I’m Elijah del Medigo, a pseudonymous dilettante, incorrigible bibliophile, traditionalist Jew, amateur littérateur, sometime aphorist, aspiring poet, and internationally recognized Internet poster. I’ll be posting my thoughts on religion, literature, & culture here, as well as the occasional poem or short story (when the fancy strikes me).
I present here to my readers (should they by some lucky accident exist) an essay in draft form. I fully acknowledge its inadequacy, both in terms of sourcing & in terms of coherence. I hope, nonetheless, that its point, which I think is correct, is well-taken despite those lacunae. A note on definitions, or lack […]
Diversity is Our Strength ‘We shape our buildings,’ Churchill said; ‘thereafter, they shape us.’ He was, as was his habit, correct: the environment in which we live is perhaps the decisive factor in determining the spirit of a society. It is both indicative & generative of the temper of a civilization, and therefore the question […]
Tomorrow is Purim, the anniversary of the delivery of the Jews from certain doom at the hands of the Achaemenid Empire. The story of the holiday’s genesis is told in the Scroll of Esther, a literary masterpiece which, without exaggeration, could be said to be on par with Shakespeare’s Hamlet. While Hamlet is a tragedy, […]
If there were a sort of secular patron saint of essayists, it would be Michel de Montaigne. With his Essais, he not only introduced a new genre to Western letters, he lent it its name and produced some of its best specimens. Over 400 years after his death, his essays are still some of the […]
A Short History of Decline The condition of our civilization is often presented as an inevitability. Theorists of history from Hesiod onward have presented decline as an inexorable element of human society. And to a certain extent, it is: society & culture are subject to the same forces of entropy & atrophy as the rest […]
I don’t expect this to be a long blog post, or a particularly coherent one. I do, however, have a few disjointed & tenuously connected ideas I’d like to jot down, mostly centering around that nebulous concept, often deployed in discourse about the state of culture but rarely, if ever, defined: decadence. The immediate inspiration […]
Blessings & Praises The past week or so of the Daf Yomi cycle has been a discussion of the intricacies of the laws of blessings before and after eating. The Talmud, Berakhot 35a, which was studied last week, searches for a scriptural precedent for the requirement to bless God before eating, and ultimately comes to […]
Architecture is rarely in the news. The reason for this is twofold; firstly, that the news industry is in the business of exactly that: news. They report the shocking, the sensational, the extraordinary. The built environment is part of the background of our lives. Newspapers rarely report on park benches or lampposts – why should […]
I promised my readers (should they exist) a more expansive treatment of the post-liberal turn on the American right. I wrote then that ‘the neoliberalism preached by the enlightened classes is rapidly falling out of favor. Young people, many but not all of them white and male, are seeking alternatives.’ In philosophical terms, these young […]
Virality is the spice of life I wrote a review of Joker about a week ago for The American Mind, in which I focused on the factors behind the titular character’s eventual madness: bad urbanism, post-60’s sexual dysfunction, broken families, and an elite focused more on self-congratulatory performative virtue signaling, à la Thomas Wayne, or […]
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