My Blog

My Blog

01
At fifty-one years old I am embarrassed that I have just made my first Muslim friend. Aakifah and I met during a writing workshop. Amid conversations on character development and plotting, we discussed her culture including Ramadan, which she was observing. We also talked about lone wolves and terrorist groups who massacre in the name of Islam. I asked a question that has plagued me about the Muslim community. “Where is the Muslim leader that speaks to the non-Muslim masses and explains ...

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20
In the wake of the Orlando shooting, it’s time to delete the word tolerate and its forms (tolerance, tolerant, tolerating) from our vocabularies when referring to the LGBTQ community. We should insert the word accept in its stead. The word tolerate most likely became popular in the sixteenth century in England. It came from Old French, which borrowed it from Latin. Five hundred years later, use of the word in America is at its height: to “tolerate” the LGBTQ community. Those ...

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13
As the only redhead in my immediate family my brother Warren knew how to annoy me. The milkman is your father, he’d say at a time when milk was delivered in glass bottles and left on Long Island doorsteps. You were born in a pumpkin patch. Mom and Dad left you out in the rain and you rusted. At six years old, each of his comments were answered with fast-flowing tears that covered my freckled face, by my wails to my parents to make him take those horrible statements back, and by my pleas f...

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17

At fifty-one years old, I decided to become a Bat Mitzvah. This is the drash I gave on that day.


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07
There was a little girl born on November 17th in the year the Beatles arrived in America and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali. She was a chunky little thing that slid out of her mother’s womb with a shock of red hair on top of her head and chubby cheeks that soon would be dotted with freckles. Her father focused on this little girl and—even though he already had a four-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son he loved like nothing he had ever loved before—this little girl grabb...

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