Welcome to
Menachem Kuchar's

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

Last update: 16th November, 2021 -- 12th Kislev, 5782    

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I have been writing the essays published on this website for approaching twenty years. When I commenced writing, I was not certain what I wanted to present to my new worldwide audience. I didn't start with a real direction. I thought a Weblog (now universally referred to as a BLOG) might be a good idea.

On my seemingly never-ending journeys across the expansive Internet, I meet people monetising their blogs by sharing space with sponsors. There are companies who will happily 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) may make some money.

One morning I said to myself, well what the heck, I'll start a blog too, write a few stories, optimise them so the web search engines 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.

Things never work out as you plan. As an old Yiddish expression goes, Men tracht und Gott lacht, roughly "Men plan and God laughs". I assume Google's business model wasn't what they initially assumed -- businesses and people must be flexible to survive and go with the flow.

That's OK. As my body of writing grew, I became more interested in the creative side of writing than in potential financial gain. 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 accompanied by software or a pen or keyboard.

The artist 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 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.

Most great works including the teachings of the Buddha, the Mishna, the Kora'an and the new testament, started life as purely oral works, with a prohibition of casting them into stone. Oral traditions were not meant to be unchangeable.

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."

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. Probably a result of my scientific background and of my understanding that midrash, the teaching of Torah via legends, is not a lesson in history, rather an attempt by our Rabbis of the first millenium 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 ... 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, That is to say via my photographs. and many, many photographs I have taken on my travels across the globe.

Please at your leisure.
And you can still read my original homepage.


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.

The Partisan's Trilogy