Dancing at Two Weddings: Mazel between Exile and Diaspora

Murray Baumgarten

in Diasporas and Exiles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520228641
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926899 | DOI:
Dancing at Two Weddings: Mazel between Exile and Diaspora

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This chapter focuses on Rebecca Goldstein's 1995 novel, Mazel. Galut is characterized by powerlessness, halachic constriction, dislocation, and anguish, in contrast with the diaspora's possibility of empowerment and integration. Mazel is read as identifying the movement from galut to diaspora with the Emancipation movement from the shtetl to the city. Mazel is the story of four generations of Jewish women, beginning in the shtetl (Shluftchev), proceeding to the city (Warsaw), winding its way through Israel to New York, and ending in the suburbs (Lipton, New Jersey). This suburb, largely populated by the traditionally religious, is no more than “Shluftchev with a designer label,” as Sasha, the central character, puts it. This movement to the suburbs—which involves both Jews and a new direction in Jewish writing—is seen as subtle and complicated.

Keywords: Rebecca Goldstein; galut; diaspora; Emancipation; shtetl; Jewish women; Warsaw; suburbs

Chapter.  17606 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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