Essays

A selection of longform essays and reviews I've written that have been professionally published.

Jewish life revolves around being ‘people of the people’'’

The Forward (Scribe Contributor Network), May 26, 2020

When my grandfather passed away from COVID-19 on April 24, I thought we might only have ten men, for an Orthodox Jewish prayer quorum, at his graveside funeral. I was wrong. Only his wife, his three sons and the synagogue’s rabbi could see him off.

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The Holy Land

Memoryhouse, Autumn 2019, pp. 36-37

As my travels continued, I would encounter devastation among the living. In the middle of my journeys, while en route to the kibbutz collective community of Maale Gilboa, eighty miles outside of Jerusalem, for a weekend getaway, I had an hour stopover in a northern town...

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"Like a Fleeting Dream": U-Netaneh Tokef, Dreams, and the Meaning of the High Holy Days

The Lehrhaus; September 20, 2017

U-netaneh Tokef is the centerpiece of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Mussaf services. It’s stirring and emotional (“And let us now relate [the holiness of this day]”). Tradition has it that this prayer was authored by the medieval sage Rabbi Amnon of Mainz. [...] Though scholars doubt the facts of Rabbi Amnon—even his existence—its reception in traditional lore makes its theme worthy of consideration.

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A Prayer in the Forest

Tablet Magazine; June 7, 2017

Our sleepover in the woods was a success so far, but someone had to throw out the garbage before we went to sleep. Taking the box, my counselor’s bag, and a weak flashlight with me, I set out into the forest in the dark. (Following camp rules, I had left my cellphone at home.) It wouldn’t take me long to discard the trash in the main camp two minutes away; then I’d return and fall asleep beneath the stars. But I made a wrong turn along the way. I had no idea where I was...

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The Caretaker at Har HaMenuchot

The Jewish Link of New Jersey; July 27, 2017

Before visiting Har HaMenuchot, I had never been to a cemetery that I would describe as beautiful. But there was a certain beauty to Har HaMenuchot. Instead of being marked with foreboding gray tombstones, the graves were marked with rectangular, low headstones made of tan Jerusalem stone.

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"Bright" Falters, But Netflix Still Shines

The Chicago Maroon; January 8, 2018

The significance of Bright, now streaming on Netflix, has nothing to do with its mashup of genres or star power. The fantasy/buddy-cop hybrid featuring Will Smith is the streaming service’s next and largest (to the tune of $90 million) attempt at disrupting the film industry.

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A Teen's Perspective

Weekly column for The Jewish Link of New Jersey (May 2014-June 2016)

During high school, I penned a weekly column that explored challenges I faced as a teenager, that showed my take (at the time) on current events, and presented my struggles and successes to a wider audience. My hope was to fulfill a niche missing from my community paper: a younger voice. My efforts helped open up the paper to more young writers and the column was read throughout Northern New Jersey in print and beyond online.

You can read many of the pieces by clicking here.

Here's the first installment; here's the final one.

Please note: my columns, especially the ones that dealt with current events as opposed to personal anecdotes, often reflect opinions I held at the time of writing and do not necessarily (or even usually) reflect my current views and opinions.