Next Year in New Jersey

by Rebecca Boroson   “THIS IS A NIGHT for Elijah,” says 7-year-old Bram. The wind is battering the trees and sending the clouds running for cover. And it does, indeed, seem like a night for the biblical prophet, for whom Bram will open the door during the seder — and who may invisibly, if he deigns, […]

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The Child Bride

by Rebecca Boroson   IN 1905, when my grandfather was a divorced man who had cut off his payess and left his shtetl to live as a freethinker, he went to see a farmer who had three marriageable daughters. The daughters, whose mother had died in childbirth, were growing up wild, and the farmer was rumored […]

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On Being a “Jewess”

by Rebecca Boroson   TWO MEN WANTED ME, when I was young, for being something I was not. I was reminded of this recently, when one sent me my portrait, which I never knew he had painted more than fifty years ago. He titled it “Jewess.” The other man, tall, blond, blue-eyed, of German descent and […]

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Warding Off Evil Spirits: Two Yiddish Incantations

from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents A MEMORY: I am 5, walking alongside my baby sister’s stroller. An old woman, the kind you don’t see anymore, comes up beside us. She wears a kerchief over her head and thick, cotton, flesh-tinted, sagging stockings. Her fingers are gnarled. Her dress is mourning-black. “What an […]

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You Don’t Need Chicken Soup to Feed the Soul

VEGETARIANISM GOES MAINSTREAM by Rebecca Boroson I HELD a secret celebration at my synagogue’s seder this year: Each of the seder plates at the fifteen tables bore a roasted beet, a rabbinically-approved vegetarian substitute for the traditional shankbone. And not one of the 150 guests seemed to think this was anything out of the ordinary. […]

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