We seem wired to grieve with greenery. Allowing the dead to dissolve into the earth, to become part of the cycle of the seasons, has, for millennia, held the promise of cheating mortality.
I did an audiobook for ‘Rough Crossings,’ which I thought was one of the best books I had published. But it was an absolute embarrassment to read it. All these horrible mucked-up bits of syntax, over-the-top adjectives. I found myself editing it while reading. Alert listeners will notice the difference.
In Mesopotamia or Egypt, for example, the monarch had a god-like religious status. But this is not the case in Judaism. So that notion that religion can go on, when all the markers of power and trappings of monarchy disappear, ultimately serves the endurance of Judaism very well.
I felt New York was a big, more stylish, more metropolitan Golders Green. I was thrilled.
Jews can live their own life as Jews and yet be part of a different country.
In the early nineteenth century, with Enlightenment optimism soured by years of war and revolution, critics were skeptical of America’s naive faith that it had reinvented politics.
The Jewish story is the story of wandering. It is the story of extraordinary heterogeneous complication.
The notion that religion can actually be something… attached to progressivism seems so bizarre. But all you have to say is that Abolition wouldn’t have happened without it. The way in which African Americans managed to achieve a degree of self-determination was through the church.
In the Einstein way, I can’t believe in a universe that doesn’t have some sort of prime mover, identical with all of created nature. I have a whole lot of a harder time with supposing the fine print of the Torah was a direct revelation.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the stereotype of the ugly American – voracious, preachy, mercenary, and bombastically chauvinist – was firmly in place in Europe.