Essays

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

"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. In a few issues, the column was featured as the paper's op-ed.

You can read many of the pieces by clicking here.

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

Please note that my columns, namely 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.