Fall 2009

What’s this boy crisis? Lilith spotlights men with radical thoughts on gender
and Judaism.  Celebrating differently through the whole calendar cycle.  

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Why Feminism is a Model for Jewish Men Now

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Every evening the night forgives the day its sins and the day sleeps cradled and dreamless; and each morning the day forgives the night even its darkest corners of trespass and the night wanders on dreams of light and wind. This is the secret of the workings of the world first seed planted in the... Read more »

Grasping For The Remote


In 1968, when none of the news was good, her grandmother tried to protect her.

“The Tighter I Held On, the Better He Wrote”


The author of Up the Down Staircase captures her very special grandfather on the 150th anniversary of his birth; he was that entrancing weaver of Yiddish tales, Sholom Aleichem, whose stories about daughters and parents became “Fiddler of the Roof.”



Look again at how we’re marking the passages in our lives, from publishing a new book to hilarious seder homework, from wedding seriousness to birthday frolicking. Not to get all Martha Stewart on you, but this is definitely the moment to do things differently.

Exile From Guyville: A Reflection


Sometime in the middle of high school I was confronted with rather irrefutable evidence that I wasn’t much of a man. Given this was the early 1980s — an era best remembered (and not without irony) for its androgynous male rock stars — you’d think that some gender latitude might have been in order. But... Read more »

David The Father


The Bible’s most vivid character is King David, whom it is easy to see as the paradigm of masculinity. We think of him as a ferocious fighter, a sweet musician, a loyal friend — and mighty popular with the ladies. King David is also an extravagantly emotional father — belying the contemporary cliché that fathers... Read more »

Bottoming for God


And you knew who you were then/Girls were girls and men were men.” So sang Archie Bunker — and for all we’re taught in Hebrew school, “then” might as well mean in biblical times as in 1950s America. But Archie’s ideal does not reflect biblical reality. Deborah, Yael, Miriam, and Sarah are hardly demure “girls.”... Read more »

Gender After Feminism


©Tobaron Waxman I am a gay Orthodox feminist and, perhaps for this very reason, I am confused by gender. Despite the role delineations of the Orthodox world, I have ingested enough popular feminism to be able to distinguish between sex and gender. I get it that, formally speaking, “sex” refers to biology and “gender” to... Read more »



There has never been a better time to be a Jewish woman in America. But to be a Jewish man in America today, you can expect not much more than the same old, same old. So what, you wonder? After all, the same old was pretty good for Jewish men for millennia. But today membership... Read more »

Whenever I Am Hungry


Whenever I am hungrythey crowd past me,gaunt shadows elbowing each other,rushing toward the tables. The tables are many, rude wooden slabs,peasant tables with bread, cheese and wine,homey kitchen tables covered with oilclothor rococo dressed in white linen, platterspiled high with roasts, au gratin potatoes, peas;for dessert, tortes lathered with crème fraiche. The weakest want only... Read more »



Every evening the night forgives the day its sinsand the day sleeps cradled and dreamless;and each morning the day forgives the nighteven its darkest corners of trespassand the night wanders on dreams of light and wind.This is the secret of the workings of the worldfirst seed planted in the primordial deepfirst lesson of the divine... Read more »



You think once you’ve crossed the desert you will find freedom; your belly will be full; your body will forget hunger and fear. After many months you reach the spot where the airplane will take you to the land and you think it will be like the words spoken by the kahenat on the sabbath,... Read more »

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