Author Archives: mira

About mira

Mira Z. Amiras is Professor of Comparative Religious Studies and founder of the Middle East Studies Program at San Jose State University. She is past-president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and has served on the Executive Council of the American Anthropological Association. She is co-founder, with Ovid Jacob, of Beit Malkhut, a study group in Jewish sacred text. She’s most attached to the creatures of her body and her household — first and foremost, her kids, of course: Michael and Rayna — and then the other folks large and small of various species, including Roshi and Vlad, a whole lot of hummingbirds, the old parrot who lives next door, and a beautiful garden that does what it will.

the stones I cannot place

My mother’s ‘passing’  has crippled my writing.  And apparently that’s not all. It would be unfair to blame her, per se, because that would be rude.  But I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that she’s had a hand in it.  Some … Continue reading

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oh amy, how could you — a kaddish for amy smith

My plan was that nobody else would die.  Ever.  My plan was to leave the death-and-dying biz to someone else; give someone else a turn.  My plan was that enough was enough. At least for this year. My plan was … Continue reading

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and death is so much closer than it was—a kaddish for rebecca fromer

The house is empty. I’m not sure what to do and death is so much closer than it was— The phone isn’t ringing starting 5 AM and every ten minutes or so thereafter Even the delusions have stopped having culminated in … Continue reading

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easy come easy go: a kaddish for adrienne cooper

I hadn’t thought about her since we were kids. Hadn’t thought about what might have become of her. What her contribution might be to the world. All I remember is that she was a prima donna when I met her. … Continue reading

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nyt remembrances—a kaddish for departed strangers

Today’s online New York Times, front page and center has a spot reserved for readers to place a picture and their remembrances of those who died during the year. It’s an overwhelmingly simple tribute, moving to the core. Each photo … Continue reading

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guest kaddish from David Mohr—for Kimba

This is for Kimba. It might seem strange to have a kaddish for a dog, but she really was a part of the family. For more than 15 years, she was my companion. I lived with her longer than anyone … Continue reading

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killing you loudly—a kaddish

This is the sound of me wailing. Again. Kaddish project’s over, but death does not just up and disappear. So. Here we are again. Only this time it’s a bit different. They’re killing you as we speak. They’re cutting you … Continue reading

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anything, anything but a mystical experience

So. It’s the end of the semester. Students are giving presentations of the projects they’ve been working on all semester long. Or were supposed to be. I know that some of them had struggled mightily with this. Figuring out what … Continue reading

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a mourning mourning morning

At a certain point, I suppose, I just got sick of the whole damned enterprise. And that was the time to step back and write a paper about our process. Which we did. And presented at the Annual Meetings of … Continue reading

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like an addiction, it’s hard to stop—

I can’t quite take the pictures down. Can’t quite stop staring at them. Can’t call it an altar exactly, but I know others do. Others have. And others will.  How do we stop mourning and put the pictures away? And … Continue reading

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