Tag : Lilith

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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The Lilith Blog

January 13, 2021 by

Creating a Reflection of Myself

Let’s face it. It’s a challenge being a young woman. Society’s perceptions of us mixed with the perceptions we have of ourselves get jumbled up inside to create a warped, often poor, self-image. Especially in this era of media inundation, our self-image is crafted in large part by the representation of people who look like us on screens. It’s a lot to try to reconcile with. Now, imagine if we never saw someone who looked like us at all. How would we derive our self-image? Would we even have one? 

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The Lilith Blog

January 6, 2021 by

Every Safe Space Has a Door: An Interview with Comedian Judy Gold

Comedian and author Judy Gold has a joke about her son that sometimes makes people mad.

My son Henry years ago was like, ‘I’m getting a tattoo.’

And I’m like, ‘no, you’re not.’ 

He said, ‘yes, I am.’ 

I said, ‘no, you’re not.’ 

And then, and I said, ‘all right, what are you going to get?’

And he said, ‘I think I want to get something that says I’m from New York. I’m thinking of getting our zip code tattooed on my arm.’

And I said, ‘Henry, you’re a Jew. You’re not getting numbers tattooed on your arm.’ 

“People really laugh because it’s funny,” Gold tells Lilith. “And then some people will be like, ‘I was uncomfortable with that.’” 

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The Lilith Blog

December 21, 2020 by

7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2020

Let’s face it—2020 has been a clusterf**k of a year, and I can’t wait to see it recede in the distance of my rearview mirror. While most Jews have observed Passover, the High Holidays, and Chanukah virtually, the national COVID fallout from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s is likely to be heartbreaking, even more so given that a vaccine for most of us is just months away. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor tragically reminded us that we must continue to fight to make the truth that Black Lives Matter self-evident. And among the many, many hits that democracy took this year was the ramrodding of Amy Coney Barrett into the Supreme Court seat that Ruth Bader Ginsburg honorably and notoriously held from 1993 until her death on erev Rosh Hashanah. 

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The Lilith Blog

December 15, 2020 by

The Sufgania That Made Me Feel At Home In a Place That Rarely Felt Like One

In pre-pandemic years, when Hanukkah drew close, I’d find myself wandering the streets of New York in search of the perfect sufgania. I’d walk down to Breads Bakery in Union Square and order one of each kind, jelly-filled, plain, chocolate covered, then furtively bite into them on the way to the subway. The next day I’d travel all the way to the Lower East Side and get half a dozen, neatly arranged in a white cardboard box. This time I’d patiently wait until I got home, and slowly consume one in my overheated kitchen, hoping perhaps that the familiar setting would also infuse the fried pastry with a taste of the past.

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The Lilith Blog

December 4, 2020 by

Saving Leonardo de Vinci’s “Lady with the Ermine”

September 1939 and Edith Becker sits with her hands trembling beneath the table where she’s seated before some of the most important men of the Alte Pinakoteck, one of Munich’s greatest museums.  Usually, Edith’s work as a conservator keeps her ] behind the scenes, but today she’s been asked to identify and comment on paintings held in private collections across Poland.  What she doesn’t know is that this is just the beginning of an extensive and highly organized plot to plunder Europe’s artwork and use it to glorify the Third Reich. 

Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough talks to Laura Morelli about The Night Portrait,  (William Morrow, $16.99) a novel that traces the fraught journey of Leonardo de Vinci’s famous Lady with the Ermine, and how this priceless work of art was ultimately saved. 

YZM: How did the idea to write about this aspect of World War II come to you?

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The Lilith Blog

November 24, 2020 by

Life Without Lipstick

This has been the year of devastation. Just to start, there’s the staggering death toll from COVID, the collapse of the economy, the millions out of work, threatened by homelessness—and that’s not even saying a word about the savage animosity surrounding the election or the reckoning with American racism that has resurfaced in recent months. 

In such a year, we might want to cling to our small comforts and rituals even more tightly—that latte with your BFF after a walk in the park, dinner at your favorite Italian place where every meal feels like a celebration, an afternoon at a museum or a Saturday night at the movies–but we are deprived of those too. And although none of these compare even remotely to the loss of life and living, they inflict a particular kind of pain because they are set against the backdrop of such monumental tragedy. One of those small sorrows is the loss of lipstick—and by this I mean red lipstick because for me, that’s the only kind there is.

Pre-COVID, I was never without my red lipstick. I owned more than a dozen tubes, and I always made sure there was one in my pocket or purse. On the damnably rare occasion I forgot one, I ducked into the nearest drug or department store to quickly remedy the lack. Like any addict, I couldn’t be without the stuff. At home, I’d keep tubes tucked everywhere: bathroom, bedroom, front hall, and desk drawer. There was even one in the fridge, for those blisteringly hot New York days when I needed to have my red on ice.

