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“In 2008 the U.S. economy was collapsing, but I myself was experiencing a brief and temporary period of financial abundance, the first and only time like this I have ever known. After years of working at office jobs that barely allowed me breathing time on the weekends, I was fully freelance, or as I would later come to think of it, unemployed. I was renting my own one-bedroom apartment and spending a lot of time eating, going to yoga classes, and lying on the floor crying while dredging up bad memories to put in the book I was working on. I had been through a lot, I thought, and I was due some time to relax. I wasn’t a complete idiot — I knew that the windfall I was living on, from a book advance that was rapidly being decimated by taxes and insurance premiums, was finite and unlikely to be replenished via writing alone. But I was enough of an idiot to imagine that teaching yoga was going to be an adequate Plan B. And I was also enough of an idiot to start hanging out with T.
T was around during the day when I had nothing pressing to do, willing to have me over at 2 p.m. for tea and gossip. She was beautiful, with a wild head of perfectly maintained hair, and always smelled amazing. She had usually just come from a fitness class or a massage or a haircut or other more esoteric spa experience. She had written for years for women’s magazines, which were then much more of a thing, and so a lot of this self-care was either subsidized or a legitimate research expense. But you got the sense that she would still be doing it, even if it weren’t part of her job. This was just the way she lived. She reminded me of Colette, the author whose photograph was on the vision board I kept above my desk. She was a sensualist, an aesthete. She made it seem normal and rational and good to spend hours taking care of your body and mind, soothing and nourishing yourself like a pampered, beloved pet.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."
"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."
"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"
"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."
"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."
"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."
"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."
"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"
"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."
"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."
""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."
" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."