Issue #1

  1. Introducing PROTOCOLS

  2. Something That Could Feel Alive

  3. An Argument After Watching Gentleman’s Agreement

  4. Hard Times

  5. Fear and Isolation in American Zion

  6. Untitled

  7. Becoming Disco

  8. Project 2x1

  9. The Hamsa Flag

  10. Finding Home #61: Beloved

  11. Three Poems

  12. Judaica

  13. The Other Within

  14. Am I Anne

  15. On Choosing

  16. This Shall Also Pass

Three Poems

Shani Abramowitz

Illustration by Margalit Cutler


Bend to let the light in.


And let the teeming masculinity

Of your tradition pour forth

Remember that word בחר1

Sounds a lot like בכר2 the small root for man, for elder

Remember that בחר looks a lot like ברח3

The little root for flee.


Chosenness is that tiny root

That makes its

Home in our sightlines

And in our breaths.

Chosenness is clocktower thin

And flexible,

And binding, like gauze to a wound.


It buries itself deep in my body,

And echoes the weeping of the Bat-Zion4

The lamentations that were meant for the masses,

For a generation.


Did you know that divinity has a consequence?


It chose me

Without warning and without


It chose me at Sinai,

Like a huddled parent

Or anxious groom.

It chose me, hanging over my head,

In violent silence.

A quiet that begged for a cry, for any tin-roof voice

That could meet it.

  1. [bakhar] The Hebrew verb for chose, notably used in a blessing made over the Torah: “Blessed are You, Hashem,…who has chosen us from all the nations…”
  2. [b · kh · r] The Hebrew root for the word bakhur, meaning firstborn son.
  3. [barakh] The Hebrew verb for fled, ran away, escaped.
  4. The feminine protagonist in the canonized Book of Eikha (Lamentations), traditionally read on Tisha b’Av.

Shani Abramowitz is in her 2nd year of Rabbinical school at JTS, in New York City. Originally from Chicago, Shani is a Hadar alum, former J Street organizer, published poet, and Jewish educator. Follow her on Twitter @shani_abramow.