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Examining Life After a Crash

Two decades after a car accident in Jerusalem broke Joshua Prager’s neck, he looks at how it changed him

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(Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photos xor74/Flickr and Shutterstock)

Joshua Prager is a reporter best known for tracking down elusive characters whose lives were altered in an instant—people like Tehran-based photographer Jahangir Razmi, the only anonymous winner of a Pulitzer Prize, and Albert Clark, who was unexpectedly bequeathed the royalties of the wildly popular children’s books Goodnight, Moon, Runaway Bunny, and other titles by Margaret Wise Brown. Now Prager has written Half-Life, the story of how his own life changed in an instant. When he was 19 and spending the year studying at a yeshiva in Israel, he was a passenger on a minibus headed to Jerusalem that was struck by a speeding truck. Prager’s neck was broken, and he nearly died.

Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry talks with Prager about how the accident altered the course he’d thought his life would follow, how his disability makes people trust him and confide long-held secrets, and about his belief that physical injury, even one as devastating as his, is easier to overcome than the invisible suffering most people carry around within them. [Running time: 29:01.] 

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beniyyar says:

I am sure Mr. Prager has a story to tell, but I was unable to find very much worthwhile in it. Yes he suffered a terrible and debilitating physical injury and he seems to want to turn it into a sort of everyman experience. I was bored to tears, look, everybody must realize that for no good reason, every person’s life can turn upside down in an instant, a child murdered by terrorists, a father suffering a stroke, a mother dying after child birth, and on and on. Indeed, the Talmud instructs all Jews to live as if each day is their last, because indeed, each day may well be your last. Or an illness, an accident, or a terrorist attack can so change a person’s life that he is no longer who he used to be. No one thinks it will really happen to them until it does. I have no advice for Mr. Prager, I have a hard enough time dealing with my own terminal illness, but I do know that if anything, because of my illness I have learned to be a kinder and more understanding person, a better husband, a better father, a better Jew, and a better human being.

melbmovie says:

Thank you Sara Ivry for a superb interview and thanks as well to you, Joshua Prager, for sharing your story, discoveries and some of your journey. I found the content very moving and thought provoking – and I will surely read your new book for more of your thoughts, life-insights and whatever else is within. I feel much gratitude to you both.

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Examining Life After a Crash

Two decades after a car accident in Jerusalem broke Joshua Prager’s neck, he looks at how it changed him

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