Where We Wait
“G-d is a place you will wait for the rest of your life.” – Neutral Milk Hotel, “Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2” ~ If I hadn’t been half dead from heat stroke, I never would have stepped into the first hovel on the left looking for shade. Instead of a dusty convenience store with spindly-necked bottles […]
A Lesson For John On King George St.
John elbows through the flow of people. People everywhere, disgorged from the large stand-alone houses of Rechavia sheltered from the madness of Jerusalem by trees and hedges, from the one-room huts of Nachlaot piled to their arched ceilings with books and drug paraphernalia, from apartments, from dorms. Ben Yehuda Street! Chinese tourists photograph juggling Yeshiva […]
How Jews Wage War
Today, a synagogue lies drenched in Jewish blood, and our nation mourns as one. The soul cries out: What do we do? What can we do? What is the answer to those who hate us? This afternoon, as I pull myself away from the news and the poetry and the terrible pictures, I find my mind […]
The People Who Don’t Know How Much I Love Them
“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke I was going to write […]
Dear Society: Stop Killing; Start Murdering
Murder. The word has a certain poetry to it, power and dark intention. We’ve lost faith in murder. Oh, we still value violence. When Hamas launches rockets or a new terror stirs in Iraq and Syria, we respond. Sometimes we preempt. If it’s kill or be killed, we know where we stand. We still (on […]
Enlightenment: Crude. Unsanitary. Ultra-Orthodox.
As every Jew knows, the religious ones are the rude ones. They jostle and shove and step on you and they’re not apologizing anytime soon. The first thing I ever saw in Meron on Lag Ba’omer, almost five years ago: a father slapped his son’s face so hard he pirouetted a full circle before bursting […]
Why Can’t A Nation Of Talmudists Write A Poem?
It’s funny that the same people that obsesses over a Tosfos can’t seem to warm up to poetry. The two forms are similar in their constrictions and have parallel goals, and both have historically been part of Judaism. What allows us to attack one with vigor, and never consider the other? 1. Talmudic Tribulations What’s […]
The Orthodox Hebrew Guild of Daguerreotypers
The young man brooded in his darkroom, pursued by dark thoughts. His yarmulke felt like lead; his head sagged to his knees. People hung all around him, smiling. His cell phone rang. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Appelbaum,” he yelled, concrete walls ringing in echo. She was eighty. “Yes, yes – Baruch Hashem. Yes, I heard. Mazel […]
I’m Tzvi… Wait… Who Am I?
I’m not an atheist; that’s the first thing. Though I certainly don’t (or, at most, don’t certainly) believe in G-d. I’m not religious, but try finding a non-white shirt in my closet. I’m not culturally Jewish; I can’t stand kugel, herring, or kishke, Israel bothers me, and I do not live every day with the […]