Berit Engen WOOF & D'RASH - Weaving a Thousand Jewish Tapestries


THE EXILE (I)
– Leaning on Willows


A few years ago, as I started to explore Judaism, as I was new to Jewish thinking I thought the word ‘exile’ popped out of the liturgy, books, classes and conversations. I realized this was a historic heritage and mindset foreign to me.

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THE EXILE (II)
 – Dwelling and Wandering

 
For centuries, where the Jews settled down, they were often forced to uproot and move, and when they had no choice but to wander, people wondered why they could not settle down.
 
One finds the phrase “dem goles shlepn” in the moving Yiddish song “Oyf’n Pripetshik.” Translated into English and transferred to the North American experience, the phrase may take on a comic feel, as in the title of Michael Wex’s hilarious novel Shlepping the Exile.

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THE EXILE (III)
– A Story Whose Final Tapestry Is True

 
I. B. Singer wrote: “When a day passes, it is no longer there. What remains of it? Nothing more than a story. If stories weren’t told or books weren’t written, man would live like the beasts, only for the day.” 

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THE EXILE (IV)
– Where There Are Jews, There Are Fish
 
 
While studying the many aspects of Judaism, I learned that what my family eagerly ate for dinner eight days a week growing up in Norway is a creature of great significance in Jewish cooking and lore. I felt at home.

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THE EXILE (V)
 – An Itsy-Bitsy Dictionary of Essential “Voyds”
 
 
How can we rejoice and complain in a strange land? By using our own exclamations in our own languages.

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EXILE (VI)
– Hope on a Larger Scale

 
On a Jewish note: participating in political life is what Jews do where they are allowed full citizenship, and Jews contributed greatly to the election of President Obama. On a personal note: As a child in Norway, I wrote letters to Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. Each individual and generation wants its own redemption tale. I found mine in this event.

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