A Version of Myself

“There is no such thing as bravery; only degrees of fear.”  – John Wainwright In her work Man Crazy, Joyce Carol Oates depicts the stunning journey of Ingrid, the prodigal daughter, as she conquers the harrowing journey from death to rebirth. Internalizing all that is violent and self loathing in her youth, Ingrid understands the … More A Version of Myself

Love Me Tender: Forsaking the Self for Love

“Love me tender, Love me true, All my dreams fulfilled.” – Elvis Presley  Man is a singular creature. In the construct of his mind he can forge versions of reality that do not correlate with objective experience. He finds ways to interpret, rationalize, justify. He reads factual events with imposed nuance and meaning. It’s tragic. … More Love Me Tender: Forsaking the Self for Love

Masters of the Universe: Dostoyevsky and Man’s Sense of Self Determination

“Are you aware that you are conditioned?” – J. Krishnamurti There is no limit to the depths of man’s despair. And yet, how much of this pain is self inflicted? In his seminal work, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky parses out perception from reality, desire from need. In almost prophetic terms (the work was completed … More Masters of the Universe: Dostoyevsky and Man’s Sense of Self Determination

An Irrevocable Fate: The Humanity of Destruction

“And the Lord said unto Cain: ‘Where is Abel thy brother?’ And he said: ‘I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?’” – Genesis 4:9 Science and technology are advancing at exponential rates. Western culture is struggling to keep pace and maintain its moral clarity amidst the morass of shifting values. Often, it is only when … More An Irrevocable Fate: The Humanity of Destruction

“No” Means “Yes”: Rape Culture in the Free World

I saw a movie recently, about a young man who loses his brother. The plot centers around the protagonist overcoming his guilt and sense of responsibility surrounding his brother’s death. There is a subplot though, a love story (initially an unrequited love story, as his love interest has no desire to associate with him). He … More “No” Means “Yes”: Rape Culture in the Free World

Not All Lives Matter: Maintaining integrity in a world of infamy

אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי? – הלל If I do not stand for myself, then who will stand for me? And when I serve only myself, what have I become? And if not now, when? – Rabbi Hillel I am in the midst of reading Howard … More Not All Lives Matter: Maintaining integrity in a world of infamy

Pretty Little Liars

“Life and death are in the hands of the tongue.” – Proverbs 18:21 Judaism stresses the dangers and destructive nature of Lashon HaRa (evil speech). It is an egregious infraction that, when committed, has the potential to reap irreparable harm. Indeed, once a person has been defamed, it is nearly impossible for him to reclaim … More Pretty Little Liars

The Lost Children

Caught between two worlds, the children of refugees seek to reconcile the old and the new. They live in a dichotomy where deep-rooted culture clashes with progressive dynamism. At home are the vestiges of a life left behind; in the streets, novel experiences. I recently met Ify, the daughter of Nigerian refugees (her art is … More The Lost Children

Dead White Men

Dickens. Tolstoy. Twain. Dead white men sit at the helm of literary esteem and their novels have dominated the lists of classics taught in schools around the globe. The merit of these works cannot be overstated, and so it is surprising that they are becoming more frequently (and sadly) dismissed. With the newfound emphasis of celebrating diversity … More Dead White Men