Moth­ers milked

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

‘MY MOTHER wants noth­ing more than for me to be happy — and it’s ru­in­ing my life.” So writes Lauren Green­berg in her con­tri­bu­tion to The Jewish Daugh­ter Diaries, Rachel Ament’s collection of 28 tales of woe, mis­for­tune and hi­lar­ity (Source­books, £9.99)

In Jewish fam­i­lies, “moth­er­ing” is a syn­onym for “smoth­er­ing”. And moth­ers are bet­ter at smoth­er­ing than are the fa­thers — a pe­cu­liar breed seem­ingly ad­dicted to salt-beef sand­wiches and Match of The Day.

Thereisa­nun­writ­ten­code­thatal­lJewish chil­dren must pro­vide their par­ents with naches, and, in re­turn for meet­ing that nice Jewish boy (or girl), grad­u­at­ing, or get­ting that first job, the poor daugh­ters (and sons) are em­bar­rassed by their par­ents un­til they die.

“Love suf­fuses a Jewish mom’s ev­ery thought, her ev­ery be­hav­iour,” writes Ament. Her collection fea­tures fe­male voices in com­edy, me­dia and pop cul­ture, in­clud­ing The Big Bang The­ory’s Mayim Bia­lik and stand-up comic Il­iza Sh­lesinger. Some con­trib­u­tors cringe, some in­dulge in schau­den­freude. All com­pete for the hon­our of hav­ing the cra­zi­est Jewish Mother of all.

You can read of the JM im­per­son­at­ing her daugh­ter on Jdate, the one who makes half her daugh­ter’s bed while she’s still asleep, or the one who wants her poor daugh­ter to keep her ashes in her un­der­wear drawer so she can al­ways be with her.

Sto­ries of fridges fit to burst with gefilte fish, un­be­liev­able acts of chutz­pah, and bars set un­rea­son­ably high, strike an all-too-fa­mil­iar chord with us over-loved, over-pro­tected Jewish girls.

But the overwhelming con­nec­tion be­tween moth­ers and daugh­ters to emerge from the book is overwhelming love. What else could I do but love it?

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