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Comfort from Calvin — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

September 19th, 2014 · No Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman I did not want to be on the plane I boarded in mid-July. I’ve been through a lot of wars, but this is the first one I was leaving the country for. How could I? I had two children in active service—a son who’s a special forces officer and a daughter in a […]

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Desertion — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

May 1st, 2014 · No Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman The picture I see each morning when I turn on my computer is of my younger son, Niot, in a graveyard. His hands are on his hips, his head is cocked, his eyes look straight at me, and his lips are pressed into a half-smile that says, “What, you again?” He’s wearing a […]

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A Him to him — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

March 28th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Culture and Ideas, Judaism and Religion

Haim Watzman My Dear Herr Kapellmeister, It’s spring here in Jerusalem. Fields, yards, and the few vacant lots that remain in this increasingly overbuilt city are burgeoning with blood-red anemones. Two weeks ago, Ilana and I visited a hill not too far away that is carpeted with purple lupines, growing over the ruins of an […]

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In Exile, at Home — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

September 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Culture and Ideas, Judaism and Religion

Haim Watzman The stranger wore a threadbare black sports jacket that looked like it might have come from a second-hand shop and a dusty black kipah. He stroked his short beard as he walked up and down the rows of graves as the ox plows, stopping for a few beats at each to read the […]

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Other Nights — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

April 20th, 2012 · 5 Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman “This night is no different from other nights,” says Pharaoh, “True, on previous nights I have had a son, and on this night I do not. But this is not relevant to what I must do now.” “This time sounds different from other times,” says Mozart, “for in previous times I did not […]

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Intimate Mourning–“Shiv’a”

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman I’m a Jew provincial enough to have only the vaguest notion about what gentiles do when a loved one dies. Non-Jews, and assimilated Jews, may be surprised, intrigued, or revolted by Shiv‘a , an award-winning Israeli/French film by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz. The film chronicles the traditional week of mourning observed by the […]

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