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.

a kaddish for qaddafi. of sorts.

I feel like I’m supposed to write a kaddish for Qaddafi.  And I’m having a lot of trouble doing so. What I want to do is defend him somehow.  Say that he’s been maligned for decades. Tell you about the … Continue reading

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sephardi pride, ashkenazi arrogance 1.1.9

“Peasants!” the rebbe would mutter under his breath, when his wife Sarah’s customs went too far for his Ashkenazi sensibilities. But of course, her people were not peasants. They were proud of a long and sanctified lineage.  Proud of the … Continue reading

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avram and the not so barren sarah — 1.1.8

It was not that Sarah was barren—it was more, perhaps, that she had had enormous difficulty holding a child to term.  And those she had lost had all been girls and were not counted by the fathers of her lineage, … Continue reading

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orah, the androgyne — 1.1.7

Malkah, too, however, was not the queerest of them all. There was a fifth daughter that the rebbe had, although that should not be, especially after the fuss of Vavah. Especially after the birth of perfect Malkah. And yet there … Continue reading

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enter Malkah upon the broken stage — 1.1.6

The rebbe’s fourth daughter, as I’m sure you must have guessed, was our Malkah, for what other name could this sweet child possess?  Malkah was now sixteen and obedient (it would seem) albeit in an ethereal sort of way.  She … Continue reading

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Vavah steps out into the wicked night — 1.1.5

And so Vavah went out, in day or in night, and that clunker of the rebbe’s car seemed happiest most of all when its engine was revved enthusiastically at night. And when the rebbe’s third daughter escaped her chores and … Continue reading

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the tzaddik’s dollar — 1.1.4

The rebbe sighed frequently when he thought of the enigma of his daughter the so-called Yesodite, but in the end he felt that this too must surely be exactly as it should, and that Vavah, too, must needs be perfect … Continue reading

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almighty one, rebbe zero — 1.1.3 —

The third daughter of the rebbe tended to be called (affectionately) Vavah.  It was one of those perhaps unfortunate infant names conferred upon her at long-last, after her sainted mother claimed to have witnessed her utter those long-awaited first sounds, … Continue reading

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binah in silence — intro — 1.1.2

The twin sephirot, as their father the rebbe liked to call them, were twenty-four when our story begins.  And their younger sisters, like clockwork, manifested themselves each precisely two years younger than the previous, all managing, and despite the vagaries … Continue reading

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introduction — the rebbe’s queer daughters — 1.1.1

  Tell me the tale, she insisted, and so at last I did. And hungrily she wrote it all down, as she thought she ought. For her daughters, and her daughters’ daughters she dedicates this tale.    Il mundo si … Continue reading

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