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For Ellyn Kaschak, my friend and sister. Blood relationships are not necessarily the closest or
those vested with the greatest solidarity. We have both learnt that families have not been the best
creation in history and that to make them work, it is necessary to build them, like sexuality. To
establish a relationship of more than 30 years, you need something more than shared genes or
surnames. As a writer and professor at the University of California, Ellyn is well known. But to
me she has been a great influence for having taught me about the marvels of cynical Jewish
humor and the leftist, questioning, revolutionary vein of my people. Although she may not
appreciate my obsession with Jews like Levinas and Derrida ( as males with somewhat unclear
attitudes to feminism), we share the idea that Judaism means something more than following
religious precepts: it is a preoccupation with how we might make this a more just world and
respect the difference, the “Other” of Levinas.
Jacobo Schifter Sikora