The Telling

Mothers%20and%20Daughters Passover is nearing. Often, as part of my personal preparation, I read at least a chapter of the remarkable book The Telling: The Story of a Group of Women Who Journey to Spirituality through Community and Ceremony. Written by E.M. Broner, this book is a passionate retelling of decades of Passover seders created and performed by a mother/daughter circle of feminists, including Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Letty Pogrebin, Grace Paley and a host of others. It is exciting to read of struggles and imaginings, the conception and execution of new rituals in ancient vessels.
One thing that makes this account particularly interesting is that the tension or conflict, if any, is not just between this little feminist band and the wider patriarchal universe. It is also internal, between the generations of mothers and daughters. Sometimes there is tension between lesbians and non-lesbians, blacks and whites, Israelis and Americans, but mostly it occurs between mothers and daughters—people, who really love each other. Between the generations, these are the people who may be separated by the flow of time, events, and evolving cultures but still rooted together by faith, place, family, and community. The book demonstrates that even or especially with tension between the generations, deep, creative, and spiritual work can be achieved.

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