Review – Faith

Review – Faith

Faith is an exceedingly personal thing, and not just for us real people. It is for characters, as well.


This story was written in response to a week-long series of seven prompts. I had wanted to explore Declan and his later life and his conversion to Judaism, and then when the first prompt was ‘in the beginning’, the telling became easier and almost imperative.

I firmly believe that ‘Faith of the Heart’ means all faiths (even questioning and the absence of same), and also all hearts. This story brings those two ideas together.


Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | Faith

Later Days

Declan Reed‘s conversion to Judaism, and his relationship with Rebecca Shapiro, are explored in depth. Along the way, I also touched on his relationship with Norri Digiorno, Joss Beckett and Jia Sulu, Neil Digiorno-Madden and Ines Ramirez, Marie Patrice Beckett, and Tommy Digiorno-Madden.

Declan asks for advice, he learns Hebrew, and he eventually participates in the rituals of conversion. He also spends time with the family and with Rebecca, who shows that she is just as ready, willing, and able to commit as he is. He even contacts his nasty ex-wife, Louise Schiller to tell her that he’s remarrying. A glimpse at Louise reveals a selfish, self-centered individual. In many ways, Louise is Pamela Hudson but without a heart. She ends up being very hard to take.

Story Postings


The story is rated K.


I like how the rather disparate prompts were able to come together into a whole. I got to know a bit more about Louise Schiller, too, who I had only shown as a child before, in Saturn Rise. The story gave me the opportunity to see her more clearly, too.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 2 comments

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Leah Benson is bigger than I originally planned.


In The Light, I needed a Rabbi character. Women have fairly recently become Rabbis in all Jewish sects except for Orthodox. And it is highly doubtful that even the most competent Orthodox Jew would go into space during the Star Trek: Enterprise era. So I decided on a female Rabbi.


I decided I wanted a Jewish actress and so I selected Mayim Bialik. This actress is of course famous not only for her child star work, but also for her more recent work on The Big Bang Theory.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Rabbi Leah Benson

I also felt that Starfleet would select someone relatively young to fulfill this role. They would be hoping for someone to stick around for a while. That person would also need to be someone not easy to shock. This would be by things like asking to pray over a dying alien. Or even by something as incredible as a Xindi Reptilian asking to convert to Judaism.


Friendly, approachable and consoling, Rabbi Benson is not only an expert on Judaism. She’s also something of a counselor. For Ethan Shapiro, Andrew Miller, Josh Rosen and Karin Bernstein, the Rabbi may stand in as a parent when they face difficult decisions. She is someone they can turn to if they are grieving, or unsure of things. This allows Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox more breathing room.


Diana Jones

In Bread, I show they wed. This predicts gay marriage will be legal in the United Federation of Planets. Their long-term, loving relationship is sorely tested when Diana becomes gravely ill.

Mirror Universe

Leah’s only known relationship in the Mirror Universe is with Leonora Digiorno. As ruthless as anyone else in the mirror, Leah is not a woman of God. Instead, she is a pilot, and is meant to be somewhat similar to Melissa Madden, who the Mirror Norri never meets.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Mirror Leah

The image is brief but indelible, in Fortune, when Leah murders Norri for the most selfish and trivial of reasons. Nasty, brutal and efficient, Leah steals the meager possessions she can carry and leaves Norri’s broken body without looking back.


“When Starfleet was established, this question was decided, as Talmudic scholars determined that there could be occasions when Kaddish would have to be said but a Jew would be, perhaps alone, or with no means of communicating with other Jews. So, you can pray with a quorum, a minyan partly composed of Jews who are linked via communications – such as we are linked right now. Or you can enlist the help of non-Jewish friends for this specific purpose. Either way will work.”


Leah Benson is about as different as anyone can be when you compare her Prime and Mirror Universe counterparts. I wanted her to be that way, whereas Doug and Jay are, for example, a lot closer. Leah represents just how different the two sides of the coin truly can be, and how a few changes in someone’s life can turn them from a gentle, caring person to a ruthless, cold-blooded monster.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 14 comments