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Meet the Author

Ilana Kurshan

Ilana Kurshan is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink, published in 2017 by St. Martin’s Press. She has translated books of Jewish interest by Ruth Calderon, Benjamin Lau, and Micah Goodman, as well as novels, short stories, and children’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

Crossing Trestles (Shabbat 105)

By Ilana Kurshan / July 9, 2020 | י״ז בתמוז תש״פ

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

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Breast is Blessed

By Ilana Kurshan / June 18, 2020 | כ״ו בסיון תש״פ

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 | י״ח בסיון תש״פ

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 | כ׳ באייר תש״פ

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 | כ״ד באדר תש״פ

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 | י״א בטבת תש״פ

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 | י״ז בכסלו תשע״ח

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

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Limericks: Bava Metzia perek 4 הזהב

By Ilana Kurshan / December 1, 2016 | א׳ בכסלו תשע״ז

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

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Extempore Effusions — Kidushin Perek Bet — האיש מקדש

By Ilana Kurshan / May 11, 2016 | ג׳ באייר תשע״ו

Kidushin Perek Bet – האיש מקדש (41a) Don’t betroth a girl ‘til you espy Her yourself with your very own eyes. Lest you look and…

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Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Kidushin Chapter 1

By Ilana Kurshan / April 19, 2016 | י״א בניסן תשע״ו

(2a) How is a woman acquired? When one of three things has transpired— Give money, a writ, Or just go and do “it” (“It” is…

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