On Relevance and Faithfulness (Or, Tomato, Potato)

As I (continue to) procrastinate writing the climax, denouement, and conclusion to my second novel, I’m getting great feedback from specific beta readers. One in particular read Angels just for the Jewish POV and info. Having been raised Orthodox, and gone to yeshiva, I’m no stranger to my religion, but one might be surprised as […]

On Perpetrators and Puzzlement

We’ve all seen a puzzled neighbor or family member interviewed after some horrific killing or act saying “I don’t get it; he was the nicest guy. Never a problem.” “Yeah,” I’d snort to myself, “I’d have seen something.” Nah. I went to a liberal Orthodox Jewish school (an oxymoron today) back in Riverdale. Or, as […]

Words, Books, Memory

As a Jewish atheist I enjoy the rituals of my people. While I don’t enjoy laying t’fillin (putting on phylacteries)—although I remember how—I’ve always had a visceral sense memory when seeing or touching the prayer book my dad used. I have the second one he had in my lifetime. The first, a Shiloh edition daily prayer book, […]

The Golden Compass Can’t Find North

As a firm disbeliever in anything dogmatic, and one who rarely takes things “on faith,” I initially snorted at the Catholic League’s well-reasoned denouncement of The Golden Compass. (Okay, the trailer, with a sinuous Nicole Kidman and very impressive graphics also more than held my interest.)I read the first book, then saw the movie. Then […]