Welcome to
Menachem Kuchar's

Telling a great story and writing what I think — a master raconteur

Last update: 25th January, 2023 — 3rd Sh'vat, 5783    

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I have been writing the essays published on this website for approaching fifteen years. When I commenced writing, I was not certain what I wanted to present to my new worldwide audience. I thought a Weblog, now universally referred to as a blog, may be a good idea. Things never work out as you plan. As an old Yiddish expression goes, Men tracht und Gott lacht, roughly "Men plan and God laughs".

As my body of writing grew, I became more interested in the creative side of writing. Art is art and creativity is creativity. I use the same skills writing creatively as I use to produce fine-art photography. To my mind, art is the ability of an artist to look at the existing world, and, using his God-given skill and learnt techniques, to produce what he sees, feels and smells, in an artificial form which viewers enjoy. Emulate God and further His Creation. This can be done from a lump of stone, a blob of mud, paint on a stretched canvas, a camera viewfinder and darkroom or with a pen or keyboard.

A person, who visualises the end work in her mind's eye, can create a work of art. The writer creates a word picture, enabling the reader to smell the salt spray, feel the fog blowing on her face and feel the thunderous vibrations of a mob of passing brumbies, all from his armchair.

In 2017 I published The Abayudaya: Judaism Emerging — A Spiritual Journey into Africa. The text and the photography are solely my work. I have now (16th November, 2021) posted the entire book for everyone to read. The pages of these PDF's are double spread, so make sure your screen is set to wide. I have made minor modifications to the published text. I am in the process of writing an additional chapter to fill in what has transpired since the end of the book. Stay tuned.

Many cultures have story telling traditions. Civilisations pass their heritage to future generations via narratives. Elders relate tribal history and custom to a younger generation. The Talmud contains stories that are far more meaningful than they ostensibly appear. See for example, the wondrous tales of Raba bar bar Hana — and the Vilna Gaon's esoteric understanding of them.

Most great works including the teachings of the Buddha, the Mishna, the Kora'an and the new testament, started life as oral works. Oral traditions were not meant to be unchangeable.

Rav Naḥman of Breslov said, "The world says 'Stories are meant to help you sleep'. But I say, 'Stories are meant to wake you up!'" Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach added, "The essence of a story is understanding life."

Something I found soon after entering my writing affair was my inability to write fiction. I can stretch, bend or manipulate the truth to some extent, but cannot write pure fiction. This may result from my scientific background and from my understanding that midrash, the teaching of Tora via legends, is not a lesson in history, but rather an attempt by our Rabbis of the first millennium to understand difficult questions that arose in their study of biblical texts.

I have not created a diary, nor a reporting system for any political philosophy. My writings cover much and varied ground: my past, my thoughts, my childhood, my hates, peeves, hatreds, loves, family, our collective history, shoa ... all presented here in full technicolor on my wide screen.

Now, some three hundred stories, and two published books, later, I certainly do not have a blog. I am currently working on two books, one entitled The Many Lives of a Dead Sea and the second tentatively titled Menachem Gets Biblical. The latter is an attempt to understand Tanakh via a presence in the places described. I use my photographs to illuminate the text.

Please at your leisure.
Also on this site you will find many, many photographs which I have taken on my travels across the globe.
... and you can still read my original homepage.


Here is an index, in reverse chronological order, of my essays. There are within this list some 40 essays relating to the shoa. I have concentrated these into a separated index.

The Partisan's Trilogy

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