Spring 2013

Feminists changing the Israeli Knesset. Jewish mothers on raising sons who are full of rage. Jewish in jail: a rabbi befriends a woman prisoner. And a very modern take on kibbutz sex.

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Lilith Feature

Our Violent Children

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The Powerful Debut of Two New Israeli Legislators


Ruth Calderon in her Knesset debut did not explicitly discuss the platform of her party. Instead, she did something unprecedented. She, a secular educator, and a woman, explicated a passage of Talmud. And Merav Michaeli, proudly pronouncing herself  “a feminist,” puts inclusivity on the Knesset‘s docket. 



A 60-something woman goes back to Jewish texts and reaffirms her decisions.

What if Miriam Had Climbed Up the Mountain and Left Moses Waiting With the Multitudes?


Would the commandments be a softer thingwritten with a wing-like stroke, an incantationof phrases ordering the day? Was it the brash way of Moses that brought down the heavy hand of heaven thrusting and weighty, so that only stone could sustain the inscription? If Miriam had climbed the steep slopes bracelets tinkling, exchanges whispered in... Read more »



As a young widow, Compton purchased a double cemetery plot, one for her recently deceased spouse, one for her future self. Then she fell in love again. Here, her grave anxieties.

Why Does Expressing Violence Feel So Alien to Jews?


My son is not violent but has certain special needs — and I am very aware of how the default strategy for us as parents is to struggle alone, behind the closed doors of one’s apartment instead of seeking help. That’s considered “normal,” that’s what one senses from others as “advisable” — a misplaced kind of “rugged individualism” — and I... Read more »

First Sign of Spring in NYC


This graphic novelist draws on the streets of New York.

All That Remains of Etta


The saving grace about her mother’s house, when Joan had dismantled it last spring with all the birds returning to the greenway, was finding her mother’s hand in everything. Little notes, like the one on the newspaper clipping, found in the top drawer of her desk, Simon Wiesenthal was a good man. Or the slip... Read more »

Truth or Dare


A very modern take on kibbutz sex. In this memoir, a 21-year-old American volunteer steps out of character — only to discover that an adventurous quartet might suit her after all. 

Her Jewish Roots Grow in Prison Soil


Rabbi Laurie Rice befriends a Jewish woman who is behind bars. They talk about being invisible to other Jews, Judaism in jail, and the hidden stories we on the outside never hear.

Period Envy


Who knew that pre-adolescent girls could be so fascinated by all the paraphernalia of periods yet to come? Shotwell revisits her childhood fascination with all things Tampax.

Reading George Eliot in Jerusalem


From just one clue, a fan of the nineteenth-century feminist novelist finds herself inexplicably linked to two Jewish feminist leaders, Alice Shalvi and Avivah Zornberg.

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