When There Are No Words

When There Are No Words

In the aftermath of a mass shooting of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue, my sorrow and outrage lead me to ask: Where is the safe place? When there are no words, I breathe. I take in deep breaths, let them out slowly, until the words come. They come to me reluctantly, and then I have to breathe again until they flow more easily. When they cease to come, I breathe again, and finally, I take a break to make çay (Turkish tea) and drink it while I breathe. People often ask me what I do to keep on writing. Am I ever at a loss for words? Often, I am these days and in these dark times. When the letters scrolled across my television screen, coldly breaking the news that 11 people were shot to death at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I thought of my father’s...

‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight’

‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight’

For the sake of our republic, this is no time to sleep Our republic has fallen asleep. Like a person whose partner is cheating, we have closed our eyes until it might be too late. In our innocence, we are slowly (perhaps not so slowly) losing what we once fought so hard to achieve. If we are the guiding light for the world, our world is in trouble. Our president has declared recently sworn in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “proven innocent.” Can someone tell me please, in what court of law? In fact, he has not been proven innocent or guilty by any court of law. Have we let go completely of the principles that have guided us in “justice” for so many years? Did we ever even have “justice?” Is true “justice” possible for human beings to achieve? Our...

Facing History: What Do We Do About Injustice?

Facing History: What Do We Do About Injustice?

While in Boston last month for a book signing of Myopia, a memoir, I learned about an interesting organization called Facing History. It was started by a Boston elementary school teacher, and it has now become a global organization. Unfortunately, Albuquerque, New Mexico has no chapter. My new friend, Dr. Anna Ornstein, goes into Boston schools and speaks to junior high school and high school students about the Holocaust, racism, prejudice and what we can do about this now and in the future. As a survivor, she delivers a powerful message. She and her husband, the late Dr. Paul Ornstein, both survived the Holocaust with only one parent, she with her mother and Paul with his father. However, Paul was separated from his father for the duration of the war, and Anna’s...

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