On Racism and Growing up in the American South

Growing up in the South, you learn from an early age about racism. Our public schools taught from books that The Daughters of the Confederacy bought for schools. Eventually, we read books that actually told some truth.

I remember reading about the Civil Rights movement and its leaders.  I remember learning details about Martin Luther King, Jr.  I remember feeling shame to know he was assassinated in my home state of Tennessee.

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Shanah Tovah U’metukah

The year 2020 has been a strange year, and so has the Jewish year of 5780.

As the sun sets tonight, we hope and pray for a better year.

What will 5781 bring us? Do we dare to dream of health and happiness?

Or shall we begin to brace ourselves for a long, hard winter?

It is our hope which will sustain us, and we pray for a better year.

5781 brings us hope, and another step closer to coming back together.

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

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Cooking is a Part of My Soul: Challah French Toast

Being a Southern woman, making food is a part of your soul.  It’s in our blood, it’s part of our spirit.  It’s just what we do – we cook when we’re happy, when we’re expecting guests, when we’re down, or during a pandemic.

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Shabbat (a poem)

I knew nothing of Shabbat before you

or the prayers we say on Friday nights

as we break off pieces of challah + let the candle

burn all night by the window –

I’m happy you’ve taught me, it’s brought me

a new ritual in this life, the life we share together.

(Photo source: shutterstock.com)

The Golem (a poem)

A golem without a master is like a key without a lock

the sorcerer created her, this woman made of clay

now she’s gone astray, wandering New York’s streets

without a purpose –

a golem is made to obey + without a command

it scarcely knows where to stand, desires pushing it

to + fro until someone says the magic phrase +

it disintegrates into dust.

(Photo source: Wikipedia)

Note: This poem is inspired by The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 novel by Helene Wecker, which I’m currently reading. One of the main characters in the novel is a golem – a mythic creature in Jewish folklore.