Category Archives: Personal Reflections

Not a review but…

Currently attempting to finish The Tattooist of Auschwitz before the library Lon expires for probably the 5th time.

I don’t know what I can offer review wise because it seems to me this book is getting a ton of well deserved press from oodles of other people. It’s a wonderful piece of literature and history and nothing I could offer would be profound or new or more meaningful than anything that hasn’t been already said.

What it does remind me while reading it now in conjunction with so much anti-Israel feeling in the world is that this ANTI is not new. Within living memory of some of us, more than 6 million of us were brutally murdered, not counting over a million Roma, disabled, members of LGBT community and anyone else the Nazi regime deemed unhuman. Do I agree with all of the political policies in Israel? NO. But my people deserve our own place under the sun. And not because we were murdered but because it is our historical homeland. Quit denying it under the guise of supporting Palestine. It always boils down to hating the Jews. If you are anti Zionist, you don’t believe Jews have a right to their own land. It’s the same damned argument of the last 2 millennia. You don’t want us in your land and yet you deny us the right to our own history as well. I didn’t realize we sprung out of ether after all.

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Filed under Interesting Jewish books, Jewish topics for perusal and learning, Midread thoughts, Personal Reflections

Not a review but…we have a right to our own land

Currently attempting to finish The Tattooist of Auschwitz before the library Lon expires for probably the 5th time.

I don’t know what I can offer review wise because it seems to me this book is getting a ton of well deserved press from oodles of other people. It’s a wonderful piece of literature and history and nothing I could offer would be profound or new or more meaningful than anything that hasn’t been already said.

What it does remind me while reading it now in conjunction with so much anti-Israel feeling in the world is that this ANTI is not new. Within living memory of some of us, more than 6 million of us were brutally murdered, not counting over a million Roma, disabled, members of LGBT community and anyone else the Nazi regime deemed unhuman. Do I agree with all of the political policies in Israel? NO. But my people deserve our own place under the sun. And not because we were murdered but because it is our historical homeland. Quit denying it under the guise of supporting Palestine. It always boils down to hating the Jews. If you are anti Zionist, you don’t believe Jews have a right to their own land. It’s the same damned argument of the last 2 millennia. You don’t want us in your land and yet you deny us the right to our own history as well. I didn’t realize we sprung out of ether after all.

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Filed under Interesting Jewish books, Jewish topics for perusal and learning, Midread thoughts, Personal Reflections

My love

It’s been a quiet last few months, my dear friends and readers. Or has it been more like a year since I sat down at my laptop to offer you thoughts and musings? I have been reading, don’t get me wrong. I have been trying to do my very best to keep my connections as open as can be but of course with life changes, timing changes and availability changes and priority is given to self-care and brief moments of quiet with much less time given to other outlets.

My son, the love of my life as it turns out, will be 15 months come this Friday. And in these 15 months, and really in the 9 months prior to his arrival, my life ceased to be my own. Once I was pregnant, and held a life within me, and then held that same life in my own hands, all the fragility became my priority. I am still myself, still the reader, still the contemplator, the procrastinator, the daughter, sister, friend and wife, but I am also now mama to my precious, for the lack of a better suited word, son. He drives me crazy with his tantrums, with refusing to put things down he shouldn’t be touching, for climbing the heights that I have to yank him off of, and yet my heart burns with love when he giggles when he is tickled, when he full belly laughs when he is play wrestled and lifted up and down and swung around. I love my son more than I could have dreamt up and I now fully understand what my mother said to me for years. Yes, now that I have my own, I understand completely.

And yet…..I am still here. I still share interesting articles, I still share books that have been put out for Jewish consumption, because in these strangely anti-Semitic times, my half Jewish son needs to know that his mother is contributing even a tiny morsel to the positive imagery of our people. So I will continue to share my tiny contributions and I will return to sharing my own reads, both for my son’s sake and for my own. I may have many things to do, I may have much love to give and far less time, but I am still committed to bringing Jewish life to the rest of the world. We are people, we are not caricatures drawn by hatred and fear. We are Jews and we will continue to be here, myself, my family and the love of my life.

 

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February 18, 2019 · 10:56 pm

Thinking on a warm Sunday

I’ve been out walking with my son for the last hour plus, thankfully about15 minutes into it, he gave in and promptly began that nap he sorely needed since waking at 5:30.

Becoming his mom has definitely acquainted me with more than just early ass waking hours and stubbornness. It’s made me more aware of how my behavior emotionally impacts him. My husband thinks Raphi is shy because he likes to demure and hide his face in whoever is holding him chest. As a shy child myself I have no remedy for that but it does seem to make me smile at him even more than I already do and I wear his giggles and snorts like badges of emotional honor.

I don’t know much of the Jewish approach to mothering. My mother, I feel, wasn’t really Jewish in her caring for me, and honestly I don’t even really have a clue of what the hell it means though undoubtedly there are books on it I can at least get some insight from. Instead I wish I had the chance to learn something, anything from her example. Instead I must draw from my memory of her personality to understand how important patience is when raising a child. Oh my God, is it important! And that’s not a Jewish value, but a human value that dwarves most others.

Raising Raphi hasn’t tested my patience a whole lot yet, sure I lost my shit when he was tiny but that had more to do with the fact that I was in postpartum physical hell and he was a newborn. Instead (I keep saying this today often) I now think on the Jewish Ashkenazi wisdom of naming my son for his babushka. Raphael means “God has healed, healed by God, one who heals” in Hebrew and in infinite ways that’s exactly what he has done for my family. Though seeing his smile and hearing his laughs every day reminds me often heart wrenchingly (I’m talking watching Russian grandmas at a playground with kids and trying not to cry) that his babushka isn’t here to watch him grow, I see his existence as a great healing worthy of his namesake. My father was floored and almost destroyed when my mother passed three years ago and I didn’t know if anything could ever make him truly happy again. Well, Raphi has done that for all of us and especially for my father who is genuinely in love with his grandson. That’s the greatest healing there can be. What’s more Jewish than that?

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New Indian Jewish Art – Jewish Review of Books

The artwork of Siona Benjamin, who says she belongs everywhere and nowhere, recombines traditional and contemporary elements in surprising ways.
— Read on jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/3153/new-indian-jewish-art/

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Rokhl’s Golden City: Bury Me Behind the Fence! – Tablet Magazine

Rokhl’s Golden City: Bury Me Behind the Fence! – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/262631/bury-me-behind-the-fence

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Books: The Jewish DNA

“I cannot live without books.” These famous words were spoken by Thomas Jefferson on June 10, 1815, but they were most likely born on…
— Read on jewishjournal.com/culture/books/234206/books-jewish-dna/

Amen.

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On Shavuot, the Book of Ruth Offers Doctors a Prescription for Compassion – Tablet Magazine

On Shavuot, the Book of Ruth Offers Doctors a Prescription for Compassion – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/173596/prescription-for-compassion

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The Secret Lives of Jewish Mothers – Tablet Magazine

The Secret Lives of Jewish Mothers – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/171976/secret-lives-of-jewish-mothers

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Ask Unorthodox: What Do People Get Wrong About Judaism? – Tablet Magazine

Ask Unorthodox: What Do People Get Wrong About Judaism? – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/scroll/262042/ask-unorthodox-what-do-people-get-wrong-about-judaism

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