Maggie Anton
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  • Los Angeles, CA
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Maggie Anton posted a blog post

what's behind Tisha B'Av

Today was Tisha b'Av, the "black fast" as opposed to Yom Kippur's "white fast." One of three Jewish "holidays" that come from the Talmud, not the Torah [the other two are Purim and Hanuka], the origins of this mournful observance have roots in a far murkier past than the Talmud. According to Taanit 30b, " Five events befell our fathers on the Seventeenth of Tammuz and five on Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av). On the Seventeenth of Tammuz, the Tablets were broken, the Daily Offering ceased, the City…See More
Jul 20, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Historical novel, fantasy or both?

Speaking of "Prince of Persia" [which sort of takes place around thetime and location of my next novel], it looks like RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTERmay turn out to be a combination fantasy and historical novel. I'vefinished reading about Roman Palestine and moved on to SasanianBabylonia, only to realize that while I was fairly knowledgeable aboutChristianity and Roman mythology, I knew next to nothing about Persia'sstate religion, Zoroastrianism. So that's the subject I tackled next.I was surprised to…See More
Jun 12, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Attending the International Society for Iranian Studies conference

Last Sunday I attended the ISIS, International Society for Iranian Studies, conference. Luckily it was meeting in Santa Monica, about 6 miles from my home. I sat in on a very informative panel about Sasanian times and met several scholars who are experts on my field of interest, 3rd-4th Century Babylonia. I found it amusingly appropriate that, after the conference was over, these erudite scholars on Iranian history headed off to see…See More
Jun 6, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

The problem of slavery in Rav Hisda's time

I'm nearly finished reading Lynn Cohick's Women in the World of the Earliest Christians – Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life, and it has opened my eyes to a difficulty I will need to overcome when writing about both Roman Palestine and Babylonia in the 4th century. Both societies practiced slavery, and it appears that there were almost as many slaves as free people. Jews were no different from anyone else in this regard, and thus were both slaves and slaveholders. In general the wealthy owned…See More
May 20, 2010
Maggie Anton and Donnie Darko are now friends
May 9, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Israel after Constatine

Now that I'm safely back from my last book tour promoting BOOK III - RACHEL [speaking at 100 events between September 2009 and May 2010], I finally have a nice long stretch of uninterrupted time to get cracking on RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER in a more organized fashion. But first I want to finish reading all the material I photocopied at the HUC and JTS libraries , after which I'll determine what information I'm…See More
May 9, 2010
Donnie Darko commented on Maggie Anton's blog post Women, Tefillin and Chabad don't mix
"Just for the Record the Reason why women are expected not to Don Tefillin, is because women are said to be Spiritually connected were as men are Trapped in Logic. You may also be Surprised to know Logic and Emotion are The Compound to what makes the…"
May 9, 2010
Donnie Darko commented on Maggie Anton's blog post Talmud research is more complicated than I thought
"OK That's fair. Hevenu Shalom Aleinu"
May 9, 2010
Maggie Anton commented on Maggie Anton's blog post Talmud research is more complicated than I thought
"I make no judgment on how American Jews are supposed to view Satmar; only that most American Jews today have no contact with Satmar and probably never even heard of them."
May 9, 2010
Donnie Darko commented on Maggie Anton's blog post Talmud research is more complicated than I thought
"And How are we Suppose to View Satmar??? I View Satmar as True Torah Jews with Bravery and Courage."
May 7, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Some interesting info about beer and cosmetics in Babylonia

It was an interesting experience reading Julius Newman's Agricultural Life of Jews in Babylonia [written in 1930] vs. Moshe Aberbach's Labor, Crafts and Commerce in Ancient Israel [written in 1996]. Although much of the subject matter was similar, the two styles couldn't be more different. Rabbi Newman writes exactly like you would expect for a proper Englishman's PhD thesis.For example "Beer was very largely drunk in Babylonia … Mar Yanuka and Mar Kashisah, the sons of Rav Hisda, related that…See More
Apr 17, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

what I just learned about Jews in Babylonia

Now that I'm home again, I'm trying to digest all the reading I did. I finished "Agricultural Life of Jews in Babylonia," andread most of "Labor, Crafts and Commerce in Ancient Israel."Definitely learned some interesting stuff, but not as much about womenas I would have liked. I read that women prepared their bread at home,and then took it to a communal oven tobake. Interestingly, it was menwho bought the family's meat, not women, perhaps because the rabbi wasin charge of supervising the Jewish…See More
Apr 14, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Twas the Night After Pesach

