Babylon Background

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“Lean on Me” Day

Many of us have loved the song, “Lean on Me,” for a long, long time. And, as it happens, July 8 is the anniversary of the single hitting #1…

Now What? Exploring Babylon Stage Two

I launched the “Exploring Babylon” project on this blog in October 2017. Stage One was to run for roughly 40 weeks, from Sukkot through Tisha B’av. WordPress statistics tell me that I’ve posted 40 times […]

Black and Jewish Communities Sharing History

We Act Radio begins “Sharing History” for the District and for every place where black and Jewish communities have some things to learn about one another. Listen here — “We Act Radio: Black and Jewish […]

Korach and Dysfunctional Systems

Why are Moses and Aaron, and God, unable to hear the people’s desperation and anger, in the face of completely failed expectations? And what is our job…How might better listening, and closer attention to circumstances behind complaints and rebellion, change things?

Strange and Familiar

Exploring Babylon Chapter 23 Although just published (May 2018), Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” was completed in 1931, based on work begun in the 1920s. Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon relates the story […]

A Song of Reward and Punishment

Exploring Babylon Chapter 22 Here is further response to a long-ago comment of Max Ticktin (z”l), based on the words of Jeremiah and in a sort of homage to Leonard Cohen. “Has this song gone […]

Notes on Jeremiah: Max Ticktin’s Scribbles

Exploring Babylon Chapter 21 Several updates below. In addition to the many other things he left us, Max Ticktin z”l (1920-2016) left behind a lot of books, and his family kindly offered them to interested […]

Trauma and Migration Studies, The Book of Job, and Babylon

In follow up to the chapter on monsters and storytelling,which touched on the intersection of immigrant experiences and trauma, some thoughts on migration studies and #ExploringBabylon.

More on Monsters and Storytelling

Exploring Babylon Chapter 20.1 A Monster Chronology On March 15, I watched author Junot Díaz interact with a room full of youngsters, introducing his new book, Islandborn (Dial Books for Young Readers), discussing the writing […]

Monsters, Exile, and Storytelling

UPDATE: The event described here, including the brief interview with Díaz, took place on March 15, 2018. The piece below was posted on April 1. The New Yorker article, “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood […]