns were closely connected to that identity. Now, at 30, I am also a rabbi, a mother, a lesbian, a life partner, and an ambitious professional. My busy life is rich and satisfying because I have tried to... Read more »

…William-Wants-a-Doll grew up

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Raised listening to “Free to Be You and Me,” my generation was taught to expect it all. We’d achieve career success and come home to husbands who were equal partners, sharing fully in the childrearing and household chores. Somewhere along the way, though, we realized that “equalness” was perhaps as great a myth as the... Read more »

…no top-tier offspring—yet

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Several times in the past year, my 89-year-old grandmother has reminded me that a week before she turned 30, she gave birth to my father—an unbelievable milestone for this feisty Holocaust survivor who lost her first family. It is now 59 years later, a week before I—the first grandchild, of genealogical importance second only to... Read more »

…remedial Girly Studies

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In her 30s, my mother was busy defining herself against her own lovely mother who seemed too passive, deferential, and self-sacrificing…and who wore nailpolish! My mother is a passionate feminist (academic). For a time, I really rebelled. I saw feminism as the territory of the academic who speaks in semi-colons. It was not until I... Read more »

…leaving Mother Russia

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Both my mother and I were born in the former Soviet Union, but I came to America when I was three. She had just turned 31. How did she spend her thirtieth birthday? She applied for documents to leave a communist country and everything she ever knew. My thirtieth birthday I will spend partying at... Read more »

…sexy and funny

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Our culture encourages us to use the milestone of “turning 30” as a time to make changes if things seem to be going awry. I don’t think that sort of introspection should end when I turn 31 next month! Growing up in the Modern Orthodox community of New Jersey, I felt isolated as a nascent... Read more »

…becoming a pumpkin in Paris

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I have read Simone de Beauvoir, I subscribe to Lilith, I believe women are fit for any professional role, and when I get married I will more than likely hyphenate my name—even if that means assuming the responsibility of a combined last name sporting 3 Zs. But I would not like to live with my... Read more »

…t-shirts tor the generations

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“My mother,” one of my first t-shirts read, “is an otolaryngologist.” I was the only kid in my first grade class with that shirt. I was the only one with a NARAL shirt, too, and probably the only one whose mother read Ms. Magazine’s “Stories for Free Children” at bedtime. Today, I can still feel... Read more »

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