Tag : judaism

The Lilith Blog

February 25, 2021 by

Keeper of the Flame

Whenever I would see Flory Jagoda, it was as if she had been waiting just for me, greeting me with her lovely smile and sparkling eyes. Often, she would say, “Here you are!” And now that she could kiss me–always on both cheeks–and hold my hand tightly, she seemed happy. I know I certainly was.

The truth is, Flory greeted pretty much everyone that same way, whether in her home or a concert hall amid hundreds of people there to see her perform. She was one of those few individuals with the remarkable ability to make each person feel truly special and important to her. 

Flory Jagoda, second from the left.
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The Lilith Blog

February 19, 2021 by

An Open Letter from Vashti to Her Successor

Dear New Queen, 

If you are reading this, I am long gone. I left the palace behind. I may have even left Shushan. I’m not sure where I will be when you receive this letter, but I’m far away from the king, his ministers, and a life that was never mine. Wherever I am, my story is now my own. I am free.

My name is Vashti. The king sent me away because I refused to dance at his party. As a child, I loved dancing. I spun barefoot circles with my mother and her sisters. My palace was in her arms, her stories were in my ears, and her song was my heartbeat. When I think of dancing, I think of my mother, even though she is long gone too.  

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The Lilith Blog

February 19, 2021 by

Where Are the Jews?

On Friday, February 12–the Lunar New Year, Rosh Chodesh Adar, and Shabbat–the first episode of LUNAR: the Jewish-Asian Film Project premiered, a video series highlighting Asian American Jews. As a mixed heritage Chinese-American and Ashkenazi Jew, I was proud to have been featured.

But the sweetness of the New Year was also met with anger and fear. Like many Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country, I was horrified to hear about the attacks against Chinese and Vietnamese elders leading up to the New Year. And I was deeply disappointed at mainstream media amplifying these violent events to pit the Black and Asian communities against each other and justify the need for police. 

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The Lilith Blog

February 11, 2021 by

When Jewish Space Laser Jokes Help the Enemy

Last week, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed all the chatter and jokes about a “Jewish space laser.” It was clear to me that people were responding to a headline. Initially I assumed based on context clues that it was some sort of joke coming from a Jewish leader, or perhaps out-of-context banter about an Israeli space program.

No one’s post directly identified a source, so I went searching to find out for myself. I was a bit surprised and disappointed to learn that it wasn’t “one of our own.” Rather, this absurd antisemitic conspiracy theory was from a November 2018 Facebook post written by Marjorie Taylor Greene, a recently-elected congresswoman and QAnon enthusiast, in which she speculated Rothschild-owned space lasers were the cause of the California wildfires. 

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The Lilith Blog

February 10, 2021 by

A Reproductive Shabbat

On a Saturday afternoon many months ago, I leaned across the center console of my car and pushed open my passenger side door to welcome in a stranger. I only knew her first name and cell phone number, and that she was having an abortion later in pregnancy. 

This was my Shabbat, bringing her back and forth between one of the five clinics that would perform the procedure she needed and the modest hotel a mile away. 

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The Lilith Blog

February 3, 2021 by

Forget Russia: a Q&A with L. Bordetsky-Williams

“Your problem is you have a Russian soul,” Anna’s mother tells her. In 1980, Anna is a naïve college senior studying abroad in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.  She’s also a second-generation Russian Jew raised on a calamitous family history of abandonment, Czarist-era pogroms, and Soviet-style terror. 

Novelist L. Bordetsky-Williams talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about how Anna’s experience both illuminates the dark corners of her family’s past and shines a light toward the future she is fashioning for herself.

 YZM: You write about Russia with such affection and intimacy; what is your relationship to the country?  

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The Lilith Blog

February 2, 2021 by

Ten Things to Remember for Black History Month… and Beyond

I love love love Black History Month. I love being intentional about pausing and reflecting on Black beauty, Black joy, and Black resilience, all of which is synonymous with Black history. I love being reminded of the Black food, Black music, and Black wisdom that has sustained us through the generations. 

And as Jews prepare for Black History Month observations and celebrations this year I want to invite non-Black Jews to remember some things:

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The Lilith Blog

January 28, 2021 by

A Southern Jewish Farmer?!

Photo credit: Jessie Gladdek

Questions that I’ve heard many times (mainly from other Jews, to be clear): Southern Jews? Jewish Farmers?? SOUTHERN JEWISH FARMERS?!? Hi, yes, nice to meet you, Chag Sameach. I am a southern Jewish farmer, and I started One Soil Farm, a Jewish community farm in rural North Carolina, 20 minutes (and 30 years) away from where I grew up as one of the only Jewish kids in our public school system (shout out to my li’l sis).

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The Lilith Blog

January 25, 2021 by

Totally Normal

Four years ago, I cried watching the Presidential Inauguration. Literally cried. I felt overwhelmed, scared and defeated. Last Wednesday, I cried again watching the Presidential Inauguration. Crying with relief, excitement and exhaustion. I can finally breathe. 

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The Lilith Blog

January 19, 2021 by

The Promise of Tu B’Shevat

Tu b’Shevat is the holiday that lets us know better days are coming.

In the midst of winter, the ground is cold and hard in many places with leafless trees silhouetted against the often-gray skies. But leafless doesn’t mean lifeless- and deep in the winter earth, things are happening. Trees and plants are awakening, gathering nutrients, making ready for the spring that is soon to come. 

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