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personal essay

  • 'There's no such thing as a feminist name-change'

    When I reverted my surname back to my maiden name, apparently the Interior Ministry decided I was getting divorced. How do you prove that you're not getting divorced? My own personal brush with Kafka. I went to the Interior Ministry office in Beit Shemesh to get a passport issued for my adolescent son last week. He is supposed to travel with friends for a ski vacation in Europe, where it is winter, snowing, cold, and expensive. I got there very early so that I could get back to work at a reasonable time. There were only two Arabs waiting in a…

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  • The long road to Bethlehem

    It wasn’t the soaring arches or the elegant windows, with their curved caps. It wasn’t that the first room of the house was built in 1808. It wasn’t the jasmine that, like a woman letting down her hair, released its heavy perfume at night. It wasn’t the olive, loquat, lemon, almond, and apricot trees that filled the garden. Nor was it that the fruit from that garden seemed sweeter here in Bethlehem than it was in Jerusalem. The apartment’s biggest selling point, in my landlady’s opinion? The well. She showed it to me the first time I saw the place,…

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