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Spring 1999

The mohel is a woman! Radical Jewish daughters, from the Spanish Civil War to the offspring of 60’s activists. Dieting to win a mother’s love.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

From Noga, Israel’s Feminist Magazine

Lilith Feature

Out of the Silence, Out of the Flames

Two daughters tell Passover stories of personal exodus. 

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Why Is This Chair Different From All Other Chairs?

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A Londoner’s reflections on being Jewish, female and … unmarried.

The Yoke

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Somebody’s yoke around my neck—how can I think about God nowand what a kvetch he became in Genesis? He walked there calling for Adam.Then the verses fell down like a ladder on the dirtsmashing all that had been planted.Adam stopped to be yelled at but the actual Adam was off somewhere elsedancing and fornicating with... Read more »

Cookies

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Dieting, craving-—and mother’s Toll House trap.

Fighting Fascism

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Spanish Civil War. Lincoln Brigade. Guernica. The touchstones for generations of left-wing activist men. Sixty years after the fall of the Spanish Republic, we hear about the gutsy Jewish women who defied America in defense of democracy.

When Our Parents Neglected Us to Save the World…

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Radical Sixties parents spawn ideological Nineties daughter. Beyond anti-war activism and feminist consciousness-raising, what else did their legacy include? Plus Red Diapers, reviewed by Eleanor Bader.

Watching the Fire

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My 29-year-old mother was smuggled out of the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto one month before its obliteration. She had lived within the city all her life and inside the Ghetto since its creation, and had known hundreds in her home town by name, thousands by sight. But by March 1943 out of all of them—the girl who knew... Read more »

The Morning My Father Met Ernest Hemingway on the Way to the Promised Land

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The Haggadah tells us that five second-century rabbis stayed up all night retelling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. They must have been fine, natural-born storytellers because when my father, a taciturn man, finally told me the story of his own exodus from Fort Dodge, Iowa, it took only twelve minutes. “Tell me about Iowa.”... Read more »

God No. 2

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My God who is the bodies of all the men I’ve lovedthe breasts I could not suck enoughwho is the cat’s bodywith the eyelashes of a dolland the hardness of a doll’s plastic chestwho is the black space in the skythe stars like holes stabbedbleeding and stupid to be killed like a thiefrestless a tribe... Read more »

When the Mohel is a Woman

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As an ancient, boys-only rite of passage moves into the modern era, we have to wonder: What would Sigmund Freud have to say?

First Feminist Hebrew Poet

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Two poems are reprinted by Rachel Morfurgo (1790-1871), who was the first modem female (and feminist) Hebrew poet and lived in Trieste, Italy. She wrote when she couldn’t sleep at night, or when she finished her chores caring for her husband and four children. Many of her poems were written for occasions, some have an... Read more »

Women in Iran: Since Khatami

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Erela Daor writes on the lives of women since the May 1997 election of Muhammad Khatami as president of Iran. (He was elected with a mandate for liberalization by an overwhelming 69% of votes cast, with 94% of eligible individuals voting.) The improvement has not been consistent. On the one hand, Khatami appointed Massuma Aviktar... Read more »

“Is Marriage A Prerequisite For Womanhood?”

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“On Single Women in the Palestinian Community in Jaffa,” by Amalia Saar, explicates the status of women who are referred to as banat (those who remain girls), signifying—at least officially—that marrying is what makes a girl into a woman. The author explores the reality that some unmarried women are successful in achieving social maturity in... Read more »

“The Concrete Ceiling; Women In Israeli Politics”

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“The Concrete Ceiling; Women In Israeli Politics” by Sylvia Bijawi cites the third Knesset, elected in 1955, as the zenith for women’s participation, with 12 female Members. This 10% has yet to be matched or exceeded. Women constitute 45% of the employment sector; more than 50% of students receiving BA’s; more than 45% receiving MA’s... Read more »

Letters

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Woman: ‘A Constant Giver’ I can’t get over the wasted energy that went into the article “Sexing the Answering Machine” [Spring 1997]. Many forms of languages are separated into male and female words. Why do you feel offended by this? I would expect you, as a “Jewish” organization, to know that Hebrew above all other... Read more »

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