My father chose the name and my mother chose the spelling. My father—for the High Priest Aaron of the Israelites, Moses’ fallible brother who leads the priestly order of Levites but is forever tainted by his participation in the building of the profane Golden Calf.
After being disinvited from a panel on campus about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Associate Professor Max Weiss wrote in The Daily Princetonian, “Princeton must remain a place where open debate and academic exchange is encouraged and allowed to flourish, even on the most controversial issues.” It would be a lot easier to take him at his word had he not just convened a panel on academic freedom the week before, to which he invited zero dissenting voices.
The legend in question began with a Lego figure of Anakin Skywalker. When your family doesn’t use electricity on the Jewish Sabbath, there is not much to do. You play Risk. You play monopoly. You play Magic: The Gathering. Most of the time, though, you play Lego.
Two fists and a bruised knuckle. No lunch money. No school bus. He wears his soles out each morning, drops them at the back of the courtyard, and goes to class barefoot. Doesn’t say much. He sits alone some days and other days he doesn’t. Always the same thing for lunch. Carrots and men.