Issue 18

October 2016 / Rosh Hashana 5777

Welcome to this special issue of Jewish Fiction .net: #18, our chai issue! Here we celebrate the chai of Jewish Fiction .net with a unique issue containing 33 first-rate works of fiction, originally written in Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. And in keeping with the upcoming High Holydays, three of these stories relate to Yom Kippur. (more)

Isaac Babel
Odessa Stories

Odessa is a nasty place. Everybody knows that. Instead of saying “a big difference” Odessans say “two big differences”...   (more...)

Nava Semel
Isra Isle

I lodge the canoe’s stern on the bank, lay down the slippery oar, and roll up the mat that covered my lap while I rowed.   (more...)

Dolly Reisman
Driving I-95

“Putting on a few pounds there, kid,” Uncle Saul said, looking me up and down. “A few too many latkes, I see.”   (more...)

Guillermo Saccomanno
Gesell Dome

One morning, the bus leaves the main road and turns into the roundabout. The entrance to the Villa.   (more...)

Sam Osherson
The German Girl

Three things worried Paul Gilverstein as he stepped off his school bus that blustery March afternoon in 1958.   (more...)

Ricky Rapoport Friesem
Just the Jasmine

The braying woke her. The same loud, rasping noise had greeted her every morning since her arrival in Tel Aviv...   (more...)

Noa Silver

Molly wakes to the sound of a siren careening into her bedroom. Morning light dripping into her room, sheets tangled around her legs, a sheen of sweat on her lip.   (more...)

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub
Lettering and the Art of Living

Sylvia donned her tortoiseshell reading glasses and placed the envelope on the kitchen table covered by a white cloth...   (more...)

Ilan Stavans
Yom Kippur in Buenos Aires

Years ago, I spent a Yom Kippur in Buenos Aires unlike any other. One moment of it in particular still haunts me.   (more...)

Marlene Olin
Barton Zuckerman

Barton Zuckerman was a fat kid. He was always red-faced and winded, looking like he’d just lost a fight.   (more...)

Perle Besserman

The playing field of Paulie’s day camp was little more than an open sandlot behind the rundown yellow brick building housing the Yeshiva Rav Shimon bar Yochai.   (more...)

Gadi Taub

We’re sitting at the breakfast table, but I feel as if I’m not really here. I have to concentrate on everything I do, to focus all my attention on every movement.   (more...)

Daniel Bissonnet
Visiting Jack

Marc was baffled by the weather. He endured the single digit cold, tensing his legs to balance in the wind gusts.   (more...)

Naomi Myrvaagnes
The Jewish Bride

Even now, on the train, Daphne couldn’t stop thinking about the woman in the painting — her aureole of crimped, light-brown hair, the expanse of pale ochre forehead...   (more...)


Inside each of us is the one saying no no and the one saying yes yes and the one asking maybe. Maybe now? Maybe this? Maybe him?   (more...)

Stewart Bresler

Our base was situated in the northern Judean Desert on the outskirts of Jericho, equidistant from the refugee towns and the Jericho city center...   (more...)

Gail Labovitz
The Wife

Was a time when one of our kind would have strangled the wife, right off, if necessary, although the best didn’t need to. This is deep folk logic we’re talking here.   (more...)

Gershon Ben-Avraham
The Janitor

Along the northeastern wall of the Cementerio Israelita, in the town of La Tablada, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, are several rows of neat, evenly spaced, gravestones.   (more...)

Sam Hoffer
A Portrait in Time

A knock at the door. Vikke, not expecting anyone, immediately cast her eyes about to assure herself that Zelig and Henia were there and safe.   (more...)

Robin Vigfusson
Driving Lessons

The summer before I turned ten, my mother taught me to drive. “You can’t tell anyone,” she said. “Not any of your friends, not your teacher, not anyone...   (more...)

Naya Lekht
Letters from Z

Although they lived in the same city and saw one another quite often, the need to correspond was so urgent that he sent his daughter letters at least twice a week.   (more...)

Joseph Weiner
Little Changes

So, at a soccer field in Western Pennsylvania, I bump into this guy I used to know. It is a fear of mine, meeting anyone today from those years.   (more...)

Phil Cohen
The Search for Shmulie Shimmer

Who’d have thought I’d ever find myself at the center of a mess? I wasn’t tough, God knows.   (more...)

Lili Berger
Animals and Humans

“Can you come for a visit this evening? Come over. We’ll talk and you’ll meet my friends.”   (more...)

Yael Samuel
The Border Road

The screeching canaries, the yelping Pekinese, the squawking parrots, and the whining cats vied for Elsa’s attention.   (more...)

Yoav Avni
Crossing A River Twice

The storm had lost some of its power. The rain, pouring down in unusual amounts since Thursday, had calmed down...   (more...)

Cary Gitter
Letters to Israel

“I like Rabbi Herman Fink.” This is what Eve Lind, forty-seven-year-old pianist, thought to herself as she watched the rabbi on the hot, humid morning...   (more...)

Adina Siperman
Spinning, Washing, Pouring, Making, Serving

Tamara poised her pen over a blank piece of paper. She pulsated with a mixture of excitement and anxiety...   (more...)

Beth Bosworth
Doctor Menendez, Dreaming of Spiders

The older doctor endeavors to nap each afternoon on the third floor of the nursing home.   (more...)

Gabriel Saul
The Minister of Rain

“Rain!” Beni'’s shout roused the children like a siren. Within seconds, as if they had practiced this scenario daily, the children abandoned whatever they were doing...   (more...)

Yishai Beckow

The white van was aching to fall apart as it sped down the highway from the Shomron towards the border with the undisputed portion of Israel.   (more...)

Avigail Graetz
A Rabbi's Daughter

“What you want and what you get are two different stories.” Grandma’s motto. That’s what went through my mind when a call from Abba stopped me...   (more...)

Larry Gerstein
Religious Studies

In his little Brooklyn synagogue, the retired dentist Howard Sherman had become a complainer: the chairs are uncomfortable, it takes forever to get a minyan, the cholent is tasteless...   (more...)


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