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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 13, 2004 / 19 Teves, 5764

Right man, right note

By Zev Chafets


'Reflecting Absence', chosen as the design for the World Trade Center memorial
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It should come as no surprise that the WTC memorial was designed by an Israeli. Jewish influence exerting itself yet again? Hardly











http://www.jewishworldreview.com | NEW YORK — Like everyone else, I was taken aback by the announcement that Michael Arad's design, "Reflecting Absence," has been chosen for the World Trade Center memorial.

Some of the world's greatest architects submitted proposals. Arad, until this week, was an anonymous employee of the Housing Authority, a designer of police stations, a young guy with no major projects to his credit. How, I wondered, did he come up with an idea worthy of first place?

Later, I learned that Arad is an Israeli, and suddenly I got it. Israelis understand how to commemorate mass murder the way Eskimos know how to deal with snowstorms. They are experts the hard way.

Americans have had less experience.

My little town in Westchester was hit hard by 9/11. A lot of people worked at the Trade Center. A considerable number were killed.

A few days after the attack, the town held a memorial ceremony at the high school football field. People milled about in shocked silence. The mayor made a speech. Local clergy recited prayers. The school band played mournful selections. Here and there, young guys chanted "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

The shouts sounded hollow. So did the speeches and the prayers. Even the band was off-key.

This is a town famous for its efficiency. It is loaded with creative people. But it had no idea how to mourn in public.

This was new to me. I had moved there from Israel less than a year before 9/11. The streets of my new town were cleaner than my old Tel Aviv neighborhood and much quieter. No stray cats roamed the back alleys. No cars parked illegally on the sidewalks.

The town fathers were good at everything except staging a memorial service.

In Israel, even the most bumbling provincial mayor knows how to put one on. It's a matter of experience.

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Over time, through trial and error, Israelis have developed the rituals, symbols and ethos of collective grief. It is an evolving subject. How to deal with tragedy is a matter of constant national conversation. Is it proper for soldiers to cry at the funerals of fallen comrades? Should eulogists call for revenge? What sort of ceremonies should be held on Memorial Day? And how monumental should national monuments be?

Israelis are an emotional people, but on this subject national taste runs to restraint and minimalism. There is a feeling that mass murder speaks for itself. Steel and brick can't express the fury, grief and horror it inspires. Or the resolve to fight on. At best, a monument can mark the spot where sheer evil has been done.

I don't mean to diminish the individuality of Michael Arad's design by nationalizing it. (Full disclosure: I know and like his parents.) He is obviously a brilliant young architect with a unique personal approach. The son of diplomats, he was partly raised and educated in Mexico and the U.S., and he has been exposed to many influences beyond those of his native land.

Still, there is no mistaking the Israeli sensibility of Arad's concept - two reflecting pools of water on the site of the towers. There is no bravado here, no theater. It is a memorial for wartime, incomplete as the war itself is incomplete.

It would be wrong to imagine "Reflecting Absence" is in any way a passive concept. On the contrary, it is a quiet, disdainful rebuke to the fanatics who planned and cheered the attack on America. It is designed to be a place for people to commune with the spirits of 9/11.

But it also says to the world that New York, and America, intend to face the furies of the jihad with a self-restraint born of humanity and calm resolve.

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JWR contributor Zev Chafets is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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