Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Hadar Goldin: Art, Inspiration, Hope

Last Wednesday I attended an opening reception for an exhibition of art by Hadar Goldin. At 23, the artist was a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces in August 2014 when, as I wrote for Tablet, “he was kidnapped and killed in Gaza by Hamas terrorists…just two hours after a cease-fire was declared in Operation Protective Edge hostilities. Three years later, Hamas has not returned his body. The exhibition thus not only celebrates Hadar’s life and artistic talents; it is also intended to raise awareness of his story and to compel international action to bring him—and Oron Shaul, another soldier killed in Gaza that summer whose body Hamas has not released—home to their families in Israel.”

Celebrating Shai Held and The Heart of Torah

If last week’s event was bittersweet, last night I attended a wholly festive celebration: the book launch for Rabbi Shai Held’s The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion.

As you may recall, I’m part of the team that’s helping to publicize Rabbi Held’s new work. So I would be remiss if I did not mention that there’s a new giveaway running over on Goodreads. Similarly, I encourage you all to check out the tour schedule: Rabbi Held will be visiting Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia very soon. And he’ll be participating in several more events in the New York area, too. (If you want to cut to the case and buy one or both volumes in the two-volume set, be sure to check out this excellent [30 percent] discount from The Jewish Publication Society, The Heart of Torah‘s publisher.)

Coming Soon

Late last week, I had the chance to review a proof for an upcoming poetry publication. My poem won’t take up an entire magazine page; I was thrilled to see that it shares page space/”real estate” with an article about someone whose work I admire greatly. Stay tuned—I look forward to sharing more when status shifts from “proof” to “published”!