The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

My new piece up on Tablet, “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” is about how my lifelong love of Star Wars is clashing with my commitment not to go to the movies. Yes, it is true, this fangirl, the child formerly known in some circles as “Chewbecca,” will not be watching “The Force Awakens.”

O Death Star Play Set, how I miss thee!!

Writing the piece was loads of fun: I got to relive many happy minutes of my childhood. In the original draft, I described the scene when I received my beloved Death Star Play Set (from Kenner!) in loving detail, and included all sorts of wacky stuff that I had to cut for length before turning the article into Tablet. 

Editing out all that material was painful, and so I give you…

THE TOP 5 THINGS I HAD TO CUT FROM “THE FORCE ISN’T WITH ME ANYMORE:”

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An oasis in my posting desert

Things have been a bit nutty lately in the Klempner household. I’ve got a few kids home from school to entertain, and we made a bar mitzvah for our eldest. Blogging hasn’t been a priority this summer.

However, I managed to squeeze in a little writing, and the first fruit I’ve got to show for my labors is my latest piece in Tablet. It’s my first real foray into food writing. Follow this link, and you’ll find a personal essay, complete with a recipe for egg-free, vegan matzo balls.

Hope everyone else is having a great summer, too! Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe. I’d love some feedback, including any tweaks you make it that result in a fluffier product.

Getting booed at Tablet and my first appearance in The Jewish Press

I had a bad feeling when my editor at Tablet — who I really love — sent me an email telling me that my latest essay there (about how I unintentionally set my hand on fire but believe it was no accident) would run on Tisha B’Av.

Being an Orthodox Jew, I pretty much regard that as the worst day of the year, so I was immediately filled with a sense of foreboding. And it now seems I was right to be Continue reading

The new Tablet story my editor is afraid I’m going to get hate mail for

My newest piece is up on Tablet. When I submitted the pitch several months ago to the Life and Religion editor, Wayne Hoffman, he cautioned me: do you really want to do this?

The topic of the essay is a controversial one in the Jewish community — women wearing Tefillin — and he was afraid I’d get a lot of trolls. And probably some genuine hate mail, to boot.

My original proposal was a much wider topic — the denigration of traditional feminine roles by many “feminists” in the Jewish community. I shot off the query letter in a fit of pique after yet another feminist looked down her nose at my lifestyle and basically told me I was so persecuted I didn’t know that I was persecuted.

The first draft was a mess: too big, too venting, too…too…everything.

I have to really give credit to the very special Mr. Hoffman, who asked the right questions and nudged me in the right direction until I could be proud of the resulting essay. We cut most of the first draft, and narrowed the topic considerably, then tried to focus on the positive aspects of the story.

Anyway, I hope you check the essay out and share and comment and all that.

My rant against depictions of Queen Esther in popular art and literature.

Tablet has an article up about the popularization of Queen Esther among Christians. It gave me the willies. Not because of the article’s writer, but because of what she was describing.

While some of the pastors describing Esther’s commitment to fulfilling G-d’s will get it right, clearly, the majority of these authors and pastors have not read a single commentary on Esther. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me (because why should a Christian have to do so) but they completely and totally distort the story for their own purposes. Why would you write something without doing research? Traditional commentaries (easily obtainable in English) describe an Esther completely different than how she’s being depicted in pop culture. Continue reading

When writing shifts from a hobby to a job: my new essay in Tablet

Meow.

Meow.

Last year, I wrote on this blog that I struggled with creating the annual Purim newsletter I co-write with my husband. Well, this year, I wrote an essay about it for Tablet. You can read it here.

And if you don’t live in L.A., but do want to see this year’s edition of the newsletter (and other freebies throughout the year), you can fill out this form.  I’ll put you on the mailing list!