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  • The Tenth Woman
  • Joanne Seltzer (bio)

I am the tenth woman. I count.

You can count on me for evening minyan.

In skullcap and prayer shawl I count life's blessings:

I count matriarchs I count mitzvoth

I count the seasons of change.

When I am no more count to ten, then

say the Mourner's Kaddish that discounts death.

Joanne Seltzer

Joanne Seltzer's grandparents were Orthodox, but her parents belonged to the melting-pot generation. She is now at home in an egalitarian Conservative congregation where, in 2000, she and ten adult classmates became bar and bat mitzvah. Joanne writes both spiritual and secular poetry and is widely published.



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p. 119
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2012
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