Sunday, October 14, 2018


On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, we the people of the United States will have the right to vote in one of the most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime. With Donald Trump and the GOP in firm control of all three branches of government, it has never been more important for us to get out to the polls and restore checks and balances to a system that is dangerously unbalanced and increasingly authoritarian and regressive. At the same time, Floridians are also being presented with one of the most important choices in our lifetimes. In the wake of a constitutional revision committee, we have 13 constitutional amendments on the ballot. It is vital that we make informed and careful choices about these amendments. Furthermore, we also have an exciting opportunity to elect an inspirational progressive leader to the Governor's office, an attorney general who will fight for all Floridians rights, and other important races to consider. I hope this guide will help people make informed choices about all of these races. 

Note: this is geared toward South Florida.

Shakespeare in the Crow’s Nest: a Burning Man Story

2018 was my sixth year at Burning Man. Early in the week, I had an unforgettable experience that, for me, captures what the burn is all about.

I was riding back to camp on Monday night when I came across a giant tower of cars. I was too exhausted to attempt the climb, but vowed to return. 

The next morning I woke up for sunrise and, after a morning ride to deep playa, a yoga class and a cup of coffee, I returned. As I approached, I saw the GRIM REAPER holding a giant scythe and staring, unmoving, at the people going up and down the tower.

As I ascended, I overheard people saying that the tower would soon be closed because it was too dangerous. 

The climb was tricky. I had to climb through windows, or slide out onto the hood of a car, and then pull my body up onto the next car. 

When I finally got to the RV at the top, the bar was empty, save for some empty bottles and books strewn about. One was a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Delighted, I began leafing through its pages. A girl in the RV asked me to read, so I began to recite lines - bouncing around the book - before giving a long recital to the witches’ spell in Macbeth. I was so loud and clear from that high point that people on the ground began shouting their acclaim. 

Inspired, I determined to make my way to the crow’s nest to continue my recital. The climb was so scary, however, that there was no way to bring the book. I gathered my courage and made the steep, final climb. 

Once at the top, I filled my lungs up and recited from memory - in my most theatrical British accent - the following:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps at this petty pace from day to day
Until the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
Out, out brief candle!
Life is but a walking shadow,
A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
It is a tale told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing. 

As I exclaimed this monologue from Macbeth, people from all across the playa began walking and biking toward the tower. By the end, several dozen burners had assembled, and upon my completion, they erupted in enthusiastic applause.

By the time I made it down to the ground, the Grim Reaper had moved on. I showed him!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dvar Torah for Parshat Kedoshim

This past week, I had the honor of giving the sermon, or dvar torah, at my synagogue, Temple Menorah, in Miami Beach, Florida.  This sermon touches on aspects of Parshat Kedoshim, Chapter 19 of the Book of Leviticus.  The speech was delivered a bit different from this text, but this still captures the idea.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Parshat Kedoshim
April 26, 2014
Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Good Shabbas everyone! It is my great honor to be giving the dvar torah today while Rabbi Pearlson helps lead members of our community on the March of the Living.

Sometimes we read parshas that are difficult to relate to: parshas filled with long, obscure passages about the minutiae of the sacrifice services in the Beit HaMikdash.  This is not one of those parshas!  Kedoshim is filled to the brim with relevant, meaningful content about how a regular member of Am Yisrael can live a “kadosh,” holy life.  We are told to revere our parents, keep Shabbat, not turn to idols, take care of the poor, and to not steal, lie, or profane God's name. There are warnings about defrauding people, abusing those with disabilities, and treating strangers badly, and we are instructed to pay workers immediately after their work is completed.  We are instructed not to be deceitful, vengeful, or bear a grudge. There are many laws about sexual relations included here as well. But perhaps the most famous rule in this part of Leviticus is "Love your fellow [sometimes translated as "neighbor"] as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). These are just a sampling of the commandments included following the words "You shall be holy, for I, the Eternal your God, am holy."

All of these commandments are supposed to make us holy.  But what does “holy” actually mean?  In Hebrew, “Kadosh” literally means “separate.”  By following these commandments, we become a nation that is “separate” from the other nations of the world that may not act as God would like us to act.

