I maintain that the period during the first half of the 1990s, the period in which rising inequality reached its peak, was a period in which we came very, very close to a demagogic immobilization of racism in this society.
I have been sitting watching that ever since I came back, the continuous variations of light and shadow.
Most Modern Orthodox are religious Zionists. Despite all differences and nuances among us, we consider the founding of the State a historic change. We accept it as something that came from Providence.
Language just gradually came in, one or two stressed words a time. Before then, I would just scream. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t get my words out. So the only way I could tell someone what I wanted was to scream. If I didn’t want to wear a hat, the only way I knew to communicate was screaming and throwing it on the floor.
One certainly has a soul; but how it came to allow itself to be enclosed in a body is more than I can imagine. I only know if once mine gets out, I’ll have a bit of a tussle before I let it get in again to that of any other.
Many young men in the 1960s and 1970s came to reject some of the traditional ideas about manhood that many of their fathers tried to pass down – like unquestioning respect for authority even when that might mean killing and dying for questionable or unjust causes such as the Vietnam War.
The lucky thing was that I was Italian; when the other Italians saw me fight back, they came to my defence.
My own life in India, since I came to it in 1893 to make it my home, has been devoted to one purpose, to give back to India her ancient freedom.
We have responsibilities for others, not just across space but across time. We have responsibilities to people who came before us. They left us a world of institutions, ideas or possibilities for which we, in turn, owe them something. One of the things we owe them is not to squander them.
When the Chinese first came to San Francisco, they were actually welcomed by the mayor and they had special ceremonies for them-again this is when their colony was very small, only a few Chinese.