People of the Book Isaac Bashevis Singer Told the Truth About Us

On Aug. 3, 2004, I was sitting in the expensive London garden of a rich Jewish friend from my father’s grad school, all too relaxed in her gorgeously lush English garden that overlooked one of the world’s loveliest public parks.  I’d spent myself broke three times that summer to engorge myself upon theater and concerts as… Read More

People of the Book The Jewish Responsibility

A friend of mine who may or may not be Marc Shapiro shared an article yesterday from the Forward about a Jewish journalist who saw the whole Charlottesville massacre transpire — and in circumstances like that, even one dead is a massacre. The article contained this quote: “Supporters broke out spontaneously with calls ‘The goyim… Read More

People of the Book The Hedgehog and The Fox

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. The fox skits about, collecting from every place it can reach; the hedgehog collects exclusively from the small piece of land under which it burrows. The fox is clever and social, he easily escapes conflict and blends into his surroundings. The hedgehog is dogged and… Read More

People of the Book The Tolerance of Jewish Intolerance

I came across one of those trivial click-bait internet articles today that inevitably claimed it would “blow my mind.” But this one made an impression on me. The article’s about a recently out lesbian teen who shares her aunt’s horribly bigoted opinions about her choices, followed by an equally insulting apology. When the teen fights… Read More

People of the Book Family Business

When you watch Officer McCluskey slug Michael Corleone, it should be impossible for a Jew not to wonder how often small Jews got beaten up in the eras of Henry Ford and Father Coughlin by huge Irishman. McCluskey is the old American alpha male — Scotch-Irish, brawny, mercurial, a little dumb. The old American alpha… Read More

People of the Book The Unwinding - A History of the Distant Present

The world is 7 billion stories waiting to be told. America is perhaps the only nation conceived on the principle that individual stories are worth telling, but in this era of foreclosure, it’s the nation most likely to walk back its promise to tell them. No matter what America ever aspired to be, we’ve never come… Read More