Author Archives: Merri Ukraincik

The Lilith Blog

January 5, 2017 by

Love’s Labor’s Lost

What struck me most when I stepped outside on that December morning was the scent in the air. Not the cold as it pricked my skin like a million shards of glass or the awkward way the sunbeams sliced through the sky. Rather the wintry, almost funereal aroma, like a coat worn for too long before it gets tucked into the back of a closet and forgotten.

I was then expecting our second child. But only my husband and our doctor knew. As we’d done with our eldest, we were waiting until we had passed the precarious first trimester to share the news. Kein ayin hara. We didn’t dare play with fire. 

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The Lilith Blog

May 11, 2016 by

“My Transition to Womanhood Left Only a Smarting Handprint on My Cheek”, Bruna Schenkel., Bruna Schenkel

As maiden voyages to Israel go, mine was more or less typical. My family toured and ate falafel and crisscrossed the country, stopping one afternoon in the Old City of Yafo. It was there the trip diverged from the ordinary. While the rest of our tour group shopped for artwork and souvenirs, I got my first period.

Though my body ached, my entire being was elated. My cycle—newly minted in no place other than the Jewish homeland, a powerful omen if I ever heard one—belonged entirely to me. I didn’t have to share it. I didn’t need to ask anyone’s permission to keep it. Still, I’d been caught off guard without supplies and needed my mother’s help.

The moment she entered the W.C., she slapped me. I shouted in my head, and my shock and anger made their way into the narrow space between us, like mortar setting two stones. We stood so close together in the small space that an onlooker might have mistaken the proximity for an embrace.