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore:Twas the night after Pesach and all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not me nor my spouseMatzah crumbs and other shmutz were swept up with careWine stains removed from that dining room chairLinens laundered and folded and all put awaySure the afikomen holder did not go astrayThe dishwasher's empty after doing loads fourFurniture moved back to its previous décorNot a glass or dish broken, this year was uniqueSo many leftovers, I won't cook for…See More
Mar 30, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Fun at HUC's library

I spent Tuesday doing research at the HUC-JIR library in Los Angeles. I must have found over twenty books that looked like they could be useful, but I was only allowed to check out five. So I spent my time leafing through them, deciding which ones I needed to take them home and which ones I could just photocopy the pages of interest. I ended up with over 100 pages to copy, so imagine my disappointment when I learned that the machine only took dimes. Then the librarian made my day by pointing…See More
Mar 25, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

National Day of Unplugging this Shabbat

I read an unusual article in the NY Times this morning about a Jewish organization, Reboot who are urging everyone, Jews and not, to join in them in a "National Day of Unplugging" this Shabbat, from Friday, March 19, at sundown to Saturday, March 20, at sundown. No computer, no cell phone [except maybe to call family and friends], no Facebook or Twitter. Can you do it?Besides…See More
Mar 18, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Problematic Talmud texts about Rav Hisda's daughter

The Talmud contains 3 passages concerning Rav Hisda's daughter that I'm not sure what to do with. Berachot 56a is part of a large sugia on dream interpretation where Rava [her husband] and Abbaye [his friend] consult a professional dream interpreter. The two men describe identical dreams, but Abbaye pays the interpreter and receives good predictions while Rava doesn't pay and gets bad ones. Among Rava's bad news: his will divorce two wives, his sons and daughters will die, and his wife will…See More
Mar 15, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

what the Talmud says about Rav Hisda's daughter

So what does the Talmud actually say about Rav Hisda's daughter? Bava Batra 12b has the core scene of Rav Hisda's daughter sitting on her father's lap while his students, Rava and Rami bar Hama, stand before them. When Rav Hisda asks her which of the two men she wants to marry, she replies "both," and Rava adds, "I'll be last" [commentators let us know that she indeed married Rami first and Rava second]. Eruvin 65a also shows our heroine as a child, innocently suggesting that Rav Hisda appears…See More
Mar 12, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

What does the Talmud say about Rav Hisda's daughter

Back to RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER. With the historical timeline in place, I now look to what the Talmud says about my characters' lives, my heroine's in particular. Jewish scholars span a wide range of opinions on the Talmud's historicity, from those who say that everything written there is absolute fact to their opponents who say that it's all mere legend. I am not a historian [who must be correct], but a historical novelist [who cannot be wrong]. My job is to weave fact and legend into a story…See More
Mar 7, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Fabulous Purim video from BCC

In honor of Purim, which of course took place in ancient Babylonia [but about 800 years before Rav Hisda's time] I'm sharing a video taken at my Reform synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim [I also belong to a Conservative synagogue, Burbank Temple Emanu-El], on Saturday night.The video's star of is our new cantor, Juval Porat, the first cantor ordained in Germany since the Holocaust. Because so many non-members come to our Purim shpiel, he delivered a special membership appeal to the audience.…See More
Mar 2, 2010
Maggie Anton posted a blog post

Historical timeline for RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER

One of my first research tasks was to determine the historical timeline for RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER. While 10th century Babylonians are unlikely to knowaccurate birth and death dates for 3rd and 4th centurysages, I accept that Rav Hisda was active between approximately 250-300 CE andRava between 300-350 CE. As you can see, lots of important history was happeningin their world around that time.235-285: Political crisis in Rome; over a dozen emperors rule with most soon assassinated by rivals. Very…See More
Feb 27, 2010

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Maggie's upcoming speaking schedule for the coming week.

