Summer 1988

Stopping violence in Jewish families. The last taboo: Incest. Ruth Gruber’s rescue missions since the 1940s. A women’s Mideast peace dialogue you don’t know about.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Israel: A Feminist Future

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A Mother and Two Daughters


She adores one of her children and casts off the other, with harrowing consequences for both.

57 Reasons to Get in Touch


Where to go to find a grass-roots women's organization in Israel

Contemporary Mythogynies in Israeli Fiction


A look at the works of Esther Fuchs, Israeli feminist literary critic.

Poetry: Blessed is the Match


Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart. Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honour’s sake. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.



Seed falls, the golden grain takes root,Not on the rock, not on the paved road.Gather it in, black dust,And blanket it against the heat and frost.This speck of life enclosed within a husk.Seed of infinity, this tiny little grain,Pressed underneath the dust and waiting for a sign.For mark of Spring, for ray of light, for... Read more »

To A Good Friend


I wounded another not knowingBoth ends of an arrow mar.I too was hurt in the battleAnd shall bear a scar.



Now — now I’d like to say something, Something more than mere words, More dappled than colour, More musical than rhythm or rhyme, Something a million people haven’t already said or heard. Just something. All about the land is silent, listening, The forest gazing at me, expectant. The sky watches me with a curious eye.... Read more »

The Paradoxical Heroism of Chana Senesh


A new view of the martyr whose short life and touching poetry are part of our usable past.

Challenging the Religious Establishment


Leah Shakdiel tries to crack the male power structure in her Negev town.

40 Years of Rescue


Telescoping the urgent history of saving Jews since the mid-1940’s, veteran journalist Gruber reminds us of why we love Israel.

A Women’s Mideast Peace Dialogue


Miriam Mar’i and Amira Dotan explore the possibilities.

The Illusion of Progress, the Realities of Change


The leader of Israel’s wall-to-wall women’s coalition on why there’s movement now.

The Last Taboo – Dare We Speak About Incest?


Breaking the last taboo, a social worker shares what she’s heard from women.

How Jewish Law Views Wife Beating


“Far Be it from a Jew to do such a thing.” — Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg, 13th century. Jewish law (halacha) provides for a contractual relationship between husband and wife, wherein each partner owes and receives certain benefits. This system was relatively progressive in its provisions for and protections of women. The traditional marriage contract... Read more »

Two Shelters, One Threat


Shira Leibowitz and Naomi Levy document the violence—-and the healing—-that take place in two shelters for battered Jewish women, one in Jerusalem, one in L.A.

Wife Abuse, Drugs and Silence


The unexplored link between substance abuse and violence in Jewish homes.

Lines Of Communication


Infertility: Not Only a Woman’s Problem To the Editor: I was pleased to note that the Spring 1988 issue of LILITH devoted several articles to “The New Infertility,” an increasingly pervasive problem in our community. However, I was troubled by the simplistic connection which Shirley Frank in her article “Wanting Babies” draws between the delayed... Read more »

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