2: Prose excerpt, Hava Shapiro's “Sanctification of the Moon,” 1909.
Hava Shapiro (1878-1943) was a Hebrew writer of short stories, literary critic, Zionist activist, and journalist. She was one of the only women to have been published in the major Hebrew journals of the early twentieth century. She is also the first woman known to have kept a diary in Hebrew, and in her diary she mentions her interactions with pivotal literary figures of her day. This excerpt comes from a semi-autobiographical sketch in which the female narrator sneaks outside to join her brothers in participating in the ritual of blessing the new moon.
Suggested Activity: Have your students read the text and describe what happens in the protagonist's family when it is time for Rosh Chodesh. Ask: How is this text similar to or different from the text in Resource 1 of this kit? Why does the narrator want to participate? Why isn’t she allowed to participate?
Have your students write their own narratives about a time when they were excluded from something. Why were they left out? How did it make them feel? How did they respond to or resolve the situation? After they have written these narratives, ask them to consider how their situations compare to Shapiro's protagonist's, and also how their responses may be similar to or different from hers.
Source: Reprinted from "Sanctification of the Moon" from To Tread on New Ground: Selected Hebrew Writings of Hava Shapiro, Wendy Zierler and Carole Balin, translators. Copyright © 2014 Wayne State University Press, with the permission of Wayne State University Press.