I'll be signing at Book Soup on Sunday at 4 pm, if you live near there. Also I'll be speaking at Mishkon Tephilo on Aug 23. See my website for schedule [www.rashisdaughters.com]

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Maggie Anton's Blog

what's behind Tisha B'Av

Posted on July 20, 2010 at 10:29pm 0 Comments

Today was Tisha b'Av, the "black fast" as opposed to Yom Kippur's "white fast." One of three Jewish "holidays" that come from the Talmud, not the Torah [the other two are Purim and Hanuka], the origins of this mournful observance have roots in a far murkier past than the Talmud. According to Taanit 30b, " Five events befell our fathers on the Seventeenth of Tammuz and five on Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av). On the Seventeenth of Tammuz, the Tablets were broken, the Daily Offering ceased, the City… Continue

Historical novel, fantasy or both?

Posted on June 12, 2010 at 10:50pm 0 Comments

Speaking of "Prince of Persia" [which sort of takes place around the

time and location of my next novel], it looks like RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER

may turn out to be a combination fantasy and historical novel. I've

finished reading about Roman Palestine and moved on to Sasanian

Babylonia, only to realize that while I was fairly knowledgeable about

Christianity and Roman mythology, I knew next to nothing about Persia's

state religion, Zoroastrianism. So that's the subject… Continue

Attending the International Society for Iranian Studies conference

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 3:58pm 0 Comments

Last Sunday I attended the ISIS, International Society for Iranian Studies, conference. Luckily it was meeting in Santa Monica, about 6 miles from my home. I sat in on a very informative panel about Sasanian times and met several scholars who are experts on my field of interest, 3rd-4th Century Babylonia. I found it amusingly appropriate that, after the conference was over, these erudite scholars on Iranian history headed off to see… Continue

The problem of slavery in Rav Hisda's time

Posted on May 20, 2010 at 11:27pm 0 Comments

I'm nearly finished reading Lynn Cohick's Women in the World of the Earliest Christians – Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life, and it has opened my eyes to a difficulty I will need to overcome when writing about both Roman Palestine and Babylonia in the 4th century. Both societies practiced slavery, and it appears that there were almost as many slaves as free people. Jews were no different from anyone else in this regard, and thus were both slaves and slaveholders. In general the wealthy… Continue

Israel after Constatine

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 11:16pm 0 Comments

Now that I'm safely back from my last book tour promoting BOOK III - RACHEL [speaking at 100 events between September 2009 and May 2010], I finally have a nice long stretch of uninterrupted time to get cracking on RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER in a more organized fashion. But first I want to finish reading all the material I photocopied at the HUC and JTS libraries , after which I'll determine what information I'm… Continue

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At 1:08pm on August 24, 2009, Danny said…
Yes Maggie,I'm a Big Chabad Fan...WHAT A WASTE, YOU'RE NOT. You can join 'Georg von Starerman' in your wonderful thought's and deeds.
At 10:39am on August 20, 2009, Ruth Slater said…
Really enjoy your books, Maggie.Heard from friends who met you at the Pasadena ORT group what a pleasant time they had with you.
At 4:04pm on August 15, 2009, Maggie Anton said…
I'll be signing at Book Soup on Sunday at 4 pm, if you live near West Hollywood. Also I'll be speaking at Mishkon Tephilo in Venice on Aug 23 at 11 am. See my website for schedule [www.rashisdaughters.com]
At 9:10am on August 15, 2009, Yvonne Rose Beltzer (Sweeney) said…
I have not read your book, but it sounds very interesting, I particularly like genres about Jewish women.
At 7:14am on August 15, 2009, Shelly Lieff said…
Maggie, its nice to know you. Where do you live in WLA? I'm going to have to pick up a copy of your book, sounds fascinating. Best regards, Shelly Lieff
At 6:11am on August 15, 2009, Kay Ross said…
Congratulations on the book review. I haven't read the book, but will do my best to get a copy soon. I will suggest it to my Rosh Chodesh Group and to my Hadassah Chapter. I will also suggest it to my Yiddish Culture Club and my Synagogue family.
B'Shalom,
Kay
At 11:39pm on August 14, 2009, Sharon Baumgold said…
I feel the same way!
At 11:29pm on August 14, 2009, Rena Dictor LeBlanc said…
Hi Maggie:

Mazeltov on you book.
I co-authored a book with my late husband called "Suddenly Rich", true stories of what happens to people when the become rich "overnight". Unfortunately, it didn't happen to us.

Rena

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