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kaddish in two-part harmony podcasts

daily kaddish: Osama Bin Laden

Mira’s Kaddish for Osama Bin Laden is an example of why I’m so proud to be her collaborator. With her words echoing in my brain, and her “bismilleh” Kaddish text echoing in my headphones, I attempted to play a Kaddish for this whole sorry scene. I don’t think it’s coincidental that I was hitting clams and playing notes out of tune the whole way through.

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony

a kaddish for Osama bin Laden

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم The goal of building (or rebuilding) an Islamic State is something as yet under-appreciated in the West.  Do we in the West ask what kind of State is it?  Or do we just assume it’s the oppressive, misogynistic monolith that we have dubbed it?  Do we even ask ourselves if there […]

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essays

what is it about words? a rant in response to a preamble

Music sits alongside religion as an opiate for the masses, and when music joins religion, it’s a truly powerful drug—one that scares the crap out of me sometimes.

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essays

optimism in the face of reason, or: another kaddish for new orleans

Mira wrote about having a grudge against optimism in a recent essay that has left me wandering lost in my own mind. See, I agree with just about everything she wrote. I largely agree with her worldview. But I am a persistent optimist. I am an optimist in the face of considerable clear evidence that optimism is irrational.

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essays

misunderstanding pessimism: a manifesto of sorts

The NYT has run a number of articles lately on optimism and pessimism, including one entitled, “Is your Dog an Optimist or a Pessimist.” Which was an incredibly depressing article. Another, which ran today (but disappeared before I could find it again) spent a lot of time explaining why optimists live longer. Go figure. Actually, […]

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essays tzaddik stories

the rebbe and the wise little children

A friend and colleague posted this quote from Arthur Green on his blog and so, of course, I’ve struggled with it. Which is better than saying, yet again, that it pissed me off: “We would understand the entire course of evolution from the simplest life forms millions of years ago, to the great complexity of […]