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Eliana Rubin

Taking the State Out of the Body: A Guidebook on Embodied Jewish Resistance to Nationalism- PreORDER

Taking the State Out of the Body: A Guidebook on Embodied Jewish Resistance to Nationalism- PreORDER

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These politicized practices invite an embodied sense of collective safety while making militarized borders, policing, and nation-states obsolete. We need the resources offered in this book—from understanding geopolitical impacts of intergenerational trauma to self-regulation in conflict to cultivating long-haul relationships.

The book uses the case study of Jewish embodied experience by interrogating how Zionism weaponizes Jewish trauma while antisemitism drives a wedge between Jews and other oppressed people. These tactics of white nationalism, imperialism, and fascism are addressed through an anti-Zionist orientation to historical events alongside practical somatic tools to move through internalized trauma and oppression and to interrupt cycles of intimate and systemic violence.

This framework is situated in a lineage of politicized healing and somatics that is rooted in resistance to authoritarianism—including many antifascist Ashkenazi Jewish practitioners in 1930s Europe. As the terms “somatics” and “trauma” have become mainstream, this book is a timely offer to move from individual awareness to collective action. Weaving political theory and embodied practice, each chapter opens with a connection to a plant or body part and closes with list of embodied practices to fuel resistance and resilience. At a time when colonial imperialism in the US and Palestine are rearing their heads and right-wing authoritarianism is on the rise globally, this book will equip you with the theory and action to move from rugged individualist models of self-help and self-preservation to liberatory frameworks of collective care and solidarity.


Taking the State Out of the Body brilliantly illuminates exactly how cultural patterns of individualism fuel and uphold fascism, zionism, racism, ableism, and the other forces that shape the current structures of war and extraction we are so desperately trying to survive and resist. Eliana Rubin skillfully shows how radical frameworks like somatic healing and transformative justice can help us understand how the infrastructure of violence—the State itself—is implanted in our very psyches and bodies, and what it takes to root it out so that we can become the people we need to be to fight back and build a new world. This book is an immense contribution to resistance movements, which are in great need of politicized healing approaches as we face ecological crisis and collapse.””
—Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the next)

An important and on time contribution to the somatic field. In Taking the State Out of the Body Rubin takes readers through the intricate landscape of embodied resistance and the intersections of identity. Rooted in their experience of Jewish identity and faith and community organizing, this book shows the impact of colonization, trauma and ethno-nationalism on our bodies and reminds us that the way to liberation is always through feeling and towards each other.”
Prentis Hemphill, founder of the Embodiment Institute, author of What It Takes to Heal: How Transforming Ourselves Can Change the World

“Wracked by its spectacular violence, we don’t always think about how the State intercedes in our mundane embodiment, severing our necessary interdependence. With a queer anti-Zionist Jewish approach, Taking the State Out of the Body helps us train our minds towards doykeit, or hereness, where we can inhabit an iterative practice of resistance and repair through coregulation and care. This book is so necessary right now as we grapple with new and old generational trauma and face the seeming impossibility of exiting the cycles of violence. As Eliana Rubin shows us, we won’t be ready for liberation until we find our way back to each other in our bodies in healing relationship. In this book, we learn so many models of worldly, spiritual, and more-than-human survival and thriving.”
—Shuli Branson, author of Practical Anarchism: A Guide for Daily Life, host of The Breakup Theory podcast

“What an incredible resource Eliana has given us with Taking the State Out of the Body. While it takes us intimately through the experience of a Jewish embodied experience of moving beyond Zionism, it is also so clear how this text can help everyone with a body think beyond the boundaries of the State and into deep relationship with the earth.”
—adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

About the Author

Eliana Rubin builds transgressive relationships with bodies, land, and lineage through their work as a somatic practitioner, anti-Zionist organizer, full spectrum doula, land steward, and facilitator of Theater of the Oppressed. Their practice is focused around queer embodiment, Jewish intergenerational trauma, and developing embodied leadership in movements for justice. They love their people, their gardens, and the dance floor.

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