In Brief

Ariella Radwin has a B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from UCLA. She has taught courses at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, as well as local high schools. In addition to various published book reviews and essays, she blogs at

Books for the Mind. Exercise for the Body. Love for the Soul.

More About Scholarly Stuff

I have a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Culture. I wrote my dissertation on a short biblical passage about adultery, and then traced its history of interpretation. But perhaps more than that, I used it as a way to explore the way that ancient people used metaphor and imagery to wrestle with complicated topics. Maybe their worries about marital infidelity were also a way to reconcile and understand a religion that was reinventing itself in the midst of a rapidly changing landscape. We humans seem constituted to use stories to teach us about the world— we can barely help it.

Teaching Stuff

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve been privileged to teach at a wide range of schools and institutions. I’ve taught courses at Stanford University, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and Kehillah Jewish High School. I’ve also taught sections or guest-lectured at UCLA, Jewish Community High School of the Bay, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, and volunteered in public school and homeschool classrooms and communities. Seeing a student light up with a new insight is one of the most rewarding experiences on the planet.

Life Stuff

Anything that happens is probably worth thinking about more deeply. Some of the more powerful journeys I’ve been on include rescuing my marriage from a lifetime sentence of misery, parenting kids in trouble, experimenting with plant and energy medicines, and reclaiming my health through weight loss and fitness. If I had to write my entire life philosophy on a billboard, it might say, “Relentless Appetite for Self Improvement.” I don’t think I’ll ever stop striving to be a better human on the planet, and I’m willing to try just about anything, even meditation. (To be fair, I’ve tried this too. I’m at attempt #57 or so, but it still hasn’t stuck.)

“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.” ― Arne Garborg

What I'm Thinking About

Reckoning with Labor on Labor Day

What if there could be a wild success, of creating “good jobs, while protecting workers’ rights, wages, health and safety”? Wouldn’t that be a most excellent thing to celebrate on a Labor Day?

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The Velveteen Rabbit: On being really real

If I had been asked to say what the book was about, I would have said that it was about how real love doesn’t look shiny and sparkly and how vulnerability is different than perfection. But this time I found a deeper argument about the limits of metaphor.

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Musk and Zuck, Or Life in Silicon Valley

To me, living in this place is a curious place of dreams. Much has been said about how the internet was born here, how every idea is the precipice of a fortune, something to be leapt upon and invested in. But I don’t think that’s the way it is.

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Really, I’m Not A Feminist

Feminism should not exist to endorse reality, not to beg for the crumbs we should have had all along, but rather to insist on the grandness of the vision of a better world for everyone.

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The Eras Tour: A Non-Review

Levi’s Stadium, where she was performing, can hold 70,000 fans and not only was it sold out both nights, but the resale value of extra tickets apparently reached $45,000 in last minute ticket sales.

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