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Ilana Kurshan

Ilana Kurshan is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink, published in 2017 by St. Martinโ€™s Press. She has translated books of Jewish interest by Ruth Calderon, Benjamin Lau, and Micah Goodman, as well as novels, short stories, and childrenโ€™s picture books. Her book Why Is This Night Different From Other Nights was published by Schocken in 2005. She is a regular contributor to Lilith Magazine, where she is the Book Reviews Editor, and her writing has appeared in The Forward, The World Jewish Digest, Hadassah, Nashim, Zeek, Kveller, and Tablet. Kurshan is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, summa cum laude, History of Science) and Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and five children.

Recent Posts

Ladder of Angels: Torah on the Mast of a Ship

By Ilana Kurshan / December 13, 2021 | ื˜ืณ ื‘ื˜ื‘ืช ืชืฉืคืดื‘

Ladder of Angels: Torah on the Mast of a Ship with Ilana Kurshan from Hadran’s Siyum Masechet Taanit

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Rav Adin Steinsaltz, zโ€l

By Ilana Kurshan / August 10, 2020 | ื›ืณ ื‘ืื‘ ืชืฉืดืค

The weekend that Rav Adin Steinsaltz,ย zecher tzaddik liโ€™vracha, passed away, I was in the middle of editing an article about Zoom shiurim for a friend,…

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Crossing Trestles (Shabbat 105)

By Ilana Kurshan / July 9, 2020 | ื™ืดื– ื‘ืชืžื•ื– ืชืฉืดืค

Can an eight-month-old have a favorite book? It seems so. Yitzvi squeals and kicks with visible delight any time I take outย Freight Trainย by Donald Crews,…

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Breast is Blessed

By Ilana Kurshan / June 18, 2020 | ื›ืดื• ื‘ืกื™ื•ืŸ ืชืฉืดืค

My baby woke up from his nap today just as I was sitting down to breakfast, and so I decided to eat with him before…

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Catching the Bug (Shabbat 90b)

By Ilana Kurshan / June 10, 2020 | ื™ืดื— ื‘ืกื™ื•ืŸ ืชืฉืดืค

Not long ago, on Shabbat afternoon, my daughter found a rather large beetle in our bathroom and began screeching in horror. Her less squeamish twin…

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Back to School

By Ilana Kurshan / May 14, 2020 | ื›ืณ ื‘ืื™ื™ืจ ืชืฉืดืค

My children spent this past weekend preparing to return to school after nearly two months at home. As they tried on their masks and gloves…

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Daf Yomi in the Time of Corona- Vayakhel-Pekudei

By Ilana Kurshan / March 20, 2020 | ื›ืดื“ ื‘ืื“ืจ ืชืฉืดืค

I began learning Masechet Shabbat against the backdrop of the Corona Crisis, as I gradually realized that people all over the world were being asked…

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At Tara in this Fateful Hour (Berakhot 2a-5b)

By Ilana Kurshan / January 8, 2020 | ื™ืดื ื‘ื˜ื‘ืช ืชืฉืดืค

The first tractate of the Babylonian Talmud begins, rather surprisingly, with an extended discussion of the architectonics of the night. The Mishnah opens with the…

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Limericks: Masechet Makkot

By Ilana Kurshan / December 5, 2017 | ื™ืดื– ื‘ื›ืกืœื• ืชืฉืขืดื—

(2a) This witness could not have been there We know he instead was elsewhere If we cannot do What he tried, unto you โ€“ We…

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Limericks: Bava Metzia perek 4 ื”ื–ื”ื‘

By Ilana Kurshan / December 1, 2016 | ืืณ ื‘ื›ืกืœื• ืชืฉืขืดื–

Bava Metzia chapter 4 (44a) Is it silver you use to buy gold? Is it rather the silver thatโ€™s sold? The Nasi first said one…

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