One of the most important things that makes us separate – kadosh – holy – is our concern for the poor and for justice.  For example, this parsha instructs that “when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not fully reap the corner of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.  And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you collect the fallen individual grapes of your vineyard.  You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger.  I am the Lord, your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10).

As most of us are not farmers here, this pasuk may require a bit of an explanation.  In ancient times, before modern agricultural tools, people would have to go into the field and reap the wheat by hand.  Inevitably, some of the stalks would fall on the ground.  Similarly, when picking bunches of grapes from a vineyard, some of the individual grapes would fall off the bunch.  The Torah’s attitude is that we are not to pick up the extra, but instead are to leave this for “the stranger and the poor.”  We are also to leave the corners of the field unharvested, so that the poor may go onto our land and harvest the extra. 

Think about this for a moment.  The only way to make this system work is to leave your field open and unfenced.  It is a violation of God’s mitzvot to fence off your agricultural land and make it inaccessible to the poor who would come and take the extra gleanings. 

This pasuk is about more than just how to harvest a field.  It is giving us an attitude about how to consider our plenty.  We cannot be so greedy, that we are maximizing every bit of value at the expense of the poor.  Instead, we are supposed to be generous, to understand that those of us who have been blessed with abundance must always consider how to support the least among us. And we must be open-hearted, opening our fields so that the stranger and the poor may enter.  They must be real and visible to us, not just an abstraction. 

How important is this mitzvah? Consider this story from the Tanach.  Many of you are familiar with the story of Ruth.  Ruth is our most famous convert.  According to the Tanakh, King David is a direct descendant of Ruth.  Because the Moshiakh is said to be a descendant of King David, we believe that the person who will bring our ultimate redemption is the son of Ruth.  Well, you might wonder, who was Ruth’s husband – and how did they meet? 

Ruth was a Moabite woman who decided to adopt Judaism, and moved to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, choosing to become a member of B’Nai Yisrael instead of going back to her mother’s home.  When Ruth and Naomi reached Bethlehem, it was the time of barley harvest.  Ruth decided to go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain – grain that was leftover because of Jewish observance of Kedoshim.  And it is here, in the fields, picking up the pieces of fallen barley, that Ruth meets Boaz, the owner of the field.  Ruth eventually marries Boaz, and together they have a son, Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of King David.   

This story has an important lesson.  If Boaz had not followed the mitzvah of leaving the gleanings of the harvest for the poor and the stranger, he and Ruth would never have met and eventually married, and King David would never have been born.  Thus, it is from Boaz’s merit of following the mitzvot of Kedoshim that we may one day receive the ultimate redemption of the Moshiakh.

This should impart an important lesson for our everyday lives.  We must ask ourselves: are we being too greedy and overzealous in our business dealings? Are we so obsessed with picking up every metaphorical “last stalk of barley” that we are forgetting how much it would mean to someone far less fortunate than us to grasp those stalks?  How can we create a life that is more open to the poor and the stranger?  These are the questions that Kedoshim provokes us to answer.

There is one more part of today’s parshah that I want to discuss with you today that connects to our story of Ruth.  In chapter 19, verse 15, God instructs: “You shall commit no injustice in judgment; you shall not favor a poor person or respect a great man; you shall judge your fellow with righteousness.” 

Rashi helps explain this verse accordingly.  First, Rashi explains that the verse, “you shall commit no injustice in judgment,” teaches us that a judge who corrupts the law is called unjust, hated and disgusting, fit to be destroyed, and an abomination.  Next, Rashi explains the verse: “You shall not favor a poor person.”  Rashi explains that this means that you shall not say, “this man is poor, and the rich man is obligated to provide him with sustenance; therefore, I will acquit him in judgment, and he will thus be sustained respectably.”  At the same time, the verse says we may not “show respect to the great.”  Rashi explains that this means that you shall not say, “this man is rich, the son of prominent people; how can I embarrass him and behold his shame? That would surely be a punishable act!”  Rather than show favor or respect in either direction, we are to “Judge your fellow with righteousness.”  Rashi states that this is to be given its plain meaning – though another explanation is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and not to rush to judgment.

Putting this all together, the Torah is making a profound statement about what our attitude should be toward our fellow man.  We are not supposed to look at the poor man with pity, or to the rich man with awe.  Instead, we are to look at each person as a PERSON, a fellow human being, who must be judged not by his material position but based on his DEEDS.  Only by approaching the world in this way can we truly judge “righteously.”  To do otherwise is to act in a way that God abhors.

