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What about God?

By Richard Chess Poetry

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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Twins

By Philip Terman Poetry

Like one nation divided, the older—by three minutes—bragged: We had a race, and I won. The younger would respond: We had a fight. I kicked him out. Impossible to tell them apart— in photos, in home movies— hairy and smooth in equal measures, matching clothes, thin bodies, freckled, blue eyes behind black-framed glasses— as babies,…

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At the Synagogue Rummage Sale

By Philip Terman Poetry

At the Synagogue Rummage Sale during Holocaust Remembrance Day Basement, Butler, Pennsylvania, the gentiles bargaining for old tallises, worn yarmulkes, a torn challah cover, a stained torah, a hundred thumbed copies of Anne Frank— I walk out and past a circle of bat mitzvah-aged girls and our rabbi, who stops me and asks if I’ll…

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Notre Dame

By Fleda Brown Poetry

A shape less recognizable each week, A purpose more obscure. ________—Philip Larkin, “Church Going” In spite of fundamentalists, it keeps on being true, what Larkin said. I’m walking through with my Jewish daughter and her three boys, the stone and glass saying not a word to make any of us believe, but I’m seeing the…

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The Bar Mitzvah

By Fleda Brown Poetry

_____The row of goyim, that’s us, family of half the family, those who don’t talk of Israel at dinner, here because of fate, because of the strangeness of our children, because of this grandchild in his tallis, his kippot, words we read the leaflet to know. We watch the Torah lifted from its rainbow tomb,…

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World

By Valerie Wohlfeld Poetry

An old Jewish tradition, dating back to the Talmud, records that the world is sustained by the presence of at least thirty-six tzaddikim. These people do their good deeds quietly: their neighbors do not know who they are. If, however, that minimum of truly saintly people does not exist, then the world itself will perish.…

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The Watcher

By Bonita Friedman Essay

  BEST OXTAIL SOUP” I said. My husband nodded. “Best Healthy for You Fish Fry.” His mouth quirked up in a smile, an effort I appreciated. We were both zonked from not getting enough sleep. Jamaican bakeries swung past, their windows advertising fluorescent-yellow-crusted beef pies as well as jerk chicken and sorrel. This was deep…

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My Father at Eleven Years

By Judith Harris Poetry

My grandfather moonlighted as a rabbi on Friday evenings when he should have been praying in the Bronx one-room apartment with no electricity and the claw-foot tub used for distilling whisky— not walking down 143rd Street below the globed gaslights, along the trolley tracks, past shuttered tobacco shops and Coca-Cola signage, towards Yonkers and the…

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Word

By Richard Chess Essay

The Word-Soaked World Troubling the Lexicon of Art and Faith Since 1989, Image has hosted a conversation at the nexus of art and faith among writers and artists in all forms. As the conversation has evolved, certain words have cropped up again and again: Beauty. Mystery. Presence. For this issue, we invited a handful of…

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Forgiveness

By Richard Michelson Poetry

after “The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness” by Simon Wiesenthal I All day I’ve been beating my breast, begging pardon of those I’ve offended: family, estranged friends, and ex-dates. Cleaning the slate, the Rabbi calls it each erev Yom Kippur. I’ve even emailed that asshole out west with the broad-brim hat and…

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