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Summer 2010

D-I-Y Parenthood: three wildly unconventional ways to create family. Why do Jewish women love mah-jongg—even now? Winning short stories and poetry.  

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Winner of this year’s Charlotte Newberger Poetry Prize

Lilith Feature

Mah-Jongg in the Lives of Jewish Women

Lilith Feature

D-I-Y Parenthood

Radical single-parenting by choice, deliberative half-time mothering, cross-continental spuncling. What’s up with “family”?

More Articles

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What Should I Eat?


Food Politics and everyday life choices: Organic? Free-range? Estrogen-laden soy? All the angst of eating, spelled out here.

Express Male: When Sperm Donation Gets Emotional


This sperm donor’s story starts with a phone call and ends with a marriage.

Customizing Motherhood


Susan Shnur talks with Jenifer Firestone, a kind-of-single mother, who, with exceeding clarity, chooses tribal parenting.

Breaking the Norms Confidently


How one mother, with a series of female lovers, two rabbinic sperm donors, two adoptions and one gay parenting partner, raises five exceptional kids.

Raised by Jews


Lilith’s third-prize fiction contest winner for 2010

“Women’s History is Not Just About Women — It’s About Their Times!”


At the American Jewish Historical Society, Lilith invites three dozen women in white gloves to pry into formerly hidden lives.

Tiles & Tribulations


A pair of New York Times obituary notices from 2006 give us a clue to the primary role mah-jongg played in the lives of many Jewish women of a certain generation: GROSSMAN — Beatrice (Bunny). A woman of grace and kindness, celebrated by her many friends and adored by her family, has left us in... Read more »

Down Under


Lilith’s second-prize fiction contest winner for 2010.

‘As it is Said’


Elegy to Uncle Jack

Eve to the Serpent


These questions since haunting my days:How did I —who took the first step,who mustered the courage,who extended my hand towards the tree of Knowledgeand handed to Adam that fruit of defiance —come to be ruled by myfollower… And my daughters since leashed to their husbands,meekly inching theirway behind downhistory’s road,content withthe stalecrumbs oftheir masters’benevolence? These... Read more »

Questions for the Feast of Weeks


why does the green grass grow all around, all around?because the rain falls on the just and unjust alikebecause the creator blesses us why do we drive the beasts of burden, feast on them?because they feast on the green grass that growswhen the forest is driven backbecause the creator blesses us why do we not... Read more »

Brief Prayer at a Cousin’s Wedding


If God is a womanplease don’t let her weara wig, like the onemy aunt is wearingnow that she is religious. Or a long, brocade dressthat stands stillwhile the body inside itstruggles to move. Don’t let her fallfor the modesty of the doomedand dispirited,the sad or wearyor guilty. If God is a womanlet her dress like... Read more »

From My Kitchen Window


I often think there’s a woman on the hillover there, who looks out her kitchen windowin my directionas she prepares dinner for her family. Perhaps that woman has watched our village grow.Perhaps she’s seen it spread over the Gilboanew homes built for young familieschildren playing in the yard. I watch Jenin stretch so wideI have... Read more »

I Sing the Shekinah’s Praise


Visit me again, Mother, come at night,complexion ruddy or post-mortem white,Sleeping Beauty or closetful of bone,delude me, whisper, “Girl, you’re not alone.” Only at night, lightfooted as a cat,give me a blessing, reassure me thathumanity transcends the rat-trap gameplayed in exchange for x minutes of fame. Now put your left foot in, your left foot... Read more »

The Fifteenth of Av


1The Farmer’s Market Noontime, the market heats up. August wilts field greens.Sunflowers tuck their heads. Listless, I pick peaches, peppers,silver queen corn. On the pavement, small trees in earthen pots —trees with five-fingered leaves flag me down. Come here. Touching their smooth hands, I ask their name. Fig Trees. DesertKings under the scorch lit sky:... Read more »



Lilith’s first-prize fiction contest winner for 2010.

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