In spite of my tendency to check email and use the phone on Shabbat, there is a certain peace that comes with Shabbat in Jerusalem that is unavoidable. I can tune out everything else, so it’s usually dark by the time I notice anything besides my book. Last week, I spent the whole day reading The Melting Season, by Jami Attenberg. It was graceful and relentless and feisty, like everything she writes. I have a strong memory of reading a Primo Levi biography a few years ago on Shabbat in this same neighbourhood, on the floor of a living room in a very beautiful apartment. I read Dara Horn’s first book, In the Image, during the summer I spent here learning at Pardes. There is something about a book read in Israel, it will perpetually carry something for me, most often beautiful confusion.

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