Summer 1996

Creating sacred space at summer camp, in a closet, or in a basement. The shock of finding out that you’re Jewish. Sex or scholarship? Unlike Judaism, medieval Christianity allowed celibate women to use their minds like men.

Cover art is an excerpt from Anna Ruth Hendriques' illustrated manuscript, The Book of Mechtilde.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

The Mysteries of Sacred Space

Architects have always known the place can affect our feelings of holiness. Now we have clues about how women’s experiences can create a holy space in the cellar of a shul, under a tree, behind a file cabinet, even (despite the objections of men) at the Western Wall.

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The World According to Women


Never mind Charles-and-Di mugs. LILITH finds a ceramist--Sandy Goldberg--who commemorates what really matters in life, with plates for your sideboard making the grand occasions of getting a grant or finding a comfortable bra.

Trade-Off: Sex or Scholarship?


Unlike Judaism, medieval Christianity had a loophole that allowed some women to use their minds as if they were men. The loophole? Celibacy.

Louise Kehoe Converts: Why?


Before Mary Gordon found out that her father was Jewish, Louise Kehoe had penetrated her dead father’s final legacy—-he was no lapsed Romanoff living in rural England, but a tortured shtetl Jew, in disguise. After suffering both his denial and his cruelties, she emerges as a Jew too.

Wayward Hearts


Slowly, slowly, a young, pregnant and faithful Buffalo wife in the 1950’s falls into a sexual trance over the unbidden attention of a newly widowed man. Then her sister takes over

The Persistence of Memory


Secrets leak out of the fissures in a crumbling family system when the nice Jewish doctor son comes out as a homosexual. Trying to repair the damage, an aunt blows the cover on his mother’s Holocaust past.

Dudu in Heaven


Dudu left for the Six Day War without saying goodbye. Years later, his sister (with a son who looks just like him) meets up with Dudu again. Bring your hanky.

Case #4 Sacred Wall?


How can this restricted site be called sacred when women are forbidden to pray out loud here?

Case #3 Sacred Fuse-Box Closet


Saying Kaddish in a... fuse-box closet?

Case #2 Sacred Tree


Not all memories are written on index cards in neat files in our heads.

Case #1 Sacred Basement


They didn't understand that the basement—women davening separately from men—was exhilarating.



Letters from Lilith readers.

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