Mort Laitner

Flying High

It felt great seeing 11 of my short stories in the Times Of Israel (TOI)—but seeing my mug with each new story was a bit disconcerting.

I was a writer for “the marketplace of ideas” in an international online newspaper with a readership in the millions.

I immediately noticed changes on my Facebook page.

Before TOI, I received about one new friend request per day.

But after my stories were published, it jumped to 10. (Note to readers—some of them were from rather attractive females.)

These Facebook requests arrived from every corner of Africa, Asia and America.

But those requests didn’t give me a clue as to how many people read my stories.

I knew businessmen/ women read my stories because each story was book-ended with commercials:

Brilliant Earth Diamond rings, Toto Toilet Washlets, Jennifer Lopez, “It’s My Party” tickets, Stiltz Home Elevators, American Cruise Lines, and FEMA Flood Insurance.

(Note to readers, please don’t ask me to describe what a Toto Toilet Washlet does.)

I wondered:

“What algorithm matches my stories with these fine products?”

“Why am I not getting a piece of the action from those commercials?”

At least two tickets to the JLo concert.

TOI was making a few bucks or is it shekels off of my writing.

I rationalized:

In a small way I’m aiding the Zionist cause, helping the Israeli economy.

It’s my small contribution to the “The Free Press.”

So while freely scrolling down TOI blogs, I spotted a list entitled, “POPULAR BLOGGERS.

My brain quickly spoke, “Your name can’t be on that list.

You’ve only been a TOI blogger for two months—with only 11 published stories.”

But there it is!

I’m flying high and I’m realizing not to always trust my brain.

(Advice to readers this brain/trust relationship deserves more of your time and consideration. Think stocks you have purchased.)

I’ve climbed onto a top 15 list of  popular TOI bloggers. (See list below)

“Who were the other 14?”

I clicked on their names and on “ABOUT ME” tab to learn their professions:

a spiritual adviser and a professor at Yeshiva University, an academic director, a global religious leader, a philosopher, a survivor of terrorism, authors, senior rabbis, a Jordanian Civil Engineer, an editor, a translator, a political consultant, an attorney, a banker, a dean, and a cyber-security engineer.

Not a shabby bunch.

I’m in some pretty good company.

Thanks Times of Israel, I’m proud to be:

one of your bloggers;

on the popular blogger list;

and to be part of your Marketplace of Ideas.




Yosef Blau

Yerus Kasiah

Tamar Hermann

Spencer Sunshine

Shmuly Yanklowitz

Shira Pasternak Be’eri

Sewalem Werkneh

Sarah Tuttle-Singer

Sarah Katz

Rami Dabbas

Rachel Sharansky Danziger

Noah Libson

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Nancy Strichman

Mort Laitner

Lisa Grushcow

Leonard Grunstein

Kay Wilson

Justin Lee Farrell

Jonathan Sacks

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed online. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience. Mort is in his third year as president of the South Florida Writers Association. He was a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
Related Topics
Related Posts