Fall 2020

Regret, Reset, Repentence, Repair

Did Alzheimers Turn My Husband into an Anti-Semite? • Parenting in the Pandemic • Objects and Their Hidden Lives • Forgiveness: When is it Possible?

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

What Can Be Forgiven?

Lilith Feature

The Afterlife of Objects

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Did Alzheimer’s Turn My Husband Into An anti-Semite?

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What if I’d been wrong about all of it, and that there was—and always had been—some deep and yawning chasm between us?

Commit to Your Creativity. Even Now.

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The author of the cult classic Writing Past Dark has some advice.

“Like A Worm You Poke With A Stick”

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When the mommy who loved me was there, I didn’t know about the mommy who hated me.

Parenting During the Pandemic

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SARAH SELTZER: 37, Lilith’s digital editor and mom of two. Dear Friends, I’m in NYC with a baby and toddler at home and little childcare help; my partner is a recent cancer survivor so we’re cautious. Like so many working moms, my job is more flexible (and provides less income) than my male partner’s, so... Read more »

An Early American Portrait Yields Surprises About Race

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You’re a historian studying material culture. How does this work connect to what you call “restoring women’s agency as creators of Jewish identity”? I came to the field of early Jewish American culture in a very roundabout way. Although I have always been an early Americanist, I began my career in Native American Studies and... Read more »

What’s Embedded in Once-Ordinary Objects Brushed by Violence?

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It was early august when I took the Metro out to a suburban station to meet the chief conservator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). She was taking me to the museum’s off-site storage facility. I would spend the day in this most unlikely space. As I entered the nondescript suburban building—the museum’s... Read more »

Re-Setting the Lunchroom Table

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It is 1974, and I am 12. I can see the rectangular Formica-topped table against the back wall of the middle-school lunch room, with its smell of mystery meat and burnt pizza; cheerless fluorescent lights cast a sickly pallor over the five or six girls seated around the table. Rachel, the precocious, vivacious and charismatic... Read more »

We’ve Been Waiting for Your Call for 70 Years

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The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project works with law students, building an archive of the murders of African Americans in the Jim Crow South from 1930 to 1970. We gather the documents, case by case; each case telling a story of violence and impunity that is nowhere to be found in our history books.... Read more »

Stopping Judgment in Its Tracks

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“Addiction followed by redemption” is the familiar trope that implies wrongdoing, even sinfulness, on the part of a person who has used and “abused” what are referred to as “substances.” Part of my job as a harm-reduction therapist is to help people sort out the shame, guilt, self-punitive impulse and desire for redemption engendered by... Read more »

Poem: My Grandmother’s Dishes

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A poem by Lesléa Newman
Comment by Alicia Ostriker

Fiction: The Neowise Comet Listens In

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This narrative blends the voice of the protagonist, a Black Jew, with the imagined voice of the comet. Among the many whose words were overheard by the comet are fellow congregants of Tifereth Israel in Washington, D.C. Thanks to Louise Parker Kelley, Susan Vitale, and Ruth Secular.

Making a Feast of Mezze

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AS A WRITER, cook, filmmaker and travel enthusiast, I’ve loved eating my way through cuisines. Many of my favorite dishes have been part of mezze, an abun- dance of cold and hot plates full of flavor and a wide variety of ingredients. The mezze of the Mediterranean and Middle East, called salatim in Israel and... Read more »

Our Communal Responsibility

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Teshuvah, often translated as “repentance,” really means “returning” or “turning around.” This act is not a single one but a process of becoming accountable: we evaluate our actions, repent for the bad choices, apologize to those we have offended, and make amends for injuries. Because God cannot forgive us for what we have done to... Read more »

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