Again, I am reminded of the book of Ruth.  When Boaz first meets Ruth, think of the disparity in position.  Boaz is a rich man, the owner of plentiful fields of grain.  Ruth, on the other hand, has nothing.  She is a stranger from a foreign land, a convert, a widow, toiling in the Boaz’s fields to sustain herself and her mother-in-law.  Yet when Boaz meets her for the first time, he tells her to stop grazing in the field, and to instead relax with his maidens, and to drink from his vessels, and eat his bread.  She bows and asks “Why have I pleased you that you should take cognizance of me, seeing that I am a foreigner?”  Boaz replied, “It has been told to me all that you did for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death, and you left your father and your mother and your native land, and you went to a people that you did not know before.  May the Lord reward your deeds, and may your reward be full from the Lord of God Israel, under Whose wings you have come to take shelter.” 

When Boaz looked at Ruth, he did not just see a piteous poor stranger.  He saw a righteous woman, a woman who had sacrificed the comfortable life to follow God’s path.  Boaz judged Ruth with righteousness.  He did not favor her because she was poor; he favored her because of her DEEDS. 

Again, this is a story and a lesson that is just as meaningful today as it was 3500 years ago.  I am sure that every one of us has been guilty, at one time or another, or according special favor for a person because they were a “great person,” because they were famous, or rich, or powerful.  We need to remind ourselves that when chosing our friends, our business partners, even our spouse, we must look past the material and judge each person for who they really are, based on their actions. 

On this Shabbat, let us all think about ways we can make our lives a bit more holy, by introducing the principles of Kedoshim into our lives.  Truly then, when we learn to judge our fellow with righteousness and love, and to care for the least amongst us, we will be a holy nation, a nation that will merit the ultimate redemption.  Amen!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Voter's Ballot Guide for the Miami-Dade County, Florida 2012 General Election

With all of the amendments to the Florida Constitution and County Questions on the ballot, a lot of people have been asking my opinion on these questions.  Below is my "cheat sheet" for voting in this election in Miami-Dade County.  I hope it will be a helpful guide for people in determining how to vote in this election. Note that this was my ballot in Downtown Miami; other Miami-Dade County voters may have different choices for County Commissioner, etc.

ADAM’S PICKS - The General Election, November 6, 2012

President – OBAMA/BIDEN


Vote YES to retain ALL the judges

County Judge (Group 24) -- WALLACE

Board of County Commissioners (District 5) – GARCIA


Most of these items should not be in our Constitution, and they are mostly the result of the State Republican parties efforts. Reject them all.

No. 1 – Health Care Services – NO

This is an attempt to derail the Affordable Care Act in Florida. Reject it.

No. 2 – Veterans Homestead Exemption – NO

This will take millions away from schools and local governments, and will not help the most needy of veterans who are renters and homeless. We can find better ways of helping our needy veterans that does not sacrifice needed revenues for our children and other needy citizens.

No. 3 – State Gov’t Revenue Limitation – NO

This would hamstring government and potentially result in major cuts to important government services.

No. 4 – Property Tax Limitations etc. – NO
This would take nearly a billion dollars away from schools and local governments and give it to the wealthiest Floridians.

No. 5 – State Courts – NO

This would interfere with the independence of our judiciary.

No. 6 – Abortion – NO
This would further restrict women's ability to get contraceptive care in Florida.

No. 8 – Religious “Freedom” – NO
Sounds good on paper, but this amendment is a way for government to fund religious institutions. Vote No to maintain the separation of church and state.

No. 9 – Homestead Exemption – NO
This is already Florida law. We do not need a constitutional amendment.

No. 10 – Personal Property Exemption – NO
Reject for same reason as #2

No. 11 – Senior Exemption – NO
Reject for same reason as #2

No. 12 – Student Body President – NO

This can be done by statute. Inappropriate for the Constitution.


Bonds – YES

We must invest in our schools to create an educated workforce and improve our economy in the long term.



Commission Term Limits – YES

An important step toward ending careerism and corruption on the Commission.

