Monologues from the Makom

Intertwined Narratives of Sexuality, Gender, Body Image, and Jewish Identity

by Rivka Cohen, Sara Rozner Lawrence, Sarah Ricklan, Rebecca Zimilover, and Naima Hirsch

$14.95

This item will be released on September 1, 2020.
Buy through other online book sellers
Tags: , ,

About this book

A collection of first-person poetry and prose designed to break the observant Jewish community’s taboo against open discussion of female sexuality

“A loud and needed contribution to the Jewish feminist library… A great step forward in our work towards a Jewish world where women’s experiences and voices are heard and valued.”
—Rabbanit Leah Sarna, director of religious engagement, Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, Chicago

“Truly inspiring. This brave collection explores the tension between religious norms and the lived experience of young Jewish women.”
—Professor Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University

“Courageous, heart-breaking, passionate, honest, so vividly transcribed that these poets and storytellers seem to be baring their souls.”
—Dr. Joy Ladin, author, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective

“Should be required reading for men, all men.”
— Chaim Trachtman, M.D., editor, Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter
Introduction by Sara Rozner Lawrence

Subjectivity
I Am.
I Have Been Trying to Write This All Week
Invisibility
An Empty Place
Lucy, I Love You
The Girl Who Loved Masturbating /
My Complicated Relationship with Masturbation
It’s Different Than the Movies
You Didn’t Prepare For Me?
Shame
Consent
See Me
You Shouldn’t Have
Welcome to Womanhood
Built-up Bravery
First Period
Oy, to Be a Tomboy
The Lady in Lime-Green
Falling in Love with Tefillin
Bound
I…I’m sorry
Synonyms
Final Moments Before Yom Kippur
Potato Kugel Love
This Eden
Touching Boy
Love on the Brain
What They Don’t Tell You
About Getting Married at Nineteen
Growing Pains
One Day, This Scar Will Be Beautiful
Immersion
Private Places

Advance Praise

“Monologues from the Makom is a loud and needed contribution to the Jewish feminist library. This work brings forward women’s experiences with their bodies and sexualities not as subjects in a study but as agents crafting their own narratives in poetry and prose. The Monologues represent voices that are diverse yet unified, seeking dignity, honesty, safety and transcendence. This book marks a great step forward in our work towards a Jewish world where women’s experiences and voices are heard and valued.”

Rabbanit Leah Sarna, director of religious engagement, Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, Chicago

“I found this work, and the collaborative process for creating it, truly inspiring. This brave collection explores the tension between religious norms and the lived experience of young Jewish women. Through the lens of poetry and prose, contributors engage with the complex impact of gendered codes of modesty on Jewish women from adolescence through to motherhood. The writing draws important connections between tznius, sex education and vulnerability to sexual assault and between emphasis on the body and the silencing of women’s voices.”

-Professor Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University

“Courageous, heart-breaking, passionate, honest, so vividly transcribed that these poets and storytellers seem to be baring their souls, Monologues from the Makom shatters the silence that has long surrounded Orthodox Jewish women’s desires and bodies, and testifies to the vital, urgent relationship between sexuality and the sacred.”

-Dr. Joy Ladin, author, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective

“This book is a collection of heartfelt stories of particular individuals confronting the universal challenge of forging an identity. It describes modern Jewish women struggling to find meaning living in the shadow of traditional Orthodox views of gender and sexuality. It should be required reading for men, all men.”

– Dr. Chaim Trachtman, editor, Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives