An archive of all my Necessary Stories, from 2008 to the present.
Read “The 100-Story Man Hits His Milestone” in The Forward.
These stories are roughly categorized into:
Fictions–stories, serious or light, based on actual experiences or completely made up
Meditations–stories/essays pondering ideas and feelings
Satires–political, social, and literary
(but of course the categories are fuzzy).
To receive email alerts about new Necessary Stories:
Published in The Times of Israel
Fiction: Sex, power, and second chances, real and imagined
June 30, 2019
Words of Love
Fiction: Language, love, and betrayal in an update of an old story for the WhatsApp era
May 31, 2019
Meditation: Remembering my son Niot z”l
April 24, 2019
Fiction: What you see and what you might unexpectedly get gazing through a rear window at election time.
April 2, 2019
Fiction: Two street actors perform politically in the shuk, and get their point across. Or not.
March 5, 2019
Unheeled, with the General in the Shuk
Fiction: A stressed, high-energy political campaign publicist runs into a cobbler with all the time in the world.
January 29, 2019
Fiction: A Talmud teacher struggles with forbidden desire.
January 3, 2019
Back to Gaza
Fiction: Driving from Gaza to Jerusalem with a nun, a little girl with cancer, a reservist, and a protester.
December 6, 2018
Published in The Jerusalem Report
Fiction: The Land of no miracles.
Issue of August 6, 2018
Fiction: An encounter on the perimeter.
Issue of June 27, 2018
Gazing at Iris
Fiction: What you see isn’t always what you get: a love story.
Issue of May 28, 2018
Four Waterfalls, One Hidden
Meditation: Seven years without my son, Niot.
Issue of April 30, 2018
Fiction: We crave heroes, but the charisma and confidence we admire so much can turn out to be a deformity.
Issue of April 16, 2018
Fiction: Love and betrayal, in the desert, in the night.
Issue of March 19, 2018
Help Me Rwanda
Satire: In which I rob a refugee of a free trip
Issue of February 19, 2018
Fiction: How does the story end?
Issue of January 22, 2018
Honor Thy Mother
Fiction: “She was kind of strange.”
Issue of December 25, 2017
Fiction: Love in the King David Hotel, just before the end.
Issue of November 27, 2017
The House of Wisdom
Fiction: Which woman to go home with? See Proverbs, Chapter 9.
Issue of October 30, 2017
On This Side and That
Fiction: A Yom Kippur feast, Jerusalem, 1911.
Issue of October 10, 2017
Fiction: Shabbat, two sisters, and toilet paper.
Issue of September 9, 2017
The Shirt Off His Back
Fiction: Sometimes a guy really needs his lucky shirt..
Issue of August 7, 2017
Fiction: A come-on on the beach.
Issue of July 10, 2017
Fiction: A story for the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.
Issue of June 12, 2017
Fiction: A frustrated soldier, friendship, and love.
Issue of May 29, 2017
Third Day of Spring
Meditation: Planting flowers at my son’s grave.
Issue of May 1, 2017
The Madonna Lily
Fiction: Frankfurt airport as a metaphor for life.
Issue of April 3, 2017
The Treasure Room
Fiction: Unrequited love in sixteenth-century Safed.
Issue of February 20, 2017
The Dig at Bab al-Wad (on SoJo)
Fiction: Five centuries hence, an archaeologist digs up today’s Israel.
Issue of January 23, 2017
Fire (on SoJo)
Fiction: Escaping the flames.
Issue of December 26, 2016
Caught in the Meshwork (on SoJo)
Fiction: Nir assumed he had only dreamed of waking.
Issue of November 28, 2016
Peck of Pickled Pollsters (on SoJo)
Satire: My friend Frank, paragon of progressivism and avatar of alliteration, tells me to vote his conscience.
Issue of October 31, 2016
Besieged (on SoJo)
Fiction: Jerusalem, 1948: A woman, a soldier, and death.
Issue of October 2, 2016
A Line of Who (on SoJo)
Fiction: Two soldiers and a love song on a mountain in Lebanon
Issue of September 5, 2016
The Outpost on Oliphant Street (on SoJo)
Fiction: Jerusalem, 1948: “This is the story of how I lost him. And about the outpost on Oliphant Street.”
Issue of August 8, 2016
Lerner in the Mirror (on SoJo)
Fiction: Old soldiers, Ben-Gurion, and democracy.
Issue of July 11, 2016
The Plowman Meets the Reaper (on SoJo)
Fiction: May 1967. War is in the air. A boy takes the train to Jerusalem to bring his mother home.
Issue of June 13, 2016
Grasping the Void (on SoJo)
Meditation: Five years without my son
Issue of May 16, 2016
Summer of ’88 (on SoJo)
Fiction: An abortive attempt to save my country
Issue of April 18, 2016
On Lupine Hill (on SoJo)
Fiction: A young couple’s less than perfect love
Issue of March 21, 2016
Fifteen Characters in Search of a Better Author (on SoJo)
Fiction: Haim’s characters mutiny as he writes his 100th Necessary Story
Issue of Feb. 22, 2016
Savta Levana Cooks a Cat (on SoJo)
Fiction: How to get a Grandma.
Issue of Jan. 25, 2016
The Night Hall (on SoJo)
Fiction: The wife of a reservist imagines.
Issue of Dec. 28, 2015
Against the Odds (on SoJo)
Fiction: A baby is born, a woman is stabbed, a man ends his life, all before the first course.
Issue of Nov. 30 , 2015
Brine Drain (on SoJo)
Satire: What they really discovered on Mars
Issue of Nov. 2 , 2015
The Rossini Redemption (on SoJo)
Meditation: A man, a mezuzah, and repentance
Issue of October 5, 2015
Hitched (on SoJo)
Fiction: A woman, a wedding, and a friend of a friend
Issue of September 9, 2015
Sin Offering (on SoJo)
Fiction: Soldiers and Sudanese
Issue of August 10, 2015
Icks Factor (on SoJo)
Satire: I am appointed Bibi’s minister of national embarrassment
Issue of July 13, 2015
Next Summer’s War (on SoJo)
Fiction: A young couple argue about summer vacation.
Issue of June 15, 2015
Fireflies (on SoJo)
Meditation: Mourning my son, four years later
Issue of May 18, 2015
Peripheral Vision (on SoJo)
Fiction: Careful what you look at on your phone
Issue of April 20, 2015
Until You Don’t Know (on SoJo)
Fiction: Alone in Jerusalem, in the snow, on Purim
Issue of March 23, 2015
The Balcony (on SoJo)
Satire: An unwanted visitor
Issue of Feb. 23, 2015
Cloudburst (on SoJo)
Fiction: Rain and love, father and son
Issue of Jan. 26, 2015
The Last War But One (on SoJo)
Fiction: A story of exile and return, with piano
Issue of Dec. 29, 2014
Socrates and Semites (on SoJo)
Satire: An operatic Platonic dialogue
Issue of Dec. 1, 2014
Rescue (on SoJo)
Fiction: An Arab and Jew save each other, 1929.
Issue of Nov. 3, 2014
Comfort from Calvin (on SoJo)
Meditation: A war, a wedding, an encounter, a death.
Issue of Oct. 6, 2014
Page Turner (on SoJo)
Fiction: An unseen visitor.
Issue of August 11, 2014
Miss Violet’s Piano (on SoJo)
Fiction: In an old Arab house, a piano teacher returns.
Issue of July 14, 2014
Lock Me Up! (on SoJo)
Satire: Why can’t a decent guy get a jail term?
Issue of June 16, 2014
Desertion (on SoJo)
Meditation: When a child dies, he becomes incessantly present.
Issue of May 19, 2014
Foreign Relations (on SoJo)
Fiction: Love, once a duet, now on the bus.
Issue of April 21, 2014
Justice (on SoJo)
Fiction: Boy has locker, boy loses locker, boy gets locker back.
Issue of Feb. 24, 2014
Keeping Spain Spanish (on SoJo)
Satire: An illegal immigrant gets what he deserves.
Issue of Feb. 24, 2014
The Dryad (on SoJo)
Fiction: A woman goes on a hike to forget.
Issue of Jan. 1, 2014
Inta Omri (on SoJo)
Fiction: Arab music and Arab strangers.
Issue of Dec. 16, 2013
That’ll Be the Day (on SoJo)
Satire: Bibi rocks!
Issue of Nov. 18, 2013
Dirty Jokes (on SoJo)
Fiction: A kapo from Auschwitz tells some stories.
Issue of Oct. 21, 2013
Hooligan Oil (on SoJo)
Fiction: A Jewish widow in the Alaska gold rush.
Issues of Aug. 12 and 26, 2013
The Devil and Theodor Herzl (on SoJo)
Fiction: Herzl parleys with a Russian antisemite.
Issue of July 15, 2013
Satire: A funny thing happened on my way to Women of the Wall.
Issue of June 17, 2013
Passion (on SoJo)
Fiction: Heavenly and profane love, on a bus.
Issue of May 20, 2013
A Him to him (on SoJo)
Meditation: A letter to Bach on the loss of my son.
Issue of April 22, 2013
Non Sequitur (on SoJo)
Meditation: Esther, Moses, and a blind date.
Issue of March 25, 2013
Odysseus Eats (on SoJo)
Fiction: An Israeli soldier falls for a Palestinian girl.
Issue of February 28, 2013
The Next Prime Monster (on SoJo)
Satire: Preschool elections.
Issue of January 28, 2013
Nobody Smiles (on SoJo)
Fiction: A lonely Israeli soldier looks for the Atlanta Aquarium.
Issue of December 31, 2012
Persuasion (on SoJo)
Satire: A Jewish couple faces an American election, Jane Austen style.
Issue of November 19, 2012
In Exile, at Home (on SoJo)
Meditation: A page of Talmud at my son’s grave.
Issue of October 22, 2012
Passacaglia (on SoJo)
Meditation: Brahms and Torah
Issue of September 24, 2012
Republicanfellas (on SoJo)
Satire: Some really bad Republicans come after me.
Issue of Aug. 27, 2012
Bananas (on SoJo)
Fiction: A son remembers his immigrant father.
Issue of July 30, 2012
Bottom Up (on SoJo)
Fiction: Shakespeare in love, on a Jerusalem bus.
Issue of July 2, 2012
Little Secrets (on SoJo)
Satire: Israeli secrecy exposed.
Issue of June 4, 2012
Other Nights (on SoJo)
Meditation: The Seder, chamber music, and the death of my son.
Issue of May 7, 2012
Spring (on SoJo)
Fiction: Soldiers speak of first love.
Issue of April 9, 2012
Once More, With Feeling (on SoJo)
Fiction: Shostakovich and freedom.
Issue of March 12, 2012
Confessions of a Cross-Sitter (on SoJo)
Satire: It’s tough to be a sensitive and Haredi.
Issue of Feb. 13, 2012
Winter (on SoJo)
Fiction: Night comes, a soldier dies.
Issue of Jan. 16, 2012
Intermezzo (on SoJo)
Fiction: An Israeli pioneer meets a Jewish composer.
Issue of Dec. 19, 2011
The Truth About Dave (on SoJo)
Satire: A friend who always tells the truth.
Issue of Nov. 21, 2011
Plane Story (on SoJo)
Fiction: Tales get told on a Delta flight.
Issue of Oct. 24, 2011
Visitor at Cambous (on SoJo)
Fiction: An Israeli seeks roots in southern France.
Slouching Toward Sodom (on SoJo)
Satire: Bibi visits the social protest.
issue of August 29, 2011
Boxing of Parts (on SoJo)
Fiction: I fall in love, pathologically.
issue of August 1, 2011
Piano Lesson (on SoJo)
Fiction: A young Felix Mendelssohn learns about Jewish music.
