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I’m doing research for a ghost story to take place in Savannah, Georgia.  In the past or in the present?  Maybe both?  I don’t know yet.  I’m still stumbling in the dark, banging into trees that leap out at me, dragging my booted feet through the muddle, swearing at myself for ever venturing into this murky world of fiction.  I don’t write short stories.  I’m a playwright.   But I’m not having great success beginning my next play, either.  So, what the Hell… I do know the plot will revolve around the African American and Jewish communities of that southern American city.  I’m writing an email to the rabbi of Mickve Israel, Robert Haas, whose blog I came across while looking for his address. I am re-posting it here to thank the Rabbi and the other religious leaders of Savannah for their humanity and honorable solidarity as they make clear they […]

Yes, Lady Gaga!  But If I Were You – I’m Not; I Know – But I Would Have Added One More Song In her interview with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jered Kushner’s Grandmother Rae said that if there had been an Israel during Hitler’s reign of terror, perhaps 6 million Jews would not have been murdered.    I think she was right.  So did a lot of people. After World War II, after the reality of the Holocaust hit the world’s nervous system, the stroke that signed Israel into existence was thought to be a blessing and an absolute necessity.  For the first time, in a long time, the Jews were no longer without representation, without refuge, with a nation.  And should it ever happen again, and Jews find themselves running for their lives, they will not wander the world, dying for want of few buckets of water, a slice […]

In 1899, Mincie Fidelman, nine months pregnant, boarded a train, leaving behind her Russian home, most of her family, and everything she had ever known.  She was running for her life and for the life of her child.   I only know this because my husband’s mother, Molly, was born on that train, somewhere in Germany by then, a day or perhaps two at most, after Mincie had handed her ticket to the conductor and relinquished her life to whatever lay ahead.  Between 1880 and 1910, nearly two million Jews fled Russia, desperate to save the lives of their children, born or, as yet. unborn. At that time, Amos Elon writes, “Russian was the only European country that banned foreign Jews from entering…,” (The Pity of It All – published 2002).  It was also the only country where “recurrent anti-Semitic pogroms were government-inspired diversions from the miseries of daily life.”  Pogrom […]

Take a look at the website referenced below.  Go down to where the women speak.  Silence Senator Warren?  At your peril, Senator McConnell. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/7/1631253/-Mitch-McConnell-Silences-Elizabeth-Warren-Women-Respond-We-Will-Not-Be-Silenced-LetLizSpeak By the way, Senator McConnell, have you seen this website? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/05/trump-regrets-twitter-voters-election-ashamed This young woman, Erica Baguma, a student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been compiling the tweets on the Twitter account @Trump_Regrets.  She told The Guardian, “I was curious as to what his supporters thought…, and so I was searching and I was really surprised to find that there were so many people who were already regretting voting for him, for lots of different reasons.”   Eyes are on you, Senator McConnell.  In service of the Orangutan Trump and his Master Bannon, how stupid can you make yourself look?

Old Devil Time, you soften our pain and bless us with forgetfulness. The horrors we’ve been party to are finding firm footing in denial. Now that most of those victims are dead, We’re free.  Follow the fruit-faced fascist.  Ahead lies blessed darkfulness.   Old Devil Time, you’re a svelte con-man, convincing us we don’t need to know history. In fact we don’t need to know anything, neither math nor science. We have the Committee for Lies and License Exchanging knowledge with alternate reality; conjoining truth with ignorance and mystery.   Old Devil Time, we aren’t all the fools you would have us be.  Some of us remember. This go-round, no disappearing our neighbors into train cars and horse stalls. No matter how long and high the wall, We, with pink hats, cardboard signs, respect for life, not merely birth, but life.  We remember.   Old Devil Fear, we aren’t afraid […]

I’m the mother and so one might suspect me of prejudice but I will deny it.  I have no reason to inflate falsely.  The facts stand for themselves.  The person stands for herself and stands tall.  She asks the same question so many of us are asking:  What can I do to resist the rise of distrust and hatred?  What can I do to defend the values I hold dear? What she doesn’t do is give herself the credit she deserves.  Miriam’s head holds one of the most creative minds I’ve had the pleasure and honor of knowing well.  I am often in awe. As you ask yourselves, “What the Hell can a person like me do against a Hellish person like that?,” don’t deny your abilities.  Don’t cut yourself short.  Each one of us is a wall against which those who spread fear and hatred and suspicion must pass.  […]

Once upon a time, a young French friend, then much younger than I (and still is, I suspect) shook his head and said in response to my question regarding the Mistral winds and murder:  You read too much, Karen. What a thing to say!   Is that even possible? Well, now I’m reading about the 19th Century Jewish salons in Berlin and I want a salon of my own, except I want it now, in the 21st Century, and I want to set it up in Canada.  I live in Minneapolis which, truth be told, might be the perfect spot except this city it too large and my heart hurts from Trump and Trudeau gives me comfort. “But you don’t like people, even Canadians,” Miriam responded (too quickly and too brashly, I thought). She’s right.  But hold on a second.  Somehow I think this might be the answer to many of […]

I just learned that my brother-in-law bought tickets to the inauguration – real cheap.  I don’t know how factual are the other stories about “papering the house”, in other words giving tickets to anyone without a better place to sit down.  But if my brother-in-law could get seats – second row, just behind the section reserved for Trump’s illegitimate children – then I’d say the tales might be true.  Only a small “basket” of people are eager to attend this bizarre affair.  I should mention that my brother-in-law had no intention of attending.  He wanted his non-attendance to be a matter of record. And so does Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  Below is her statement as published in the Guardian.  Please read.  Her message must be heard and passed along. Why my seat at the inauguration is empty Barbara Lee, Congresswoman from California I will not be celebrating the swearing-in of a […]

Will I ever again write on a topic that isn’t Trump related?  I’ve been asking myself this question for weeks now.   Why aren’t I writing about everything else that distresses me or demands attention, as I have in the past, e.g.  racism, ageism, solitary confinement, women’s rights, war?   We, in the U.S., are facing a future that in reality may be worse than any scenario I’ve imagined.  I’ve never developed a plot like the one we’re living, because I don’t write horror stories.  At least I didn’t before Trump rose from the bog.  So, has fear overwhelmed me?  Has my body been drained of blood and my soul drained of purpose? All I can say is:  Hallelujah! Yesterday, I received an answer to my self-query when I heard about Jan Chamberlain and her decision to publicly resign from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than sing at the upcoming presidential inauguration.  […]

Pastor John Pavlovitz has taken the time to say what so many of us wish we could say as well. Dear Hillary, I hope this finds you well. I’ve been meaning to write you for a while. I was thinking of you again today and I guess I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you. I appreciate how hard you’ve worked for this country for the past five decades. I appreciate what you accomplished this year. I appreciate your dignity in the face of the most undignified behavior.  I appreciate the seriousness with which you took the prospect of leading our nation. I appreciate the campaign of diversity, equality, and shared strength you ran with such grace. I appreciate you reminding America that it is already great. You did everything you were asked to do this year, everything you were supposed to do: You were prepared and balanced and cool under pressure. You […]