A Conversation With David Brooks
view counter

Editorial & Opinion | Musings

08/11/2015 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

When I travel I try very hard to imagine my life in the next few days so that I know how to pack. I actually give more imaginative forethought to travel than I do to days when I’m at home. At home there is everything I need, and I don’t have to anticipate contingencies.

08/04/2015 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

When I was young my father told me a story about a boy and his father who were walking along a road. The boy spotted a large rock. “Do you think I can move that rock?” the boy asked his father. His father answered, “I’m sure you can, if you use all your strength.” The boy walked over to the rock and pushed and pushed, but the rock didn’t budge. “You were wrong,” he said. “I tried as hard as I could, and I failed.”

07/28/2015 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

Here is a remarkable passage from Aldous Huxley’s “The Devils of Loudun”: “a seventeenth century palace was totally without privacy. Architects had not yet invented the corridor. To get from one part of the building to another, one simply walked through a succession of other people’s rooms, in which literally anything might be going on.”

07/21/2015 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

We are taught in the Torah that one is supposed to leave a corner of one’s field unharvested for the poor (peah). The Rabbis in the Mishna ask the following question: What if a man who has fields at home is traveling and hungry; may he take from the peah (yes), and more interestingly, when he gets home, should he contribute to compensate for what he has taken?

07/14/2015 - 20:00 | | Musings

Can a single gesture change a life? On New Year’s Eve 1913, a shot rang out. A boy was playing with a pistol, and he was taken by police and put into a house of correction, called The Colored Waifs Home for Boys.

07/07/2015 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Musings

We gather around the Shabbat table, put our arms around one other and sing “Shalom Aleichem” — the song that greets the Shabbat angels. By the time we have finished the Shabbat song, three minutes later, we are concluding with “Tzaitchem L’shalom” — go in peace, already asking them to leave. The poor angels must wonder why we do not wish them to stick around!