Fall 2015

Our Jewish Cognitive Dissonance

Becoming a foster mom. Facing "The Princess Problem." A non-Jewish boyfriend feels like a refresh button. The lifecycle of Jewish junk at the thrift store. Our Jewish cognitive dissonance.

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Lilith Feature

Our Jewish Cognitive Dissonance

 “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes, especially as  relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change”

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We’re standing in line at the Reindeer Express when she broaches the subject. She, meaning my sister Sarah. Married now for the second time and happily at that…though it’s only five months into the marriage, so my fingers are crossed pretty tight. Her sons — my nephews — are eight and six, and we’re holding their coats and lunch... Read more »

Smelling of Apples


Rachel is trying to figure out the perfect line break when she hears Carraway’s footsteps. Outside, the leaves are changing color, brassy oranges and sunflower yellows. She stares through the window at the roots of the trees and the dim blue glow of the emergency phone boxes that surround the quad. Carraway knocks on the... Read more »



I place a smallstone on my father’smarker flat to the ground to say, your memory lastssolid and enduring. I place a smallstone on my father’smarker flat to the groundto say, rest peacefullyno need to ache and wander. I place a smallstone on my father’smarker flat to the groundto say, this pebble, your name,is carried in... Read more »

A Catskill Summer


When I was a little girl, Pagliaccio was my favorite companion. He went wherever I went, and although that wasn’t very far in my neighborhood, we traveled well together. The summer of 1945 was the first time Pagliaccio and I were truly going to be far from home, away from the hot pavement and sweltering... Read more »

At the Thrift Shop


Most people can’t bear to go to the animal pound because of the urge to adopt all the abandoned animals they see. For me, the location that pulls at my heartstrings is the Goodwill Store in Plantation, FL. I can’t stand to leave all those forlorn-looking menorahs and kiddush cups in the store. Like forsaken... Read more »

The Princess Problem


My name begins with E, a namesake of my grandmother Esther. So I’ve spent many a moment, like Jewish feminists before me, wrestling with the in-your-face dualities of the Book of Esther, one that places a would-be hero (and hidden Jew) in a harem of virgins for the king to peruse and use. And it’s... Read more »

Always a Crossword Between Us


On a recent Sunday morning I sat at the kitchen table in my fluffy white bathrobe, sipping a cup of hazelnut coffee and tapping one polished red fingernail against a wooden pencil. The New York Times crossword puzzle was spread out before me, and as I searched my brain for a four letter word meaning... Read more »

When is Daddy Coming?


I opened my front door and Dad brought Mom in, carefully unzipping her long down-filled coat and handing me her water bottle and a bag of disposable underwear. He reminded me when she would need to eat, drink and use the bathroom. Then he kissed her soft, wrinkled cheek, stroked her balding head, and drove off... Read more »

Choosing to Be a Foster Mom


In my biological family it is, ironically, becoming foster parents that runs in our genes. Because of my family history (more on that later) I feel a pull — much stronger than toward any other mitzvah — to foster children who need homes. Yet for most Jews, this is an issue that has fallen off our radar. Here’s my... Read more »

Lonely Planet Mikveh


On the Third Day of Creation, God gathered the lower waters together and called them “seas.” The Hebrew word for this gathering is mikveh. I am in my neighborhood mikveh in Jerusalem. The paint is peeling, and rusted exposed pipes hiss from each cubicle. I reach for my plastic packet from the Ministry of Religion (light-green... Read more »

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