Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Thesis

Program or Major

English

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

First Advisor

Tom Paine

Abstract

Know Before Whom You Stand is a collection of 16 short stories, each an attempt to capture the confusion, questions and comfort of being a Jew. Raised in worlds both Jewish and secular, these characters are constantly aspiring toward self fulfillment and understanding. Some stories are about people in their twenties because our twenties are a minefield of possibility. Many also deal with Jews young and old, wise and ignorant, hurting or confident. There’s even the occasional non Jew in here, as the fate of the Jew has always been moved by the outside world. Whatever their age, whatever their outlook, they are Jews, humans, hoping to build for themselves a world in which they know who they are when they look in the mirror. The Hebrew phrase Know Before Whom You Stand is inscribed on almost every ark in every synagogue in the world. The Whom in that case is God. In the case of these stories, well, that’s up to the reader to decide.

Share

COinS