I have finally finished writing my memoir, and it has been printed on page 20 of Smith Magazine’s latest book, “Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life,” published in partnership with Reboot. You can win a copy of this book, containing hundreds of other six-word memoirs by such notables as Henry Winkler, Larry David, Ed Koch, and other writers, “both famous and obscure.”
So, you may ask, what is a six-word memoir? Simply put, Smith Magazine asked anyone who cared to respond to submit six words about his or her Jewish life. No more and no fewer. The editors then put together what they considered to be the best responses, and published them in this book.
If you’re thinking it’s tough to summarize your life in six words, it is, especially in a culture known for debate and deep analysis. As the first memoir in the book says, “We are not a concise people.”
The memoirs range from comments on neurosis: “I worry when I don’t worry,” to funny: “Jesus may save, but Moses invests,” from the somewhat religious, “Do good. Be kind. Thank God” to the somewhat anti-religious, “The Torah’s God: a bipolar adolescent.” Add in various references to bacon and several profound thoughts, and there is something in there for everyone.
Not only that, but if you’re worried there may be too many Yiddish or Hebrew words used in some of the memoirs for you to follow everything, not to worry. In the back of the book is a fairly complete glossary of terms and phrases for those of us with rusty foreign language skills.
As an extra treat, scroll down to the video below, and you will not only get a preview of more Jewish six-word memoirs, but towards the end, you will get to hear the song, “They Call Me Mellow Yellow” in Hebrew.
In case you’re wondering where this all got started, the six-word idea was inspired by a story about a bar bet, in which Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in only six words, and came up with, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
This story led to Larry Smith launching six-word memoirs through Smith Magazine, an organization that has been publishing six-word memoirs and other personal stories since 2006. Their partner in this book, Reboot, is a Jewish non-profit which describes itself as “a growing network of thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to ‘reboot’ the culture, rituals, and traditions we’ve inherited and make them vital and resonant in our own lives.”
If you would like to buy a copy of this book you can get it here for only $10.95, but if you would like to win your very own free copy, enter our contest below.
As Smith Magazine says (in six words), “Everyone has a story. What’s yours?”
To win a free copy of “Six-word Memoirs on Jewish Life,” submit your own six-word memoir on Jewish life in the comments section below. You must submit your entry by midnight Minnesota time on Thursday, April 26, 2012. There will be one winner, chosen by yours truly, along with TC Jewfolk’s editor Leora Itman. The winner and two runners up Memoirs will be posted on TC Jewfolk’s Facebook page & tweeted via TC Jewfolk’s Twitter feed.
To claim your prize, you must provide your U.S. mailing address (apologies to those outside the US, but Smith Magazine uses a mailing service that only delivers in the US) to TC Jewfolk once you have been informed that you have won. Your chances of winning will depend on how many entries we receive before the contest deadline.
Oh, and my memoir? It is, “Live, lose, learn, love, laugh: l’chaim!”