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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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Heart’s Companion: Listening to Leonard Cohen

By Bill Coyle Essay

Somebody said, “Lift that bale.” THE EPIGRAPH to Leonard Cohen’s second novel, Beautiful Losers, is attributed to “Ray Charles singing ‘Ol’ Man River.’” Not to Oscar Hammerstein, who wrote the lyrics, but to one of the song’s many singers. This was back when Cohen was known primarily as a novelist and poet, before he had performed…

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Insider/Outsider/In: The Art of Jennifer Anne Moses

By Caroline Langston Essay

  THE SUNDAY TRAVEL SECTION of the New York Times would seem, on the face of it, an unexpected venue for an artistic confession, but for the multifaceted Jennifer Anne Moses—fiction writer, spiritual memoirist, and painter, as well as a self-confessed “liberal East Coast Jew”—it was an acutely appropriate venue, effectively the still point of…

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Studying with You

By D.G. Myers Essay

The Road Behind Us Image’s Founding Generation When Image was founded in 1989, the cultural landscape looked different than it does today. Religious writers and artists felt cold-shouldered in the public square and often ill at ease within the church. The need for a journal that demonstrated the continuing vitality of contemporary art informed by…

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The Visual Jewishness of Mark Podwal

By Menachem Wecker Essay

MARK PODWAL’S EARLIEST MEMORY of making art is of drawing boats with many sails at age four. “I remember drawing a ship on a wall, but that may be a fantasy,” says Podwal, who is both a prominent artist and a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Another story…

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