The Klagsbrun Calendar

Francine Klagsbrun’s latest work, Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture Around the Year (illustrated by Mark Podwal; Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1996) inserts into the rhythm of the Jewish months explanations of Rosh Hodesh (the celebration of the New Moon, traditionally a women’s holiday), historical events often omitted from the Jewish calendars hanging on most refrigerators, and interpretive nuggets to enjoy the year ’round. Tammuz, the midsummer month, marks several catastrophes, including the burning of the Talmud in Paris (1242) and the death (in 1105) of the brilliant Torah commentator Rashi. Here’s how Klagsbrun enriches our understanding of the conflation of myth and history in the Jewish past, as she explicates the name this month bears:

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