MaNishtana is an author, writer, educator, playwright, rabbi, and public speaker, whose work on racial and religious identity & culture–and how their intersections manifest in America–takes prejudice, bias, and ignorance head on, asking the questions about humanity, race, religion, and social injustice that we all have (and maybe are afraid to talk about), with gut-punching insight and gut-busting sarcasm.
As an Orthodox-ordained rabbi, MaNishtana practices and preaches a commitment to tiqqun olam, repairing the brokenness of our world, and that–regardless of whether we always agree with each other or not–every human is created b’tzelem Eloqim, in the image of the Divine, and thus has an inalienable right to comfortably live in their Judaism, in their skin, and in their humanity, in respect and power.
“An honest, evocative, eye opening and at times irreverent read. I so appreciated hearing the personal experiences of Jews of Color and the intersection between black culture and Jewish culture.”
“MaNishtana’s insights into being a Jew of Color in America struck my heart. I now have a different understanding of the people I pray with.”
“There is an old Jewish joke…a king is about to beknight a brave Jewish warrior, who is supposed to say some Latin words upon his being awarded knighthood. But the warrior forgets the Latin and improvises, saying the words he learned as a child: “Ma nishtana ha layla hazel micol halaylot?” And the king asks, “Why is this knight different from all others?” This rabbi, as his pseudonym suggests, is definitely different from all others. Brilliantly different.”