Linda Pressman is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, and speaker. She was the Blog Editor of Poetica Magazine for three years, and is the author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, which won the Grand Prize in the Writer's Digest 20th Annual Book Contest.
It first happened right after I got married. I was at a rundown antique mall and there it was: someone’s abandoned brass menorah, with Hebrew written on it, and made in Israel. The sales tag said…only, “Candelabra.” I bought it. Other purchases soon followed. Antique stores, thrift stores, rummage sales–it was like the Land of Misfit Toys in my house, but Misfit Judaica. Each time I ran into something, I felt a sense of obligation to rescue these once-loved objects, because who else but me would just happen to be… >> Read More
Just like Christmas shoppers hate to see a Christmas tree in Macy’s too soon, when I see the giant gefilte fish and matzah display at Costco in late February it sends me into a panic. Unlike the…Christmas shoppers, I don’t think about how the store is ruining or commercializing the holiday. I think, is it time for gefilte fish already? I think that finding the foods for this holiday, including that gigantic jar of gefilte fish, is not easy and so maybe I should stockpile now. I start thinking about how… >> Read More
It’s 1968, or 1978, basically anytime I’m with my mom in her lifetime and we’re out in public. Finicky about fabrics and proper attire, my mother always offered a choice opinion in Yiddish. If…they don’t speak the language, no big deal, she just mutters her criticisms to me in that tongue under her breath, criticisms so precise that they take my breath away: someone’s dress is plotzing (too tight), or it’s ongepotchked (over-ornamented), or it’s just drek (junk). We were an immigrant family, more immigrant in spirit when… >> Read More
I’m standing in a Judaica store in the middle of Scottsdale, Arizona watching as my daughter searches the store from top to bottom for the right tallis, or prayer shawl. Finding the right one is…apparently somewhat akin to finding the right wand in "Harry Potter" or the right wedding dress on "Say Yes to the Dress." She must be at one with the prayer shawl; the prayer shawl must feel at once like it was meant for her, like it grew out of her. Or maybe we could just make… >> Read More