October 22, 2011

In the beginning....

Earlier this week, as I was going through my books to see which I felt needed a place on our new winter home’s bookshelves, I came to the shelf with Greek and Roman classics. Plato…Aristotle… Sophocles..and of course the playwrights.

These books have moved with me from place to place in the more than 40 years since my Great Books class at the University of Michigan, but, sadly, most have not been opened since I first placed them on the shelves in Larchmont.

Would I really need them again?

Then this morning at Larchmont Temple’s Chevra Torah, studying B’reishit and the story of creation, there they were, right in front of me again. Reading about Maimonides, I learned he was a student of Aristotle and struggled with his principles. And then Elizabeth recalled Plato’s concept of the human condition, in which (wo)men see only shadows in the cave and know nothing of the real world.

I realized I do need to read them again. So Plato, Aristotle and the rest of them are now in a carton, already enroute to our new home. I promise it will not be 40 years before I crack them open again.

January 12, 2011


We are in Arizona this week, at a time of tragedy that may be for this generation a turning point similar to the assassination of John Kennedy for mine.

I've been listening to talk show radio in Arizona, and am heartened by the civil tone I am hearing from the callers. They are chastised, demoralized, and really searching deep into their hearts. Tucson leaders say "everyone loved Gabby." If that's so, why was her last election so hard fought?

I pray that this spirit of healing will last. But, unfortunately, I'm not betting on it. Our country has become so polarized. How do we turn it around? And how much of the blame lies with the media itself?

I wish I could feel more hopeful. But as I write this I see Palin on TV, and my hope deflates, like a pricked balloon.