I Will Always Be Muslim and Jewish

I’ve long felt shame that I knew much more about my Muslim heritage than my Jewish side, but this year, I’m diving in. I don’t know how to read or write Hebrew. I haven’t memorized a single prayer. I am illiterate regarding Judaism, yet I’m Jewish — a truth I know with certainty. How I interpret and process […]

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My Lithuanian Holocaust Survivor Grandmother—

BEFORE: Hot water burbled in samovars. You strolled cobblestone streets, clicking your heels. DURING: You sipped grass soup. Dug the ditch for your murdered mother. AFTER: You slaved stitching stockings in sweatshops. My alcoholic grandfather cracked open your skull with a cast-iron skillet. You danced at Roseland Ballroom, smelling of bleach and herring, wearing tangerine-colored wigs. You played Ken […]

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Bunks

I’ve heard all these years about the bunks and their hardness. I’ve never felt them. I’ve only heard their stories. But, now I’m in a bunk, and I probably shouldn’t be here. I’m breaking rules as usual. I want to feel what this hard surface feels like on my back. I am lying down, and […]

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