Dianne Ashton on Thanksgivukkah and what’s new with Hanukkah:
Forty years ago in books and in groups, women were documenting, prodding, and examining their world, their status, and their lot as they entered the workforce with gusto, weighing personal versus professional costs and duties. In 1973, as the movement came into full swing, women very seriously asked provocative questions in print and in consciousness-raising groups.
Then Sadie Shapiro came along.
Read more about this month’s staff picks here.
"Last weekend I ran the ING New York City Marathon, which was an amazing experience—essentially, a 26.2-mile long party celebrating running, community, and Gatorade. Running the marathon was a real “bucket-list” check-off for me, and the culmination (though certainly not the conclusion) of a love affair with running that began for me when I was 10 or 11, in the Jewish day school I attended in Northern Virginia."
Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens? author Ilana Garon explores her love of running, Jewish identity, and PE teachers.
These two bright young things just won $100,000 and $25,000 for their outstanding contributions to Jewish literature! Read more about them and the prize here.
We know, it seems far too early to be planning for Chanukah. For all the “Thanksgivingukkah” frenzy that’s been about since the start of autumn, the calendric propinquity between now and those eight oil-saturated nights still hasn’t really sunk in. But guess what? It’s already Kislev. That’s right, Chanukah is only a few weeks away. Ready or not, it’s time to rev up that festive mood you usually store for another month into the Gregorian year. So place your jelly-filled order to the bakery, stock up on potatoes, start scraping the remnants of last year’s candles off the chanukkiot from the plastic storage bin in your basement, and make some space on your bookshelves for eight nights of reading.
Bikkur cholim, visiting the sick, is one of the mitzvot which, according to our tradition, is a way of emulating God. It is by no means an easy mitzvah to fulfill. Visiting or emotionally supporting a seriously ill person opens a world of possibilities in terms of helping the healing process. As Letty Cottin Pogrebin points out, however, it also opens a world of possibilities in terms of doing or saying the wrong thing.
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a number of writers in the past few years; Shimon Adaf is easily one of the most versatile, brilliant and fascinating I have spoken to and whose work I’ve read. English speaking readers are fortunate that they are now able to access Sunburnt Faces, the work that so excited the Sapir Prize committee, Israel’s largest literary prize, which Adaf won in February 2013. A conversation with him can range from how he created a blog for his protagonist and wrote it in her own voice to help him develop the character, to how he gets literary inspiration from Song of Songs Rabbah as well as American music.
In radio and newspaper interviews I’ve done recently, a singular question has been asked more than any other: if your wife was the one injured in a terrorist attack, why are you the one telling your story?
Today on the Visiting Scribe, David Harris-Gershon writes about how his memoir convinced the New York Post to advocate for Israel’s destruction: http://bit.ly/17DdsRK