Ari Blaff

Prior to starting Speakeasy, Ari worked in banking and journalism. He holds 2.5 MAs (yes, you read that right): one in history, another in global affairs, and half of one in sociology. He's published in outlets such as National Review, Quillette, and Tablet as well as academic journals including Israel Studies and Canadian Jewish Studies.

Confession: Why I Am Terrified About Being Jewish Today

For the first time in my life, I am afraid to be a Jew. To be seen as visibly Jewish, associated with my religion in any way. I meditated and reflected a fair bit before writing out these thoughts. At first, they were hasty and angry. On second pass, it...

The One Piece Of Advice My Brother Needs To Hear

An old brother’s wisdom is usually rather questionable. We’re most helpful when it comes to buying booze or roughing up that bully bothering you. Basically, to varying extents, we’re all somewhat encoded with Bart Simpson's DNA. But every now and then older bros might have some wisdom to impart beyond...

Make Up Your Own Mind: The Monuments Controversy

In my room, there are two photographs that hang behind me: Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant. The leaders of the Union forces that fought slavery during the American Civil War. Why do I have black-and-white nineteenth century portraits hanging on my wall? I inherited a love of American History from...

You Are Where You Need To Be

I was so close to calling it quits. After just over a month of running this website, I felt ground up, chewed up, spit back, and – well, to put it poetically – like a well-done turd. Running the site has been stressful, unpredictable, and pushed me well beyond...

To Understand The Brutalities Of War – Watch It

Sometimes you’re late to the party. Maybe a decade late to why the Snuggie is perhaps the best under-hundred-dollar investment you’ll ever make. Or, that you can literally eat Chipotle for any occasion: it simply doesn’t matter. I was late in coming around to watching Restrepo, perhaps the best...

How We Lost Faith In Experts

In the 1960s, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram examined how obedience to authority conflicted with personal conscience. Milgram wanted to test the justification many Nazis expressed during the Nuremberg trials that they were merely “following orders.” How did outwardly normal people turn into war criminals overnight? What intellectual and emotional...

Please Destroy Their Business Model Now

When I went to Paris, I saw them. In Pisa, they were there, too. Athens, check. Jerusalem, same. Whenever I visited a site of cultural importance or natural beauty they were always there. Not intellectually or spiritually, but physically. Vapidly lingering for the perfect shot. The Eiffel Tower was...

Suffering For Our Own Sake

I have got to confess, I hadn’t read his books. I’d heard of War and Peace for some time but over the years – and following a serious Russian history bender – I came to know Leo Tolstoy for a lot of his other works. Anna Karenina. The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Strange enough,...

The Three Laws of Creation

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was. And God saw that the light was good. What relevance does that famous passage hold to modern readers? More importantly, why spotlight it on such an important day? How is it related to Speakeasy’s launch or raising mental health...

The Book That Changed My Life

My first panic attack hit me in a second-year university finance exam. The stress had been mounting for weeks. Carrying a part-time job, extracurriculars, as well as trying to maintain my dean’s list standing. Why? I should have asked myself that more than throughout the first couple of years. The warning...