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Spring 1992

Miriam’s Cup: a new Passover tradition honoring the prophetess Miriam. The Garden
of Eden stars in a new feminist musical. A Jewish student learns to love German. Your worrying is good.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Beauty is the Mother of Death

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The Magical Properties of Worrying

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Do others put you down when you noodge and worry? Ammunition from this feminist family therapist will help you fight back!

Street of Whores

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A young Moroccan editor confronts her identity after her father’s death with insights derived from watching Tel Aviv’s prostitutes.

Turning 40: A Ritual Talmudically

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Thirty five friends help a woman cross that dangerous threshold into midlife. Candles, sandals and Talmudic rumination.

Holocaust Wills

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Part of a will written by a woman of Kovel, to her husband; carved on the synagogue wall: Reuben Atlas, this is to inform you that here, in this place, your wife Gina and your son Imosz were murdered. Our child cried bitterly; he did not want to die. Go forth to battle and avenge... Read more »

Nitzah Marsha Jospe

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Dying of cancer at age 32, she wrote this ethical will to her three small children: Sunday, Rosh Hodesh Adar 5740, February 17, 1980 I’m afraid Tamar won’t remember me. I’m not even sure what IIan at 4 1/2 will remember — not much I’m sure; and Deena at 7 1/2 may remember some harsh... Read more »

Harold

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I address myself to my children — to all of our household. My father died at the age of 83 and I have a premonition that in this, my 83rd year, I too will be called to my final resting place . . . My deep concern is for your mother. What will become of... Read more »

Shulamit Rabinovitch

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The following ethical will was written during the Holocaust in the Kovno ghetto. It is addressed to two sons living in America: My dear, fortunate sons!       We sense the end is near. It will not be long before they finish us off. On one hand it is good, on the other hand... Read more »

Jennie Stein Berman

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Jennie Berman, who immigrated to America, is concerned here for Sam, her bachelor brother. The date of this letter is 1956. To all my children:         This is your mother’s last wish. After I am gone, you should always be together and well and happy; and of what is left in money I... Read more »

The Cult of Miriam

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Who was the biblical Miriam? A minor character, backstage sister to the palace-reared Moses, occasional Rosencrantz-&- Guildenstern type helpmeet? Or was she a real historical leader in her own right—with her own substantial cult-following that was entirely separate from that of her brother’s? New biblical scholarship strongly suggests the latter.* It seems that at some point... Read more »

Why I Love/Hate the German Language

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As a Vassar undergrad, the author’s negative feelings for all things German collide with her professors’ love of Heine, Goethe and Kaffee mit Schlagsahne. Then by chance she discovers the work of Gertrud Kolmar (whose poetry appears here), a brilliant, forgotten German-Jewish muse murdered at Auchwitz.

Guarding the Garden

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Who says Adam and Eve (and Lilith) don’t need Deborah Tannen? Enjoy this excerpt from a new, screwball musical comedy (music and lyrics by Margot Stein Azen), one of the most intelligent Jewish renderings of eco-feminism that we’ve yet seen.

Awakening to Mercy

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Maybe there's a reason why the  traditional siddur has us begin each day with a pause for prayer before we leap out of bed and gulp down our power breakfasts. Tape our own voice and move through this guided meditation on awakening--gratefully--to each new day.

Letters

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In response to “The Power of Women’s Folk Judaism” (Fall 1991), I offer the following story. When I was nine months pregnant with my second child, my firstborn, Aviva, was nearly three and at an age when she loved hearing a story read over and over. Thus it was that I had the opportunity to... Read more »

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