About Philip Smith

Photo by Guido Apicella

Philip Smith is the former managing editor of GQ magazine and an artist whose works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, New York Public Library, Bass Art Museum, Miami Art Museum, and the Chase Art Collection, among others.  He divides his time between Miami and New York.  In his funny, touching, and ultimately redemptive memoir, WALKING THROUGH WALLS (Atria Books, September 2008), Smith tells the story of trying to grow up as an average, down-to-earth kid in a household where the paranormal was the norm.

Muslims Vs. Jews: I Don’t Have the Answer, Do You?

By September 12, 2008

I’m standing on the subway platform at Broadway/Lafayette with my friend Abe, a Lebanese guy who has a HUGE schnozolla, which makes me look positively Arayan by comparison. This Hasidic guy with the hat, the beard, the robes, the whole … Read More

When Mystery Transcends Mythology

By September 11, 2008

The opening scene of The Golem, a silent German film, features a rabbi, wearing a conical wizard’s hat, looking through a telescope.  He sees a dangerous configuration of the stars and predicts bad times for the Jewish people.  Based on … Read More

Is There a Common Jewish Denominator?

By September 10, 2008

Do you experience a different internal emotional tone or feeling when you are talking to a stranger or a colleague or someone in a store who is Jewish? What is that?  Why is that?  Is it a shared cultural or … Read More

Rabbis, Heal Thyselves

By September 9, 2008

I needed to say Kaddish.  My father was dead.  I wanted to honor him with prayers for his soul, with prayers to God, with prayers to fill my empty heart. This was my time as a Jew to become a … Read More

Jews Have Disappeared into a Malady of Silence and Surnames

By September 8, 2008

One day I just happened to drop by Auschwitz for the afternoon.   Just like in the movies…the claustrophobic gas chamber, the metal sliding trays used to shove bodies into the ovens as well as a kind of stench that … Read More