No less than the Maccabees, we are in a struggle today. And the front is not only on our borders; it is between the inner self, the tselem elokim, and the electronic media that invade our homes, and use us far more than we use them.
Esther Cameron is a poet, essayist, translator and editor living in Ma’ale Adumim. She is editor-in-chief of The Deronda Review (www.derondareview.org) and also has a multifaceted website, www.pointandcircumference.com. She has published translations of Paul Celan, Hamutal Bar-Yosef, Reuven Ben-Yosef, and Ruth Blumert. Her own books include Fortitude, or The Lost Language of Justice: Poems in Israel's Cause (Bitzaron Books, 2009) and Western Art and Jewish Presence in the Work of Paul Celan (Lexington Books, 2014). She recently published her Collected Works, including literary criticism, memoirs, shorter poems and an epic, under her imprint Of the Essence Press. You can visit Esther's blog at: https://esthercameron.weebly.com/blog
Recent articles by Esther Cameron
“I will take for my hero a genius who has made a fortune in computers. He came from a pious Jewish background, of course he no longer keeps the mitzvot, but before he got off the straight path he learned something. I’ll have him do teshuvah.”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), one of the finest American poets, lived most of her life as a recluse in the house of her parents. and published almost nothing during her lifetime. But she communicated with friends through intense, vivid letters and is said to have sent poems to neighbors with bread or flowers from her garden.
I always have been on the Internet.
I’ve always, always had you in my head.
In the yeshiva on the mountainside
We gather to entreat the Lord of all
Modern Israel’s greatest philosopher, Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, once wrote: “Literature, which pokes into every corner where there is poetry and life, has not penetrated at all into the marvelous treasure of life that is repentance.” Yael Shahar’s Returning, based on a true story but crafted with literary skill, seems meant to fit into that gap.
We need to return to the Jewish definition of progress as “whatever advances the redemption of humankind and the world.”
“This is a world war between the culture of Israel and the culture of Edom.”
Apparently someone thought that it would be easier for a parent to remember their smartphone than to remember not to leave their child to die in a locked car.
Yes, the evil Israelis again have upset
The world — shot civilians who’d peacefully met
To throw stones, cut wires, send kites to burn farms
and turn to the nations a pure language
that will not call good evil and evil good.
POETRY IN THE DAYS OF SEFIRAH The 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot are traditionally a time for introspection, recapitulating the purification which the Israelites needed to undergo after being taken out of Egypt in order to receive the Torah. It is said that in Egypt the Israelites had passed through “forty-nine gates of tumah” (uncleanness); Read more
The Deronda Review: Traversing new frontiers in Jewish poetry Sasson catches up with Esther Cameron, the editor-in-chief of The Deronda Review journal for poetry and thought, with a decidedly Jewish twist. What is the Deronda Review and how did it get its name? The Deronda Review is a literary magazine, mainly poetry though we print Read more
Esther Cameron takes a nuanced look at whether it’s a good – or bad – thing for women’s faces to be appearing in more places in the orthodox Jewish world.
So why are we on the internet, anyway? Everyone knows that the Internet has been at best a mixed blessing. It is hard to imagine that any of the benefits it has brought could make up for the damage it has caused by placing so many temptations one click away in the absence of social Read more
The Internet is very draining. So many voices far and near. Arguing, coming on, complaining!
Poet Esther Cameron muses on the internet: Soul’s bulb, abandoned, shrinks; what thing gets growth?
“And then there is that button saying ‘Like’ – Coin of approval flung to beggar’s bowl”
Comparing Notes With Shulem Deen Shulem Deen is the author of ‘All Who Go Do Not Return’, a memoir which describes how he lost his faith, and then lost contact with his still-observant wife and children, after he left the New Square community. I have read All Who Go Do Not Return, and it seems Read more
Two poems that are really the same poem, written nearly forty years apart. In the summer of 1975 I was trying to start an organization called The Small World School of Poetry. (I am still trying.) I meant to write a text for a poster to put up around the university, but when I set pen to paper, out came this poem. It has remained my “signature” poem over the years, and there have been several “remakes” of it—”Desperate Love for Pirkei Avot,” from in the winter of 5774, is the most recent.