Selected Works

On Yom Kippur, ten characters in synagogue, grappling with identity, meaning, repentance, forgiveness...
A contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out against the backdrop of mythic Biblical rivalries.
A new book of poetry with an old soul, a stunning cartography of the heart.
Memoir in poetry and prose
“Stories and poetry so captivating, powerful, wise… An extraordinary achievement!"
–Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

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Looking back

July 19, 2011

Tags: Israel, Jerusalem, Mahane Yehuda, Tayelet, the Kotel, Rivka Miriam, Priestly blessing, Kohanim

I don't think of myself as suffering from jet lag, but here I am wide awake at 3:30 am and during the day doing everything in slow motion! Relieved returning home that no house plants had died nor anything in the garden - the garden ridiculously overgrown with weeds but after two hours of concentrated effort looks quite sweet again... (more…)

Looking back 2

July 19, 2011

What's missing from this picture of my time in Israel?

For more than 20 years, since the first intifada, I have always seized or created opportunities for activist peace work here - now finally, just pleasure and tourism for Merle? Not exactly, though times have changed. (more…)

I had forgotten how hard it is to leave

July 13, 2011

Tags: Israel, Jerusalem, journeys

I've been packing for over three hours, just about done now. I decided to do one last laundry this morning for the sole reason that when I am home I want the smell of Jerusalem's air in my skirts, my tops, my socks. One day here is like two weeks in the "regular" world (more…)

Again, worlds collide...

July 10, 2011

Tags: Adraba Bookstore. Kolech, Religious Women's Forum, Orthodox Israeli feminists, Kolech conference

Now Sunday morning, yom rishon, the first day of the new week. For Israelis, it's back to work or school, but for Americans it's disorienting - your schedule of appointments tells you it's Monday, but long-ingrained habit of course thinks "weekend." Twenty years ago, here for sabbatical with an 11 year old and a 7 year (more…)

Israel, where worlds collide, #2

July 8, 2011

Tags: Cadim, Sara Ben Yosef, Tmol Shilshom, Daveed Ehrlich, Yehuda Amichai, Brandon Bays, The Journey, Hassadnah program for Ethiopian children, music training for Jerusalem children

Days so full I can't adequately describe them, but some vignettes:

A morning visit with Sara Ben Yosef, gifted potter and long-ago teacher of mine, at Cadim, her ceramics cooperative in Yoel Solomon (downtown Jerusalem) - we talk of her new work, our children, her fascinating visit to China for a month-long pottery residency (more…)

Israel, where worlds collide

July 5, 2011

Tags: Israel, Women of the Wall, Princeton University Hillel, Bauhaus architecture, Eran Reshef, Tmol Shilshom, Tal Becker, Sara Ben Yosef, Cadim

Taking a month for myself, virtually unheard of for me. A magical week in the south of France with a beloved cousin, and then three weeks in Israel - now only one week remains.

It's 40 years since I first came to Jerusalem to spend a summer, so young, in so young a country. Most vivid image - the dusty back-water airport, the chaos, the heat, immigrants arriving from everywhere, and, once done with customs, released outside into the blinding Mediteranean sunlight, overwhelmed by the tears of reunion we observed all around. We knelt and kissed the ground... (more…)