Friday, January 8, 2010

Jewish Six-Word Stories (from Reboot and "Guilt and Pleasure" e-zine)

Six-Word Stories

Rebooter Joshua Wolf Shenk writes...

Not long ago, I hosted a storytelling event at a Reboot Hanukkah party. The event was inspired by Stories at the Moth. The Moth gets people in front of crowds to tell honest, well-crafted stories, with no notes or script. I thought to spice up the show with contributions from Rebooters around the country.

Perhaps you know the legend that Hemingway wrote a whole story in just six words. The story was, "Baby shoes, for sale, never worn." (I've also heard it this way: "for sale, baby carriage, never used.") You can find all kinds of great take-offs on this idea online, including a Guardian feature ("Juicy offer. Must decline. Still paralysed."--Richard Ford), a Smith Magazine open call for six-word memoirs ("Eight thousand orgasms. Only one baby."--Neal Pollack, and Wired's take, which is six-word sci-fi, fantasy, or horror: ("Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so."--Joss Whedon).

I asked a slew of Rebooters to tell me their story of Judaism in six words. I told them it could be a personal story, or, for those feeling more audacious, a story of the whole tribe. Some of the contributions came in a word over or under. Some were funny. Some were obscure. Like a really good anthology, I think, they are individual pieces that stitch together something full, provocative, and penetrating.

If you want to chime in, email Amelia your six-word Jewish stories at

Jewish dad, not mom. No guilt here.

Hebrew high school. No intermarriage. Bye.

“Yes, we can drink chocolate milk.”

Ten summers at camps in Wisconsin.

Grandpa said Richard Nixon saved Israel.

Maybe we should have proselytized some.

God said 'Go.' 'Stop' He forgot.

Cousin Pauly dead, excessive sour cream.

Not Hitler -- years later, Virginia Slims.

"Won't you take me to Hymietown?"

Pogroms, pogroms and more pogroms.

Jewish? I'd rather cut my schmuck off.

God likes us. We don't.

Yeshivah banned trick-or-treating. Left after Kindergarten.

You're really wearing that to synagogue?

Dated shiksa. Dated shiksa. Married Jew.

Little boy, now a dad. Oy!

Post-Rosh Hashanah with Cantor Dad: Cheeseburgers.

Stuck in the desert, messiah AWOL.

Knishes, yes. Kishka? No so much.

Orchard now for bars not bras.

Food is basically love to me.

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