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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 language they had retained since the 15th century.  Proud of those they claimed as their […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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, nor troubled over by the master of her house.  The rebbe retreated to manuscripts and […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 was one more. And she, needs be, was the mysterious light of the rebbe’s eye, […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 mostly tended the family garden and goats, or ran nimbly up and down the cliff-side […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 tore out across the gravel drive, her wheels screeched their escape, as they headed off […]

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kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 in every way, and that any fault in her lay primarily in his own blindness […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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, not even words, but   —  ו  ו  ו  ו  —va-va-va-va. That the chatty babe […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 of the lunar calendar, to emerge into the world on the first day of Nisan.  […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

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 esta kimando in braza biva, y tu estas durmiendo endriva de’l buz The world is […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony the rebbe's queer daughters

preface — the rebbe’s queer daughters — the uriel tree

The Uriel Tree grew from ancient times to the present almost nowhere on earth. But where it took root, it grew hardy and strong, and could survive where others could not. It preferred, unbelievably enough, arid, marginal environs where not much else could survive. Curiously, it did not at all mind the wind, or even, […]