Spring 2015

Walking Zionism

A cut-and-color becomes subversive at a Bedouin hair salon. Tracing the history of the “Israeli sandal.” Why Persian Jews are having an identity crisis in L.A. Is the “slut” the JAP in new clothing? An ode to plastic bags.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Victorious Jewish Moments

Five signal moments wrested from struggle...

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About Those Canaanite Shoes That Have Been In Your Closet For 2,000 Years


In the 2nd century C.E., a widow named Bavta bat Simon, fleeing Roman persecution, hid in a cave in the Judean Desert. She brought a lot of stuff with her... Read more »

in owning an abusive biblical text


Every year in synagogue, we hear the story of Hannah, a childless woman who was taunted by her husband’s other wife, Peninah, for being infertile. Like most of the stories in... Read more »

down the crooked path to a daughter’s bat mitzvah


My daughter’s body is enveloped by the tallis — woven silk threads of pale pink and white and green that we had commissioned for her to wear on this day. Underneath, she... Read more »

in a congregation’s response to attempted murder


More than a decade ago, I was harassed and stalked for three months by my estranged husband. We had been in and out of court, with the judge issuing injunctions... Read more »

in a corner of the Hebrew school classroom


“Pick a corner,” the substitute said. Not a single student moved. “Which label best describes you?” The pitch of her voice and the hem of her dress were considerably higher... Read more »

An Ode to Plastic Bags


Here I am, across the world, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, sitting on the floor, stapler in hand, sharing smiles with women from a local shelter, entranced by the 100,000 hand-cut... Read more »

Why “I Am Not a Slut” Sounds Familiar


Why “I Am Not a Slut” Sounds Familiar Girls and young women do a delicate dance between feeling sexual in a positive way and being shamed/blamed for expressing any part of... Read more »

Letting Our Hair Down


Nadia’s hair salon is on the ground floor of her house, a five-minute drive from my house in the Jewish town of Kiryat Tivon. Nadia Zubidat, 38 years old, lives... Read more »

at a hard-won seder


[This story is not available online]



Ryan proposed on Valentine’s Day, 2009, arriving home with his lunch pail and one red rose, the twins jumping and giggling and clapping. Did the girls attach some significance to... Read more »

Excuse Me: How To Make Small Talk


Liana Finck’s graphic novel is A Bintel Brief. She writes and draws a monthly column for The Forward and her cartoons appear irregularly in The New Yorker. Her graphic blog — “Excuse... Read more »

I Was Reborn


I did not appear from sea-foam like Venus.I was born in a hot cauldronin the pine woodsnear Vilnius. Lithuanian witcheshad been mixing the potionmix of sweat, blood, tubercular phlegmfrom the... Read more »

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