What An American Diner Has Taught Me About Authenticity

The main street of the city of Niagara Falls, the one on the Canadian side of the famous falls, may seem as a scaled-down version of Las Vegas. A sparkling hub of neon signs, flashing lights, 3D, 4D and even 6D (!) entertainment complexes, diners and franchise restaurants that offer combo meals with supersizing options. Basically, everything that American entertainment industry is good at, condensed into one street. Affordable and accessible, no-nonsense, mass entertainment, packaged and sold to anyone who needs to lose his troubles away for a couple of hours. Continue reading “What An American Diner Has Taught Me About Authenticity”

I Want To Love My Country Because It’s Great, Not Because It’s Mine

One could say that I live in a country-free bubble. I don’t really care about Jewish holidays, I don’t observe Jewish traditions, I don’t listen to Israeli music, I don’t watch Israeli TV (or any TV at all for that matter). I have my family, my friends, my job, my volunteering. I watch Game of Thrones, read non-fiction in English and prose in Russian, get most of my news from Facebook, listen to electronic music on the Internet. Almost none of it is connected specifically to Israel. Continue reading “I Want To Love My Country Because It’s Great, Not Because It’s Mine”

Why Marrying a Non-Jewish Woman Is The Best Thing That Happened To Me

My wife and I have lived most of our lives 6,000 kilometers away from each other. Our meeting, unlikely as it was, has led to a close friendship which turned into a marriage. We are what you may call an interracial couple – I’m Ashkenazi Jewish and Oxanna is Buryat-Mongolian. But while many interracial couples have to cope with cultural differences, for us it isn’t the case. Continue reading “Why Marrying a Non-Jewish Woman Is The Best Thing That Happened To Me”

Choose Your Anxiety

Choose Your Anxiety

“Isn’t being a decent human being enough?” a friend asked me, in one of those summer evenings when the day’s heat has given away to a nice chill. We were talking about a woman who went through a serious postnatal depression, and eventually turned her life around, starting performing an autobiographical play to raise awareness among women. I was arguing that her life is now filled with a sense of meaning and purpose that most of us never achieve. Continue reading “Choose Your Anxiety”

Getting Friendly with Stress

I come home from work, but I can’t quite let go – my thoughts are still preoccupied with the day’s conversations and thoughts playing in a loop. In the shower I barely notice the rush of cold water over my body – I’m too busy configuring what I should have said in some situation. Sitting to eat, I barely notice the taste of food. Talking with my wife, my mind is elsewhere, and I’m  emotionally unavailable for her. Continue reading “Getting Friendly with Stress”