Thoughts From A Unicorn: 100% Black. 100% Jewish. 0% Safe
Being a Black man in America means taking prejudice, bias, and ignorance head-on on a daily basis. Being a Jew in America means taking prejudice, bias, and ignorance head-on on a daily basis, but while trying to eat a bagel. But when you combine the two…? Enter Thoughts From A Unicorn, a witty and uncanny satire detailing the “not-autobiographical” account of MaNishtana, an African American Orthodox Jew from birth. Part of a growing cadre of Jewish writers and thought leaders of color, MaNishtana deftly takes the reader from ridiculous pop-culture ruminations to gut-punch insights on race, religion, and the failings of both in America. Written from a vulnerable place of honestly where hurt and humiliation are sometimes masked in humor, he minces no words in pointing out that American Jewry is not immune from the racism that affects the rest of the country, nor is the typically welcoming African-American community a safe-haven from anti-Semitism—even for the people who look like, and often are, family.While weaving through Jewish and ethnic references many readers will find unfamiliar, Thoughts From A Unicorn nonetheless offers indispensable commentary on the “outsider” experience universal to us all, regardless of race, religion, social status, or gender.Written with the honesty of a young leader in the Jewish world today, this newly rereleased, re-edited offering is a must read that exposes the pains, pleasures, and headaches of a non-white Jew in America, navigating social and cultural majorities that are convinced that said reality—much like the mythical unicorn—doesn’t exist.
The Rishoni Illuminated Legacy Hagadah
With this entry into the landscape of American Judaism, writer and speaker MaNishtana welcomes you to the Passover Seder with this new Hebrew/English take on the ancient ritual.
Accompanying the traditional Haggadah text are selected traditional laws surrounding the Seder night, over 100 mindblowing original illustrations, and footnotes of fresh commentary, both traditional takes inspired by classic Rabbinical sources, and original musings from the author himself.
With forewords by Rabbis Avrohom Garfinkel (Congregation Bnai Israel), Ari Hart (co-founder of Uri L’Tzedek), & Yitzchok Moully (founder of The Creative Soul), this volume is further enhanced by the inclusion of Passover traditions and recipes from across the globe, new English translations, easy to follow English transliteration, and Hebrew text color-coded for the milra and mileil syllable stresses, as well as color indicators for the kamatz katan, patach g’nuva, and sh’va na.
As we recognize that in every generation we are to seek liberation and freedom, this is the Haggadah for our generation, a global Judaism more diverse than ever before.
Buy on Amazon.
Ariel Samson: Freelance Rabbi
Ariel Samson is just your run of the mill anomaly: a 20-something black Orthodox Jewish rabbi looking for love, figuring out life, and floating between at least two worlds.
Luckily, it gets worse.
Finding himself the spiritual leader of a dying synagogue, and accidentally falling into viral internet fame, Ariel is suddenly catapulted into a series of increasingly ridiculous conflicts with belligerent college students, estranged families, corrupt politicians, hippophilic coworkers, vindictive clergymen, and even attempted murder. (And also Christian hegemony, racism, anti-Semitism, toxic Hotepism, and white Jewish privilege. Because today ends in “y.”)
But all that’s the easy part.
2018 Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award’s Goldberg Award for Debut Fiction.