Bamidbar: The Soul of Maria (Miriam)

This doesn’t really work as a short story. So I wrote something new, here. My earliest memory is of my mother, an elegant Latina woman with long and flowing black hair. She and my father were sitting on bar stools at the high kitchen counter. It was night outside the large glass windows of the […]

Shavuot: The Chief

I still remember the locket. It was brass and cheap-looking. But the little girl who had it cared about it. And so, I did too. She brought it to school one day. She pulled it from her pocket. She showed it around the classroom. It had been shined to its battered limits. But her face […]

Behar: Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Minor

I close my eyes and ready myself for the opening notes of Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in C minor. I know them by heart, I know the entire piece by heart. I’ve heard it thousands of times. But even before the bows of the cellists strike their strings, I know there is something unusual about this […]

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 […]

Pesach: The Gulf Exodus

The offices of the recruitment agency were gleaming. They were clean, modern and full of empty space. It was like no place I’d ever been in before. I felt safe, but now I know I shouldn’t have. I grew up on the edge of Mumbai Airport. We slept, ate, drank and worked in our little […]