Baby Steps


Yesterday, I got a note from a friend about a blog post I had written about six weeks ago, called “Everything was fine – until it wasn’t.” Six weeks is a long time in the life of a blog post. The entries tend to get pancaked under the layers of entries that have followed them. I’m sure some of my favorite columnists would also have a hard time conjuring up the contents of pieces they wrote...

When will it ever end


I want to start today with the wonderful news that Nathan Thrall received a Pulitzer Prize for his book A Day in the Life of Abed Salama.  I wrote about the book in a blog I posted not long after the start of the Gaza War. To refresh your memory, Thrall examines the many ways, small and large, in which the lives of Palestinians living in Israel are constrained, demeaned and oppressed by the...

Masculinity and femininity: crossing the Divide


My wife is reading one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin. It’s the story of a recently widowed woman living in a small Irish village, trying to keep herself and her family afloat in the face of daunting obstacles. When I was walking past Rosellen’s chair on the way to the bathroom, she looked up and said, “You’re one of the few men I know who could...

Post-Seder Miscellany


It’s hard to write when there’s a cat on your lap, demanding all the extra petting she missed out on when our house was full of family here to celebrate Passover with us. Or is she just displaying her delight at the return to the status quo? Nutmeg is a creature of habit, and much as she enjoyed the stimulating kaleidoscope of sound and movement that our guests brought into her space, she is glad...

Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?


By the time you read this, we will be deep into setting up the Passover Seder table and cooking the many dishes we will be serving our 14 guests. Our 13- year-old granddaughter Dalia will recite The Four Questions which are the prelude to retelling the story of our liberation from Egypt, and her father Ben will be leading us in singing the rousing songs contained in the Haggadah, the text for the...

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