On the Edge of Catastrophe (non-fiction)

As we come into Rosh Hashana, it is easy to be complacent as a nation. Our economy is strong, our military is strong, we are world leaders in science, and our Yeshivot are filled with students. Even as our region is filled with violence and destruction, even as millions have been driven from their homes, […]

Ki-Tavo: The Story of Hassan

I’ve never had such fear before.  I’ve had fear – the most primal and fundamental kind of fear. But it was nothing like this. — It is the morning of May 28, 2010. I wake up to the savory smell of chole and freshly-baked kulche wafting through our room. My wife is a skilled cook. […]

“Det 23:19”

My father’s body is sprawled out on his office floor. His head has been torn apart by a single gunshot. The gun is still in his hand. My father has just taken his own life. And the only explanation, the only note, is a verse. “Det 23:19.” I hate my father before. I despise his […]

Shoftim: Battle Dreams

I look around the truck’s cabin, with its stark, harsh interior. I see the grim faces of the men. Below us, the armored personnel carrier is shaking violently as it moves through the rough terrain. The truck’s wheels, suspension and frame seem to conduct the force of every pebble through to our spines. And we’re […]

Re’eh: The Kansas City Apocalypse

By the time I was 40 I’d been through pretty much every sort of therapy available on planet Earth. There had been the obvious ones, like cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis. But my attempts at self-repair went deeper. I’d also done acceptance therapy, art therapy, group psychotherapy and even eye movement desensitization and reprocessing […]

Eikev: The General

The bunker is forty feet long and ten feet wide and strongly reinforced. It is a small, but important space. It is buried far beneath the earth, and it is dominated by a single long table. Above the table, a single fluorescent bulb burns. And at the head of the table stands a dark-skinned man. […]