Publisher: AK Press
Released: March 23, 2021
The contemporary renewal of Jewish anarchism draws on a history of enslavement, displacement, white supremacy, and genocide as well as ancestral resistance, strength, imagination, and humor—wisdom that is sorely needed today.
Through stories at once poetic and poignant, There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart offers a powerful elixir for all who rebel against systemic violence and injustice. The contemporary renewal of Jewish anarchism draws on a history of suffering, ranging from enslavement and displacement to white nationalism and genocide. Yet it also pulls from ancestral resistance, strength, imagination, and humor—all qualities, and wisdom, sorely needed today. These essays, many written from feminist and queer perspectives, journey into past and contemporary trauma in ways that are humanizing and healing. They build bridges from bittersweet grief to rebellion and joy. And via concrete illustrations of how Jewish anarchists lovingly transform their own ritual, cultural, and political practices, they clearly illuminate the path toward mending ourselves and the world.
Praise for There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart:
"There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart is a breathtaking kaddish to everyone living the revolutionary vision that Jewish radicals dreamed was possible. It drives to the heart of a tradition that we must rediscover, a story that is simultaneously particular and universal: we can survive if we do it together."
—Shane Burley, author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse
"In this moment of resurgent fascism and authoritarianism, the foundational relationship between antisemitism and anti-Blackness is more stark and apparent than ever. The vibrancy of this collection articulates not only a foundation for solidarity in shared struggles against white supremacy but also the vast imaginaries and world-making potential in the diversity of Jewish cultural expression and radical—specifically anarchist—thought. As a Black anarchist, I could not be more grateful for the generosity, vulnerabilities, and fierce, unwavering love for humanity shared within these pages."
—Zoé Samudzi, coauthor of As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation
“The texts collected here are striking in their literary richness and emotional openness, awakening both pain and solace, insights and further questions . . . A highly rewarding reading experience that will appeal well beyond the Jewishanarchist intersection.”
—Uri Gordon, co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Radical Politics
"There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart offers an ardent new archive of Jewish anarchism. These voices expand a defiant tradition: they speak of the disruptiveness of care, the labor of grief, and the pleasures of survival. As fascism and antisemitism rise, these poets, rabbis, and organizers urgently reach for another world through this one."
—AE Torres, author of Horizons Blossom, Borders Vanish: Anarchism and Yiddish Literature
"This book asks how modern generations of Jewish anarchists are wrestling with rising fascism, white supremacy, and antisemitism, and lifts up the specific cultural tools we bring to the work of mending (or maybe reimagining) the ever-shattering world. Today the book is a mirror; tomorrow, a new window into the archive of Jewish anarchists throughout history."
—Ezra Berkley Nepon, author of Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: A History of New Jewish Agenda
"As leftist Jewish thought and organizing today witnesses a resurgence, this collection provides an important document of its anarchist current."
“A poem and a love note, a prayer song and a protest, an attempt to mend a burning world with the best of Jewish, anarchist, and Jewish anarchist traditions.”
—Dan Berger, author of Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era
"[There is Nothing So Whole as a] Broken Heart is a powerful celebration of ritual—both Jewish and anarchist."
—Gabriel Moshenska for Jewish Socialist
Cindy Milstein is author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations and editor of the anthologies Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism; Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief; and Deciding for Ourselves: The Promise of Direct Democracy.