Technical Amendments to Charter – YES

Urban Development Boundary – YES
VERY IMPORTANT TO VOTE YES. Will help ensure we don't have further unnecessary development in the Everglade. South Florida needs to build up, not out.

Creation of New Municipalities – YES

Enforcement of Citizen’s Bill of Rights – NO

Another one with a nice sounding title, but it actually takes away the provision providing for forfeiture of office for violations of the Citizen's Bill of Rights. Let's keep that automatic provision as a check on these violations.
Mayoral Vacancy – NO

45 days is plenty of time. We don't need three months of a person running our county government who is not elected by all the citizens.

Mayoral Conflict – NO

This creates more problems than it solves.

Crandon Park – YES

Will keep the Sony-Ericsson tournament in Miami and upkeep a beautiful public resource.

Animal Services – YES

Contracting with Companies Doing Business with State Sponsors of Terrorism -- NO

Another "sounds good on paper", but its a nightmare for businesses. Should be rejected.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vote Early in Florida!

Today, Sunday October 28, and all this week, polls are open for early voting in Florida. Lines will be shorter and easier during the week, and you can vote at ANY open precinct during early voting. Make Freedom count -- vote early this year. Lets make sure EVERY vote in Florida is counted this year!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this MLK Day 2012, I remember how much Martin Luther King, Jr.'s spirit and wisdom was a part of City Year's idealism. The communal space in the center of the office was the "MLK Space;" we talked of creating a "beloved community." We painted his portrait in school murals across Washington DC. One of our biggest service days was on MLK Day itself. City Year has a mission to make this a day for national service. In short, Martin Luther King, Jr. pervaded that year of my life in the greatest way.

Today I want to take a moment to commemorate the legacy of MLK, to ensure that his ideals were not just something I studied for a year, but values that I live every day of my life. His ideals were our greatest American ideals: liberty and justice for all. Peace and brotherhood. Hope and faith.

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. day, we must take a moment to pause from the cynicism, divisiveness and pettiness of our politics and remember that America is a great country because great men like MLK sacrificed their lives to make a more perfect Union. Let us honor that sacrifice today by reflecting on what we can do as individuals to make our country and our world a better place.

It os often customary, particularly on this day, to read the "I Have a Dream" speech. Of course I encourage you to do so. But perhaps you are ready for something a bit longer and even more challenging: MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I have just re-read it, and it is a stirring reminder of how deeply unjust our segregated country was, how far we have come as a nation, and yet how much further we still need to go to make our country the "beloved community" Dr. King dreamed of.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: today we honor you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Miami Heat Looking Good as They Enter 2012 NBA Season

There was a moment near the end of the Heats White v. Red shirts scrimmage game on Thursday night when Udonis Haslem gave a stiff backarm to one of our eager new draft picks as he drove to the basket. The other guy fell to the wayside -- even now, I can't remember his name -- but the statement from Udonis was clear: this year I will make an impact. Maybe he was angry after seeing this article in the Herald entitled "No guarantee loyalty will be rewarded for Miami Heat’s Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem." I was certainly upset when I read it. 

I never seriously thought Riley would dump Haslem, a guy for whom the Big Three all took a pay cut to keep in Miami last year. And poor Mike Miller has just gotten unlucky with injuries. Miller needs a second chance, and Haslem is the heart of our team -- he's a team captain with Wade. Instead, we had a great offseason.  The Heat kept both these assets and added Shane Battier, a defensive minded team player with talent, and Norris Cole, a young kid out of Cleveland State who probably got drafted too late and is already giving Mario Chalmers a run for his money. Big second year Dexter Pittman is getting some good looks, and Riley is taking the long view on veteran Eddy Curry. Our 33 point victory over the Magic (118-85) in our first preseason game tonight was our third highest best margin of victory ever for a first preseason game. The team kept the core of the team that came to Game Six of the NBA Finals last season, and wisely filled out its roster

In his post-game interview after the game tonight, Lebron agreed that there are two open spots on the team right now. This breeds a healthy competition for a starting spot in the big leagues with The Big Three. It is an environment that could yield great dividends in young talent like Pittman and Cole, and help keep guys like Chalmers, Anthony and Jones  sharp. 

