Welcome to
Menachem Kuchar's
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Telling a great story and writing what I think -- a master raconteur

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I have been writing essays published exclusively on this website for nearly ten years now. When I started to write, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to present to my new worldwide audience, I didn't have any real direction as to what I wanted to do here. I thought a Weblog (now universally refered to as a BLOG) might be a good idea.

On my seemingly never-ending journey across the web, I meet many people monetising their blogs by sharing space with sponsors. There are a number of companies who will populate your "free" space with commercials. If you write interesting stories, provide interesting material or have informative content, people will come to your site to read, be entertained, argue and learn. And if the sponsor provides relevant advertisements, you (and she/he) can make some money.

Harnessing the power of Web II the current 'in' terminology) allows content generated by others to be displayed on your sites. That's what Web II is. Rather than producing "static" websites in the classic style, you allow anyone out there in the Internetland to write for you. This is great for monetising, as obviously the more pages you fill, the bigger your site, the more advertising "area" you achieve, the greater the variety in your texts and more money you bring in. QED -- quod erat demonstrandum.

One morning I said to myself, well what the heck, I'll start a blog too, write a few stories, optimize them so the web searches point to me. I won't make it too interesting so people won't mind clicking out and away on the adverts, and I can make a few bucks in the deal. An Internet magnet, so to speak.

But things never work out as you plan. In the words of the old Yiddish saying, Men tracht und Gott lacht, roughly translating to "Men plan and God laughs". I would venture to assume that Google's business model isn't what it assumed ten years ago -- businesses and people must be flexible to survive and go with the flow.

But that's OK. As I wrote more and more, I started to become more interested in the creative aspects of writing than in the financial side. Maybe art is art and creativity is creativity, and I use the same skills to write creatively that I use to produce fine-art photography. To my mind, art is the ability of an 'artist' to look at an existant object in this world, and using whichever God-given skill or method they possess, and reproduce it in an 'artificial' form. This can be done with a lump of stone to produce sculpture, a blob of mud on a potter's wheel, a paint applied to a stretched piece of canvas or a camera viewfinder.

If the artist sees the end product in her mind's eye, and she can create a work of art. Writing falls into the same category. The writer creates a word picture, allowing the reader to smell the salt spray, feel the fog blowing on her face or feel the thunder vibration of a mob of passing brumbies.

So what I really have here, right from the beginning, is more a collection of short stories than a 'classic' blog. (That's got to be an anachronism -- blogs haven't been around for long enough to be "classic" -- but that's the age in which we live -- thing get compressed in time and place.)

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, my family, our collective history . . . all presented in full technicolor on this wide screen.

Answers.com defines a blog (weblog) as a website which displays in chronological order, the postings by one or more individuals, and usually has links to comments on specific postings. Now, some fifty stories later, I certainly do not have a blog.

I believe what I have produced here is a collection of creative writing. A body of stories. What the Okkers call "spinning a good yarn". The fruit of a storyteller. I intend to entertain; I am not scared to say what I think, and I don't mind being insulting or mean if I feel the chronicle is enhanced by it, or that this is how I recall the events. Life wasn't always easy and everyone wasn't always nice.

Parenthetically, I should say here that whatever I write is my own take on events and sometimes (not always) I may embellish the truth to improve the story line. I do not claim to be writing history (but sometimes that is exactly what I am doing).

Many cultures have story telling traditions. Civilisations pass their heritage to future generations via narratives; elders relating to a younger generation. Even the Talmud contains stories that must be more meaningful than they appear. There is an oral tradition. See, for example, the wonderous tales of Rabba bar bar Hana -- and the take of the Vilna Gaon.

Rav Nachman 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 said, "The essence of a story is understanding life."

Please enjoy my writings, my stories, my yarns. Please let me know how they come across; I love to receive feedback and may publish some of it with my comments. If you enjoy my stories, feel free to pass them on to your friends, relatives and acquaintances. After all art, both my stories and my photographs have been created to be enjoyed.

And remember, anything I write here is my humble opinion and only represents my thinking and understanding, and is not that of any organisation for whom I may work, consult to or do anything else for. [Terrible -- prepositions at the end of a sentence!]

Thank you.

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Note that commercials on this site are from third party feeds. While I have no control over them, they are supposed to be tailored to my page content. Feel free to view any of the sponsors' sites that interest to you.

Here is a list of my latest writings. Please stay tuned for more. I don't date them because my work is timeless. Seriously though, unless I indicate otherwise, as this is not a blog, when it was written should not effect your reading. Occasionally I'll give you clue to a timeline.

Please tell me something -- or at least have a look at my galleries (each gallery from a different part of the world or of a different theme - Eating Out in Bangkok, worship in Thailand, Hong Kong, Sydney Harbour and Beaches, New York and non location themes: the World in Reflection and Actualities in Black & Orange). I've also produced two benchers, birchonim: Gush Katif and Hevron (Hebron).