The Lilith Blog

August 4, 2020 Tahneer Oksman

Discussing the Holocaust… at Comic-Con

The Holocaust might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Comic-Con—the annual international convention that usually takes place in San Diego, California, and that spotlights comic books and related popular arts. But as Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, explained when he recently introduced the panel, “Art and the Holocaust,” as part of this year’s Comic-Con@home programming: “One of the things that I have noticed over the years is just how many witnesses of the Holocaust have turned their experience not only to testimony in words but also in art.”

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The Lilith Blog

July 31, 2020 by

Is Rape a Crime? A Conversation with Michelle Bowdler

Is Rape a Crime: A Memoir, an Investigation and a Manifesto (Flatiron, $27.99) ought to come with a warning: parts of this book are so harrowing that I frequently had to put it down for a spell before picking it up again, avid to continue. Long after the fact, author Michelle Bowdler returns to the home invasion and brutal rape she suffered as a young woman.  As one might expect, the attack both branded and shaped her.  When she was finally ready to explore the subject in print, she was able to go deep into her own experience but also wide, to place it within a historical and cultural context.  Bowdler talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about what this literary exploration has meant for her—and what she hopes it will mean to others. 

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The Lilith Blog

July 30, 2020 by

Twinkle Times Two: On Vigilance and Anxiety

“Take your shoes off,” I remind my mother. “Drop your keys; I’ll clean them.” “Wash your hands and get changed. Wait, no—take off your street clothes first, then wash your hands. But don’t touch anything else.” She comes inside. I cringe as she sets her sunglasses down on the kitchen counter, making a mental note to sanitize them when she isn’t looking, and give the counter a scrub too, of course. I follow her to her bedroom, watching her undress, confirming that her shorts and t-shirt make it into the laundry bag.

Will it be enough? Is it too much?

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The Lilith Blog

July 30, 2020 Makeda Zabot-Hall

Why My Hair Falls the Way it Does

When I was 11 years old, my father sat me down on a broken, four-legged stool that had been in our apartment for years. Facing me, he began to hum the tune of a Tracy Chapman song. As I sat staring at him, I noticed his long dreads and the scar he had from when he was a boy in Jamaica. I prayed the song would never end.

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The Lilith Blog

July 29, 2020 Shira Gorelick

AOC, Ted Yoho and The Origin of Vulgarity

Last Monday, Republican Rep.Ted Yoho, from the steps of the Capitol, called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez disgusting, crazy, dangerous, and a “fucking bitch” insulting and harassing her in front of colleagues and reporters.  On Wednesday, Yoho offered a non-apology on the House floor, stating that despite regretting his “abrupt” manner of conversation, he could not apologize for his passion. He couldn’t apologize for being a God-loving patriot and “family man,” using the all-too-common tactic of deploying his daughters and wife as shields for his misogynistic behavior. 

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The Lilith Blog

July 28, 2020 Adi Reicher Alouf

Why We’re Doing Public Teshuvah to Fight White Supremacy

Photo by Hannah Roodman

Photo by Hannah Roodman

Heading to Grand Army Plaza at 7:20 pm. Seeing a group start to gather, forming a circle. Picking up the protest sign that speaks to me from the middle of the circle. Finding a place in the circle to stand and hold up the sign. Stepping into the center to share what aspect of systemic racism I am mourning that day. Or, stepping into the circle to confess how I myself have participated in and perpetuated racism and anti-Blackness. Actively listening. Turning my body East at 8:00 pm. Blowing the shofar for one long breath. Hearing those around me cry out to the Heavens. Standing silently for a moment. Turning back to face the circle. Stepping into the circle again, this time to share a specific way that I will be actively anti-racist moving forward —my commitment to this community. Actively listening. Putting the protest sign back in the middle of the circle. Saying hello to friends and community members. Returning home. 

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The Lilith Blog

July 27, 2020 Susan Barocas

Get Your Chill On

The first cold soup I ever tasted I hated. For years. 

How unfortunate that it was introduced to me (dare I say pushed on me?) by the two women I admired most, my mother and my small-but-mighty Russian grandmother. Imagine walking seven long blocks home from elementary school for a tasty lunch, only to be met by a bowl of beet borscht from a jar. Yes, jarred!  Two women who made from scratch the hit parade of Ashkenazic food– chicken soup, brisket, tongue, sweetbreads, both potato and noodle kugels, even gefilte fish– loved their industrial borscht, adding sour cream to complete the dish. I gagged trying to get it down, rarely succeeding.

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The Lilith Blog

July 16, 2020 by

“Better Things:” Your Jewish and Frankly Feminist Review

Better Things reached season 4 and protagonist Sam’s kids are still assholes: the formerly angelic Duke a little bit more, the always caustic Frankie a little bit less, and we barely see lovely wild child Max anymore. Time, in the world of this funny, melancholic, and moving show about raising three daughters as a divorced single mom in LA, is progressing. And Sam – played by director and creator Pamela Adlon, herself, like Sam, a single divorced mother with a Jewish father – is moving on too.  This season is all about movement: in the water that forms the backdrop to every episode in one way or another; in the lingering camera shots that dwell on paintings, or facial expressions, in an expected black and white silent movies; and in the interviews of women that dwell lovingly and joyfully and painfully on their words as if to insist that these words matter. 

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July 14, 2020 by

Stitching for Survival: the Story of Holocaust Survivor Trudie Strobel

Some artists work with a brush; others with a pen, and still others with their voices, bodies, or a musical instrument. Trudie Strobel’s instrument is a slender needle, and she wields it with fierce and incredible power. Lilith first learned of Trudie Strobel’s recovery of her Holocaust past when she told Rabbi Susan Schnur of recreating the treasured doll the Nazis had torn away from her when she was a small child. When Jody Savin encountered Strobel’s work, she knew she had to tell her story (Stitched & Sewn: The Life-Saving Art of Holocaust Survivor Trudie Strobel, Prospect Park Books, $35).  Savin talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about the delicate process of excavating Strobel’s harrowing past and how her art was a way of coming to terms with it.

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The Lilith Blog

July 14, 2020 by

Everyone Is an Artist

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 4.30.29 PMIn April, Lilith Magazine’s staff found themselves discussing the intense feelings of isolation that they were experiencing during quarantine. What practices were we turning to ground ourselves? How were we connecting with friends and family when we could no longer be in the same space together? Two Lilith staff members, Rachel Fadem and Rebecca Katz, discovered a joint love of zine making that allowed them to wrestle with all the uncertainties surfacing at the beginning of the pandemic– and find time for joy. As a result, Lilith’s Jewish Feminist Quaranzines Maker Space was born.

On Tuesday, July 14 and July 28, 8-9 PM Eastern, join Lilith to explore questions at the intersection of art, justice, and Judaism through the feminist medium of zines. RSVP Here.

Zine, short for magazine or fanzine, is a self-published work motivated by the self-expression of the creator. From their creation in the 1930s to today, zines have been a radical, disruptive tool dedicated to sharing narrative, voices, and information ignored or erased by mainstream media.

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