July 4, 2011
The Day of His Birth (on SoJo)
Meditation: On the death of my son.
June 6, 2011
Driving Louella (on SoJo)
Fiction: I encounter segregation as a young boy.
Sex in the Diamond City (on SoJo)
Satire: My wife and I visit swinging Ramat Gan.
April 11, 2011
Muscle and Mahler (on SoJo)
Meditation: I chat with a famous composer at the gym.
March 14, 2011
That Fickle, Freckled Faith (on SoJo)
Meditation: Should I praise the simple piety of a friend who died too young?
Feb. 14, 2011
The Big Schlep (on SoJo)
Satire: Detective Ahrele Andorra solves a crime.
Jan. 17, 2011
Of Feet and the Man (on SoJo)
Meditation: Hitler, Torah, and a hike.
Dec. 20, 2010
Counter-Demonstration (on SoJo)
Meditation: A protest about my failure to protest, with some poetry.
Nov. 8, 2010
For Whom the Pole Knells (on SoJo)
At The Jerusalem Report
Satire: A friend who seeks to align my moral compass.
Oct. 15, 2010
Land’s End (on SoJo)
Meditation: Talmudic rabbis watch the destruction of the earth from on high.
Sendoff for my Son (on SoJo)
Meditation: A letter to my son on his enlistment.
You’re a Good Man, Bibi Brown (on SoJo)
Satire: Bibi gets tough.
The Story of Mr. In-Between (on SoJo)
Fiction: My father-in-law’s career in the British Merchant Marine.
How To Jump Off A Cliff (on SoJo)
Meditation: A walk to a Golan spring with my son.
Profound Esophagus (on SoJo)
Satire: I get a scoop.
Aunt Bernice (on SoJo)
Meditation: Remembering an aunt, and the discovery of ice cream bars.
The Things They Knew (on SoJo)
Fiction: Army security and childhood fantasies.
Diplomacy By Other Means (on SoJo)
Satire: Our deputy foreign minister puts me in my place.
Train Tale (on SoJo)
Fiction: I get an offer I can refuse.
Rachel Goes for a Swim (on SoJo)
Meditation: Saving the Jerusalem Pool, while quoting Rachel’s poetry.
Dec. 7, 2009
What Would Brenner Say? (on SoJo)
Meditation: I try to become a Hebrew writer.
Nov. 23, 2009
The Oration Vocation (on SoJo)
Satire: I try to get a speaking gig.
Red Briefs and Rain Ink (on SoJo)
Fiction: An accident in Lebanon.
My Big Fat Iraqi Hummus Joint (on SoJo)
Satire: Reclaiming Jewish property.
The Method in His Madness (on SoJo)
Fiction: A famous Israeli director lies next to me in the hospital.
Hagar (on SoJo)
Fiction: A castoff cat’s fortitude.
Mendelssohn And Monotheism (on SoJo)
Meditation: A symphony takes me to Sinai.
Harms and the Man (on SoJo)
Satire: I get analyzed for shell shock.
May 11, 2009
Soldier, King, Slave
April 27, 2009
My Day in Loyalty Court
March 16, 2009
The Mordor of My Mind
Feb. 16, 2009
Move Over, Madoff
Satire: My financial empire collapses.
Jan. 19, 2009
Pioneer in the Swim
Dec. 22, 2008
Jews, Despite the Holocaust
Meditation: A letter to my son upon his class trip to Poland.
Nov. 24, 2008
The Importance of Low Expectations (on SoJo)
Meditation: My first day of aliya
Oct. 27, 2008
Lessons of the Dark Knight
Sept. 29, 2008
A Case of Identities
Sept. 1, 2008
“A Guy at a Bus Stop”
Aug. 4, 2008
“A Cab Driver’s Lament”
June 18, 2008
May 26, 2008
Traversing the Bounds of Sense
May 12, 2008
April 14, 2008