First Person

The Play-It-Down Jew

The Play-It-Down Jew
By June 4, 2007

1985. United Airlines flight 80, SFO to JFK, seat 4B. I am a child of divorce, en route to visit my father for the summer. I’m unwrapping my third Fruit Roll-Up and humming along to the Xanadu soundtrack when Gargamel … Read More

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I’ve Got a Secret

I’ve Got a Secret
By May 29, 2007

It is 1984 and I am nine years old and ready for my first sleepover at the home of Manning Montagnet, an impressively freckled youngster and my fourth-grade classmate at the Christ Episcopal Day School in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. … Read More

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How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Got Me Dumped

How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Got Me Dumped
By May 8, 2007

Fifteen years ago, before the death of irony and cassette tapes, I fell in love with a girl while living on a kibbutz in Israel. At least it felt like love at the time. Like the affair itself, my arrival … Read More

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I’m Hot, My Wife’s Not

I’m Hot, My Wife’s Not
By April 26, 2007

It might come as no surprise that I spent the better part of my twenties trying, with limited success, to get laid. Sure, there were flashes of passion, excitement, the humming thrill in my private places; a drunken kiss in … Read More

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Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven
By March 29, 2007

I used to find pennies all over the place. For a time, they seemed to be everywhere: on sidewalks, in crosswalks, in the subway, on cab floors, and even in my own stairwell. Wherever I went, if I cared only … Read More

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Are Christians More Tolerant Than Jews?

Are Christians More Tolerant Than Jews?
By March 9, 2007

Often, I find myself sneering at Christians in a way that would be completely intolerable were my aim squared at any other cultural group. Making your kids pay for college themselves? Goyish. Not serving food with drinks? Goyish. Intelligent design? … Read More

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The Ish Factor

The Ish Factor
By March 7, 2007

    What was I thinking? I’d agreed to do stand-up at a “Faith Jam” at an Islamic Temple. The show brought together the prayers, music, and comedy of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. And I was the Jew. But I … Read More

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Subterranean Homeland Blues

Subterranean Homeland Blues
By December 29, 2006

Do you remember the first time you felt Jewish anger? Not the inchoate, pre-adolescent, Patrick-Malone-called-me-a-kike-on-the-playground-rage—which is anger, certainly, but it is anger directed against some dipshit-junior-varsity pogromist with bad teeth who you knew, even then you knew, would grow up … Read More

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