By the time this article is published, much will already have been written and spoken about the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s very crude ad that was placed in the most public of New York City spaces -- our subway system.
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
Awe – a concept that is so hard to grasp. There are not many things that produce in us a pure sense of awe. If you are like me, you may use the word “Awesome” in your daily speech, but rarely with a true feeling of something being full of awe. Awe seems to contain within it something….majestic….holy….and even fearsome. I think the key to this season, and the place it holds in so many of our lives, lies in this word: Awe.
Having made a private vow to myself to steer clear of politics during this High Holiday season, I write this article with considerable ambivalence. The deepest truth is that it is not about the American presidential campaign per se, nor is it intended to indicate a preference for one candidate over another, though I won’t pretend not to have one. The real issue that I want to address has to do with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his obvious decision to insert himself- and Israel- into the American presidential campaign.
I was walking my dog late one night this week when I encountered a neighbor from down the block, past whose house my dog and I invariably pass on this evening ritual. As most people will say to me in one form or another at this time of year, my neighbor offered the following greeting: “So, you’re entering into your busy season, yes? Must be a lot of pressure.”
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, we have officially entered into the silly season of American politics. The truth, of course, is that nothing about it is silly; quite the opposite. But once the candidates are formally nominated and the campaign reaches its most intense stage, truth tends to take a leave of absence, hyperbole reigns, and promises are handed out like crisp one dollar bills.
With your indulgence, I begin with an apology. I had fully intended to write an article last week, but the overlap of my return from Japan and the deadline for completing and submitting the article, superimposed onto epic jet lag, simply overwhelmed me. So to those of you who look for my articles and wondered why the article “teaser” appeared in the print edition but the article itself never made it online, I publicly and most sincerely do apologize.
I would imagine that rest and relaxation are the two most important criteria of a really good summer vacation, especially when one’s job is stressful. But if it is also true that expanding one’s horizons and learning about parts of the world that were completely unfamiliar are also important components, then my wife and I are enjoying one of our most successful summer vacations ever, here in Okinawa, Japan, and soon in Kyoto and Tokyo.
In previous columns, I have mentioned the fact that my son-in-law, Lt. (jg) Yonatan Warren, is a Navy chaplain posted to Okinawa, Japan. Actually, he is a Navy chaplain posted to a Marine battalion in Okinawa, and he and my daughter Leora have been there since the fall.
With the release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s scathing report on the scandal and cover-up involving the Penn State football program, all of those issues that had once been in the category of “alleged” are now pretty much resolved.