When someone hears the words “moral fiction,” or “moral art,” a person might wonder how to define morality. According to John Gardner, “moral” does not equal “not too blatantly immoral.” It can’t be simple, and it can’t be forced upon artists. Continue reading
Last week, my profile of Rabbi Yoel Gold appeared in The Jewish Home – L.A. edition. Rabbi Gold leads Congregation Bais Naftoli here in Los Angeles, and teaches in a local yeshiva high school, but he is also becoming quite well known due to a series of videos he began making last year.
I got a chance to interview Rabbi Gold, and he said several interesting things about storytelling, particularly it’s role in education and how he makes sure his “true stories” are true. He also explains how to identify a “good story” to retell. Check out the interview yourself to see what he said.
Okay, so last week I mentioned how much I admired Nina Badzin’s article for TC Jew Folk, “Things I Don’t Write about on the Internet.”
I pretty much agreed with her on all points, although I will occasionally get political. (This is pretty much conditioning on my part: no meal shared with my family during the 1980s did not involve bashing of the Republican Party, so far as I can remember. But my memory might be faulty. Not that I’m a Democrat. Currently, my party membership is officially “decline to state.” You can do that in California.)
Anyway, there was one thing not on Nina’s list I kept thinking about while reading it, and it has haunted me ever since:
I DON’T TELL OTHER PEOPLE’S STORIES.
What are “other people’s stories?” Continue reading
While I prefer to write fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy, I do write other genres. This includes personal essays. I took a little break from writing personal essays over the summer, mostly because writing them can be emotionally draining.
Why writing personal essays feels like a round in a boxing ring Continue reading
Tablet just published a personal essay about my grandfather. Please check it out. (And share, and like, and comment!)
Passover seder has been a bit spooky (in a good way) for me ever since childhood, when my sister and I were convinced Elijah the Prophet was none other than the Bogey Man.
And then we had a real ethereal visitor during Pesach.
It’s one of those stories that you tell and people think you are making it up. I probably would have thought that it was a figment of my imagination if my husband hadn’t recalled the event, as well. I feel a little more confident about the subject matter now, too, since the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (zt”l) described a similar encounter by her parents in a recent issue of Binah Magazine.
Have you ever written a piece of non-fiction about something readers might not believe is possible?
Two recent articles are worth a peek for what the reveal both about contemporary politics and about the nature of photography itself.
The pieces–one in the Washington Post, the other on Breitbart.com–describe misleading pictures published during the recent Gaza conflict. Most notably, photos of dead and maimed children were used by pro-Palestinian journalists in order to accuse the Israelis of being brutal assassins of the young. Whether you feel Israel’s actions were justified or not, Palestinian children were hurt and killed during battle (and so were Israeli children). However, further investigation revealed that one of the photos–said to portray a Palestinian child gravely wounded by Israelis–was in fact a child attacked by Syrian forces in the conflict in that country. And another child, supposedly killed by Israelis, was most likely killed by a Palestinian rocket that misfired. These are only two among many “photo-ops” that were intentionally mislabeled for political purposes.
Of course, as the Washington Post article points out, the misrepresentation isn’t always by the pro-Palestinian side (although usually Israeli press just doesn’t publish images of Palestinians who are hurt or injured). And I don’t really want to get into the political aspects of this case. What I would like to do is point out how this issue goes far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continue reading