Winter 1998-1999

Feminist museum curators tell the Jewish story differently.  Right-wing women protecting Orthodoxy from feminism.  Israel at 51. Buddhist Jews. Leslea Newman comes out to her grandma.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Israel at 51 and Beyond

It's half a century. Have we only heard half the story?

Lilith Feature


The Unexpurgated Edition 

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One Hundred Years of Gratitude


Why did 99-year-old grandmother have to know? Newman comes out to her beloved grandmother, and the consequences surprise them both.

One Hundred Thirty-One


Strengthen me, Holy One, on my walkfrom illness.Even as You gave courageAs the children fled from Egypt,Open the sea to my steps. Like a Hebrew slave,I have sojourned in pain;Under whips of illness and despair,I have shed my tears of bitterness. Show me again the path of freedom,Speeding toward a Promised LandOf wholeness and health,Creating... Read more »



Show me how to offer comfort.Point out Your nesting place,Feathered against the adversitiesThat wound those I love. Show me tolerance,When I am weary of helping,And a long dreary dayStretches toward a restless night. You place before us life and love;Show us endurance.You place before us healing and hope;Show us persistence. Reach deep within me, Eternal... Read more »



O Eternal, hold me with gentlenessThrough this long night of pain;Lay Your cool hand upon my body.As a mother strokes the fevered browOf her beloved child,Give me succor. O Eternal, clasp me to Your bosom, And rock me with quiet motion. To and fro as the seconds pass, Waiting, waiting for the next relief, Stretching... Read more »

Objects of Desire


A daughter’s haunting account of her father’s obsession—the naked, strangely mutilated children of painter Egon Schiele. Bergman asks: "Why did he subject me to this work?"

How Museums Invent Us


Your great-aunt’s soup pot in a museum? Priceless artifacts in your attic? Introducing the new wave of feminist curators, who’ve fought to have shoes, cookbooks and miscellaneous tchochkes-cum-folk art included in the exhibited history of the Jews.

An Open Letter to Buddhist Jews


With an ex-husband and extended family who are REAL Buddhists, our author thinks Jews may be worshipping the Buddha for the wrong reasons.

The Second Zionist Revolution


I moved from Jerusalem to Yeruham in 1978, as a sabra finding an outlet for her Zionist idealism. Together with a group of olim from the West, we settled in Yeruham, the first development town in the Negev, founded in 1951 during Israel’s greatest immigration period. We were committed to halakhah, social responsibility, the pursuit of peace,... Read more »

Right and Left: The Petrifaction of Israeli Society


Israeli society may be the only society in the world that keeps asking itself: “Who are we?” “What is Israeli identity?” “Are we still Jews/Zionists?” “Do we have a culture?” Left-wing and Right-wing supply a sense of identity, a superficial awareness of tribal belonging and a class consciousness. Identification with one of the two camps is... Read more »

Right-Wing Woman: Keeping Orthodoxy Safe from Feminists?


While "Modern Orthodox" women seek a harmony between Judaism and feminism, sisters to their right are digging in, sponsoring lectures and classes to draw women (even high-powered careerists) back to home and hearth.



Speak up for the Vulva I love Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues and I’m an enthusiastic fan of her brilliant and radical work. But I have to admit that I’m disheartened that she didn’t name her book and play The Vulva Monologues. I know that the word “vulva” doesn’t roll off our tongues the way the word “vagina” does.... Read more »

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