age, and her father and
brother turned their
backs on her when she
"Get out of here before I smash you with
moved her children into
this!" Estie pushed the settlers back with the
the dangers of the
butt end of her rifle.
Miriam cried. "Why are you on their side?
She continues to search
Why are you going to let the Arabs kill us?"
for the meaning that
"Traitor!" other settlers screamed at Estie.
brought her and her hus-
A woman soldier grabbed Miriam's arm.
band first to become
devoutly religious and
When the soldier raised her arm to hit
then ardent Zionists.
Miriam, Estie screamed, "Don't touch her!
As a child of the '60s she
She's my sister!"
uses yoga, bio-energy heal-
— From "Storm of Terror:
ing, meditation and even
A Hebron Mother's Diary"
Tarot cards in her quest for
.equanimity in the midst of
children and nearby Arab families
Leavitt is candidly on the extreme
before the peace process "put up
fringe of the Israeli political spectrum.
barbed wire between us and the
Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29
Arab worshipers in cold blood in
Storm of Terror will not cause any
1994, had been her family doctor.
reader to change sides. But its power-
Her comment on the causes for the
ful style and even more powerful
crime: "So many friends had died in
emotions will engage anyone interest-
his arms. Many of us think it was that
ed in the Israeli Palestinian tragedy to
event which broke our neighbor Dr.
race through its pages.
Leavitt reveals herself not only as a
She describes with almost utopian
determined ideologue but a complex
nostalgia the friendships between her
struggling human being. ❑
man who knows the world and there-
fore cherishes his own land all the
This comes through eloquently in
the final section of the book, selec-
tions from a private diary.
He writes: "Because, as a journalist,
I often travel to war zones and other
not particularly nice places, coming
home to America has always had a
special feel for me. Often I would
come home ... and my wife would ask
- • •
the firing line:
"Miriam said that at school her
friends are busy writing their own
eulogies ... Whoever says they are not
frightened is telling a lie."
Leavitt also struggles to juggle
among her children's differing view-
Her oldest daughter, Estie, a soldier,
was stationed in her hometown to
quell settlers advancing toward violent
Arab demonstrators. One of the set-
tlers doing so was Estie's younger sis-
Her son became intensely devout as
a reaction to friends' deaths. And her
13-year-old daughter was -often so ter-
rified that Leavitt spent nights rock-
In the new reality of the intifada,
normalcy is nowhere. Even a simple
mother/daughter conversation about
planning the girl's future is not
"Both Estie and I are trying to
ignore the screaming, the whistling of
the mobs, the gunfire, the grenades,
the street battles between the army
and the Arabs."
Leavitt lost her mother at a young
me how it was, and I would answer:
`You know, honey, the wheels aren't on
very tight out there.'"
Well said, by a man who keeps
going back. And well worth remem-
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• • •
- .• -- -
Ribalow Prize is awarded to author Elizabeth Rosner.
uthor Elizabeth Rosner has been
selected as the 2002 winner of
the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for
her novel The Speed of Light
Administered by Hadassah Magazine,
the Ribalow Prize is awarded annually
- to an author who has created an out-
standing work of fiction on a Jewish
theme. The panel of judges included
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Pulitzer
Prize winner N. Scott Momaday and
Myla Goldberg, last year's Ribalow
recipient for The Bee Season.
The Speed of Light (Ballantine;
$23.95) is the story of a father's secret
past and his family's journey to
uncover the tragedy that shadowed
their lives. To overcome the pain of
his Holocaust survival, his family
must reconnect with each other and
their own voices.
Lyrically written, the novel
examines the power of love, loss
and redemption. Published in
2001, it is Rosner's first novel.
"Since 1983, Hadassah
Magazine has annually recognized
a deserving author who has bril-
liantly illuminated aspects of
Jewish life," says Ruth B Hurwitz,
chair of Hadassah Magazine
We are proud to encourage and
enable such talent, and are pleased
that the Ribalow family has chosen
us to administer this memorial to the
late Harold U. Ribalow."
Rosner received her award
Wednesday, Dec. 4, in New York
City. She was born in Schenectady,
N.Y., and received her master of fine
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arts in creative writing froth the
University of California at Irvine.
After 18 years of teaching college
courses in creative writing, she
resigned to devote her full attention
to writing. She is currently working
on her second novel.
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