Bechukotai: The Fate of Duncan Jones

“We’ll all just quit.” The voice is that of a young woman. She is beautiful, with a generally approachable smile that made everybody who spoke to her seem welcome and appreciated; even as they know she’s well outside their class. Her smile, at this moment, is more twisted. There’s a hint of anger in it. […]

An Echo of Tragedy (not a Short Story)

When I was 9 years old, a local high school, the Oregon Episcopal School, held a mandatory school trip to the peak of Mount Hood. It was supposed to last an afternoon. There were 15 students, one parent, two teachers and two consultants from Outward Bound. The group brought no flags or poles, no radio […]

Emor: The Priesthood of Mother Earth

Before I enter the parking lot, I check it furtively, glancing around in order to ensure I won’t be seen. In the dimly lit building next to the lot, there is activity. But the lot itself, cast in darkness and devoid of cars, seems completely safe. I realize this is my chance. I rush towards […]

Acharei-Kedoshim: Fat Ladies

It was already dark outside when Sarah Hastings looked around the library’s classroom. The room itself was grand, especially for such a small town. However, like some many other things she’d encountered on her trip through the unwanted parts of America, it had a sense of tremendous wear hanging over it. Sarah’s host had explained […]

Tazria-Metzora: The Assessors

The men in the white coats looked down on us from their windows. They had clipboards and were continually taking notes. What about, I had no idea; although I imagined it has something to do with us. The ‘us’ was a group of about 75 people, milling around aimlessly in a massive warehouse of a […]

Shemini: A Child’s Terror

A boy witnesses the death of Nadav and Avihu The boy looks up at me. He has always struck me with his incredibly intense eyes. But there is fear there now, a deep and troubling fear. “Grandma?” he asks. “Yes,” I answer, my voice shaking. “Is G-d going to kill me too?” I don’t know […]