The Heat work hard and feed off of each other, with Lebron and DWade setting the example, each vying for the distinction of best in the NBA. Yet as much as each can shine on his own, their greatest achievement will be winning an NBA title together. The bravado, the sense of history, the sheer audacity of it all -- it may infuriate the rest of the country, but for us down here in Miami, the real Heat fans, it is exhilarating. As a lifelong HEAT basketball fan, I am excited to see my team take on the entire league for the second time. Last year they fought hard, and Dirk finally had his day, but 2012? 2012 is our year!


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ambassador's Gift

The world can be sad, lonely and cruel. Was that the lesson that Avi Greenberg tried to teach us when he took his life on Saturday morning, Thanksgiving Weekend? Avi was a troubled soul. He was kind, honest and intelligent, but so very sad. You could see it in his eyes. Maybe it had something to do with his childhood: the foster family, the estrangement from the Orthodox Jewish community in which he was raised. He never told me, and now we'll never know. Beyond the sense of pain and loss I feel, I am also left wondering why. Why would a person who was so clearly loved by so many people do such a horrible, hopeless act? Maybe, in that last, desperate moment, he was so fixated on his own sorrow that he could not sense the love of his friends. I don't know. I don't have any answers. All I have is memories, a few photographs, and the story I am about to share with you tonight.

Avi sent me this story, entitled the Ambassador's Gift, last September. I was surprised that he came to me. He sent me the file, a story he had been working on, in an email with this message: "tell me what you think and if theres anything i should change or elaberate on. this is the first draft so i know about all the grammatical errors" I was busy with my third year of law school, so I saved the file to my desktop, and proceeded to ignore it. When I finally opened it up, I only gave it a cursory glance. After finishing the first page, reading with my critical editor's eye, all I could see were the imperfections: passive constructions, misspellings, simplistic characters. I dismissed it as the work of an amateur. I never emailed Avi back to tell him what I thought. But I was so selfish. I didn't even give it a chance. I didn't even finish this three page story.

 Over the past few days, as I reflected back on our relationship, I kept coming back to this story -- the fact that it was unfinished, both the story itself, and my reading of it. Tonight I finally opened it up, and realized what a clever little parable it is. It is not the most original piece of writing, but it has heart. It earnestly attempts to convey truth and meaning through irony. In some way, it feels like some sort of metaphor for Avi's life: imperfect, far too short, too-often neglected, but full of wisdom and promise. Though Avi is gone, his story lives on. I hope you will enjoy it.

