About the Author

Sarah Shapiro

Hiroshima and the Pilot’s Tear

How a survivor of the atom bomb stopped hating the pilot who flew the plane.


Being accosted by a missionary of happiness only served to deepen my gloom.

Last Night I Saw the Mushroom Cloud

Am I incapable of thinking the unthinkable?

Second Nature or Second Thoughts

When giving doesn’t come naturally.

Three Steps Back

On being a tourist in the land of the disabled.

Who I Am Person

Even the terrifying enlightenment bestowed by Shigeko couldn't teach me that we're most human when we're most divine.

Living Here

On a bus in Jerusalem, all eyes followed the girl who suddenly broke down and cried.

A Jewish Child on Christmas

My parents succeeded in creating a wonderful Christmas - yet inside me something was amiss.

All the Way Home

How six words transformed my world.

The I of the Beholder

How can we get free of the petty tyrannies of our own female vanity?

Queen Esther Cleans for Pesach

Something was missing, which turned out to be myself

The Story of a Prayer

A Seder in Bergen-Belsen.

Happiness, etc

You're happy, aren't you?

What Arafat Said

Was it only in my imagination that I was smarter than my father?

Just Words

It's no accident that we should be repeatedly compelled to explain our presence, to have to figure out what we're doing here.

Why Is This Child Different?

Why did our family, like American Jewish families everywhere, recognize Passover as the one thing we would never forget?

When Bad Things Happen to Good Penguins

What is the film "March of the Penguins" really about? A penguin speaks out.

Gifts of a Convert

The metamorphosis of Ahuvah Gray, a black American who was once a Christian minister and is now an Orthodox Jew.

Jerusalem of White

Gone are Iran, and Gaza, and Syria. All out of sight, out of mind, for one night and one day.

My Mother's Purse

We'd lost Mommy and Daddy; we didn't want to lose each other.

A Beggar and a Man

I've carried an idea of him in my mind. Who, for him, was the young girl with scorn in her eyes?

The Bomb in the Bag

It wasn't really a bomb, don't worry. You are safe. We were safe. Then we laughed.

When Mommy Stopped Driving

When the doctor delivered the news, we were abashed and afraid. How much time did we have?

My Six-Day War

When I first heard "the word" in my hometown.

Do Angels Need to Dance?

I wished that somehow they had known how to make me feel included, that cold and rainy Sukkot night, rather than ostracized.

Something You Already Know

The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who fear getting older and those who do not.

A Handicapped Look at Disability

An evening's encounter with a handicapped couple overturns misconceptions that have crippled one woman over a lifetime.

Just a Slight Adjustment of Focus

Raising happy children sometimes depends only on a kind word and a moment's extra attention.

A Member of the Club

Death has never been an infrequent occurrence. But I wasn't in the know.

Preparing for War_

It's not the unconventional weapons I'm getting ready for.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Jerusalem

We were in an old world together, that's for sure, but not the one they expected.

Lieberman's Connecticut Wasn't My Connecticut

I was a Jewish kid who didn't know what it meant to be Jewish, who was painfully, earnestly trying to fit in by concealing the Jewishness I knew nothing about.

On Anger

Anger, which can work so powerfully against happiness, is the very tool we've been given to get a handle on our invisible, elusive inner selves.

We Are What We Say

Appreciating the immense impact of those little words we utter.

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