Chidusz 1/2022: Love Thy Neighbour

While the whole world is anxiously watching the war in Ukraine, we are looking for Tora’s response to the question of the treatment of outlanders and refugees.


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The inflation in Poland is getting out of control so on our dinner table appears nothing but a humble bowl of soup. Putin invaded Ukraine. On the border with Belarus, where refugees are fighting for their lives, a wall is being raised – a wall just as pointless and ineffective as the one on the Mexico-United States border; or resolving the conflict to the same degree as the one on the Palestine-Israeli border. The wiretapping scandal in which (according to media reports) Polish and Israeli governments, in the time of the alleged “greatest diplomatic crisis” of the last decades, were supposed to cooperate exemplarily – completes the image. And the fact that rampant inflation and rising prices of paper coincided with the fact that the Ministry of Interior’s subsidy for Chidusz as a minority magazine was halved this year. Had it not been for the help of Jewish organisations, our dear readers and friends – we would have to call it quits.




In These Difficult Times – A New Gossip Section to Cheer Us Up

In spite of the circumstances, w decided not only to keep Chidusz alive but also make it more cheerful with Plotkes – a new gossip section. In this issue, we write about the Jewishness of Orange M&M’s, sexy Paul Rudd, and the beautifully Jewish star of Licorice Pizza, Alana Haim.

Let them live among you 

Once again we take on the topic of immigrants and refugees. We discuss the recent terrorist attack on the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, but also the dramatic situation in Ukraine. Joanna Maria-Machel reminds us of how important it is – in accordance with the Torah – to treat strangers and newcomers with dignity and respect.

A Queer and Pleasant Danger 

The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She Is Today. 

In part V of her memoir, Kate Bornstein talks about how she almost died climbing not only the metaphorical ladder of military career on the flagship Apollo but also a literal ladder on the ship’s mast; about antisemitism in her Protestant boarding schools and dealing with suicidal ideation; her first marriage, the birth of her daughter and her life in New York City.

Translated by Jola Różyło

Synagogues of the Upper Silesia

Travelling through the towns of Upper Silesia, Poland we rarely realize that next to their historical town halls and churches used to proudly stand buildings that no longer exist. For decades, the synagogues were important, often domineering elements of the towns’ landscapes. Erecting, opening or later reconstructing the synagogues were often major events in the lives of local communities. In the context of the newly published book, Synagogi na Górnym Śląsku, co-author Bożena Kubit talks about Jewish houses of worship, most of which no longer exist today.

When the Fabulous Is Holy 

In her commentary to Parshat Tetzaveh author Marla Brettschneider talks about bizarre biblical costumes, hearty foods, and exaggerated gestures – and their striking resemblance to flamboyant queer rituals.

Translated by Jola Różyło

Chaim Grade’s Aguna in Polish

Eponymous aguna Merl continues her voyage to break the ties of marriage that strongly bind. Part II of the Polish translation of Chaim Grade’s novel.

Translated by Magdalena Wójcik

In Brief

We open every issue of Chidusz with our press review – over a dozen short articles on interesting or surprising events from the Jewish world. This month we talk about the Polish Pegasus scandal; TikTok fighting misinformation about the Holocaust; scandal at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, whose founders forgot to include the Jews; the first Stolperstein in Zgorzelec; the winners of the National Jewish Book Award; and controversy around planting trees in Israel. 

Click here to read about this issue in Polish.