The Ambassador's Gift 
A short story by Avi Greenberg 

He awoke in a small, single room, straw-thatch roofed, shack on a small wooden cot. He slowly come to with his eyes scanning the unfamiliar room trying to look for clues as to where he was and how he had gotten there. His head felt inflated and he had pain in his ribs and right leg that was in a splint. Within a few minutes of waking a small and thin black haired man in his mid thirties entered the room, when the dark haired man noticed that the injured man was awake he yelled outside to the field that their patient was awake and to come quick. The small black haired man walked to the injured mans cot and introduced himself as Peter son of John and asked him if he had remembered what happened. The wakening man at that moment realized not only did he not know what had happened but that he didn’t remember anything about himself not even his name and with a scratchy dry voice replied to Peter “No. Do you?”
In the ensuing few days the mystery man had gained enough strength and health to be able to walk around with the aid of a crutch. The man was introduced to Peters family, his wife Mary, his two children, Tommy, aged 10 and Jessica, aged 7, and Peters mother Elizabeth, all of whom lived in this small straw roofed shack that stood on the edge of a modest sized farm. Peter explained to him that his son, Tommy, discovered him, in the woods while collecting firewood, unconscious and badly injured, about a month back and that’s when they took him in to nurse him back to health. Although the man was still healing from his injuries, his memory still offered no hints as to whom he was or where he was from. After much discussion they had all come to the conclusion that he must have been apart of a caravan attacked by bandits while traveling on a nearby road notorious for its dangers. They figured he must have been injured and wandered some distance before losing consciousness. He inquired about going to the other nearby towns to see if there was anybody who knew who he was or if they had heard of an attack on any travelers and knew anything about who those travelers where or if their where others still alive that he might have been with, but Peter explained to him that it would be very unwise to go around asking too many questions in these lands because, in this kingdom, the king and his government was an oppressive one and that anybody that seemed suspicious would quickly disappear.
It was the first time the man heard about the tyrannical regime that the kind and gentle people whom saved his life feared so much. He soon learned that the very farm they where living on, as well as all the surrounding farms, were owned by the king and that they where made to work on the farm and turn over just about all of their crop as taxes, leaving barely anything for them to live on. They also explained that the men were often drafted into the military to fight wars of conquest so the king could further his riches and power. Many of the men who left to fight never returned, as was the case with Peter’s father many years before. The king’s knights were thugs, known to go from town to town, raping the women and stealing cattle from its inhabitants. None of this sat well with the poor amnesiac who couldn’t understand how God would let such kind people be treated so horribly. As the months went by and the seasons changed, the man was beginning to lose any hope of regaining knowledge of whom he was and began to be consumed with the idea of liberating the people who saved his life. Although he was still breathing, he was overcome with the idea that, without memories, ones spirit was dead because one is nothing more than the sum total of their memories. The thoughts of a dim soul, juxtaposed with the want to better the lives of the angels who had opened their home to save a stranger, got him thinking that the only reason God saved him was so that he may bring to these people a much deserved reprise. He figured he was god’s instrument for setting things right and just. He realized that there could be only one thing to do; become an assassin.
Peter had tried to deter him from what he had described as a fools revenge and that although things where hard, grace would bring salvation not vengeance, but the John Doe was convinced and determined to bring peace to the righteous and bring down this evil empire. Eventually, Peter gave in and told him that he would introduce him to his cousin, who was involved in an underground rebellion.
Peter’s cousin, Samuel, was a traveling businessman from a few towns over. Samuel was a much taller man then Peter and, if you weren’t told they were cousins, you wouldn’t ever think they were related. They were polar opposites. Where Peter was small, soft spoken and gentle, Samuel was a large, commanding presence, loud and outspoken. Where Peter was careful to chose his words Samuel always spoke his mind and was forceful with his opinions. In spite of Samuel’s belligerent disposition, the stranger quickly took a liking to him, as did many others, mainly because Samuel had a certain wit about him. After many meetings, Samuel felt the amnesiac was ready to meet some of the others involved in the resistance. The man, along with Samuel, had devised a plan to bring down the king. Samuel explained that the king had an affinity for Egyptian art work and that ambassadors often brought him gifts in this form and that this would be the best way to be granted an audience with the king. Upon presenting the gift to the king, the would-be assassin would lunge forward with a dagger to pierce the king’s heart. It was understood that this would be a suicide mission for the kings guards would surely kill him, but this was the reason he was perfect for this mission, he knew that he could no longer be a burden to his adopted family and felt that his body was still alive in order to return balance to the land. Samuel and the others in the resistance had been able to acquire a sarcophagus, made with gold and studded with jewels. They had felt that it would be an irresistible gift to the king and all but guarantee an audience with him. They also got a horse-drawn carriage, along with fine clothing so that the unknown man may pose as an ambassador from a somewhat distant kingdom called Faraland.
The resistance had arranged, with help from sympathizers from within the king’s court, for a meeting to present the gift, giving them the opportunity to plant the dagger.
As the carriage pulled into the castle’s walls, the man with no memories pulled the large hood on his garment over his head. When the wheels finally rolled to a stop, the man stepped out and walked into the throne room, while three of the others from the resistance, posing as the ambassador’s subordinates, carried the sarcophagus behind him. The king was atop his throne with a smug, condescending look on his face, surrounded by guards, noblemen, advisors, peasants, and many others, in attendance, to appease the kings every wish and desire. All of the help that surrounded the king had a faint look of fear on their face, hoping not to so much as inadvertently annoy the king for fear of retribution, many have gone to the gallows for what would seem as a most minor of an infraction. “Ambassador from the kingdom Faraland” was announced and the man with no memories stepped forward the gift. Under the man’s sleeves he clutched the dagger and with the other hand pulled down his hood. The king looked up and a smile formed on his face making the man believe the king was pleased with the gift, but the truth of the matter was that the king was not smiling because of the gift but before the king could muster a word the man leaped forward piercing the dagger into the kings chest. The king’s smile quickly faded as the look of shock overtook him, and with his last breath the king cries “my son! Your alive..”

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