Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Happiest Day in Siberia — the Death of Stalin

This is another fragment from Do Not Avenge Us: Testimonies from the Sufferings of Romanians from Bessarabia. Here, Margareta Cemârtan-Spânu remembers the day when they found out that Stalin had died. Stalin died on March 5th, 1953. He is considered responsible for the … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on Levinas and Orthodoxy

In the essay on “Judaism and Christianity” from In the Time of the Nations, Levinas recalls a story mentioned by Hannah Arendt. When she was a child, she said one day to the rabbi, “’You know, I have lost my … Continue reading

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I Am a Nobody for Whom Someone Is On a Cross

When I was a child, my aunt took me one day to a monastery close to where I lived: the monastery at Sambata de Sus, Romania. A blind monk lived there, Father Teofil; he had fame among people. Some were … Continue reading

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Nothing to be done! Waiting for Godot

The opening line of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, “nothing to be done,” seems rather a closure. If there is nothing to be done, then maybe we should indeed do nothing. Or, better, not even nothing should count for something to … Continue reading

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Pregnant with the Beautiful

In Beyond Torture, a documentary about the Pitesti Phenomenon—the experiment that took place in communist prisons in Romania and that had as purpose the complete change of a human soul—Father Roman Braga recounts that he experienced the devil in Pitesti, … Continue reading

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Singing like a bird and knowledge of God: some thoughts stemming from Lossky

In his The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Vladimir Lossky says that the Trinity “is something which transcends all notion both of nature and of person” (44). The main problem with our understanding of the Trinity is the fact … Continue reading

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The "pigs" who "took" the light

If you lived in Romania during communism, you probably remember the beautiful evenings in which an entire family gathered together around the light of a candle or a gas-lamp. Ceausescu, the dictator of the country, planned to pay the entire … Continue reading

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The Deportations of July, 1949: the Road to Siberia

July 6th, 1949–a new wave of deportation to Siberia. Transported in train cars for cattle, many die on the road. This story from Do Not Avenge Us is through the eyes of Margareta Cemârtan Spânu.   They gathered all of us … Continue reading

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Bread forgives you

Some years ago, when I was in grad school, I got a part-time job as a baker. It was a small bakery, and the lady who was in charge of baking bread had to switch to cakes; she was happy … Continue reading

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A rabbit and my involuntary participation in ugliness

I was walking in the neighborhood. A rabbit got scared, ran into the street, and got hit by a car. It was part of my daily involuntary participation in ugliness. Two things I heard at the same time: the muffled … Continue reading

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