I wasn’t always so exclusive in my devotion. In my youth, I dabbled with coral and plum, berry and rose.  No more. Now that I’ve achieved a certain, shall we say, patina, it’s red and only red, even when I’m walking the dog or sweating at the gym.  Red lipstick is both ammunition and armor, a good luck charm, a valentine, a talisman and a fetish. Red wards off the blues, brightens the skies, lifts the spirits and stirs the soul–every single time. When you wear red lipstick, you can’t hide; it won’t let you.  Red commands attention, instills confidence, projects power.  Red is bold, red is brilliant. Red finishes off the perfect Little Black Dress, punches up a classic white T and jeans, turns a bathing suit and flip-flops into a I’m-ready-for-my-close-up moment. Red lipstick adds gumption and guts to everything you put on. The incandescently lovely Marilyn Monroe was a fan of the red lip. And so is the fierce—and fiercely awesome–Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her go-to shade is Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid in Beso, and whenever she expects a day to be more stressful than usual, she makes sure she’s rocking it. 

Yes, red leaves its mark: on the rims of glasses, napkins, and too many of your fresh-from-the cleaners clothes.  But embrace it as your own personal trademark, your brand.  Even after years of wedded bliss, I still embellish birthday and Valentine’s Day cards to my husband with a big, fat red-lipsticked smooch under my name.      

But now that we live in pandemic-land and masks are a part of daily life for who knows how long, all my ravishing reds (Chanel, YSL, L’Oreal, and Revlon among my current favorites) have been rendered useless—null and void.  There’s no point to wearing red (or any other color) under the mask.  No one sees it and it makes a mess of the inside, as well as your face.

I know that in the scheme of things, this hardly warrants mentioning, much less whining about. Yet I almost don’t know myself without my red lipstick; it’s a loss that feels so essential, so personal as to almost be disorienting. Helena Rubinstein—a woman who knew the value of a good red—built an empire on the belief that wearing make-up was a self-assertive, empowering act, one that allowed a woman to literally create the face that she showed to the world.  Well, the pandemic face is a new face in what may be a new world.  That it robs us lipstick-loving lasses of a little bit of our identity is a loss that compounds the bigger losses.  Yes, I’ll learn to cope, as I’ve learned to cope with so much else these last terrible months.  But I’m still longing for the day when I can doff the mask and paint my mouth a dazzling, bright-as-a-beacon red once again.

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The Lilith Blog

November 11, 2020 by

A Profound Posthumous Novel from a Very Late Bloomer

What does it feel like to publish your first novel at the age of 90?  That’s the question Lilith posed to Rochelle Distelheim two years ago— she was in a position to know.  Distelheim, an award-winning short story writer and Chicago native,  released her debut novel, Sadie In Love (Aubade Publishing), in 2018 and in addition to the Q & A that appeared on Lilith’s blog, we also ran excerpts from the novel, a warmly comical and deliciously wry story that sweeps us back to 1913 and the world of struggling Jewish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side.

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The Lilith Blog

October 15, 2020 by

Connecting Jewish Tradition with Black Fugitive Legacies

This autumn, the parking lot of the Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington DC hosted a special sukkah built by visual artist Jessica Valoris. Though its materials—recycled cardboard, paper, bamboo and plant materials—are all things you might expect to find in your average sukkah. this one is anything but; it’s a structure that confronts the past and present, invites us to engage with possibilities of the future. Lilith spoke with Valoris about creating, Black fugitivity, spirituality, and more. 

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The Lilith Blog

October 12, 2020 by

Reflections on Sukkot During the Coronavirus

So.

I don’t know about you, but I never thought we’d be here.

Saying goodbye to Sukkot, the grand festival of rejoicing, the time when we celebrate harvest, honor abundance, and pray for the rains to come.

And yet, we are. still. in. this. mess.

Last week, I walked the eerily empty streets of Jerusalem. It was an evening that would otherwise be packed with shoppers, tourists, visitors, hawkers, strangers, every kind of colorful human. There would be people buying their palm-branch-and-citron Lulav and Etrog sets from outdoor markets while tourists enjoy a late-night ice cream or beer and outdoor buskers strum their music to contribute to the overall din of joy.

Instead, there were just a few of us, approaching the stray stalls that were open to sell the season’s necessities, a sukkah plank here, a Lulav there; while the produce stands tried to get rid of their last vegetables and the buses stopped running at 9pm. It was dystopian, it was sad, it was infuriating.

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