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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 July 13, 2009 / 20 Tamuz 5769

Bull Running Scary, but Always a Good Story

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | News item: A young Spanish man was gored to death last week, in the traditional running of the bulls in Pamplona.


I ran with the bulls once. Just over 20 years ago. I was younger and faster back then. I was also drunk. Everyone was. What most people don't realize about that famous Spanish tradition — popularized by Ernest Hemmingway in "The Sun Also Rises"— is that it is part of the weeklong festival of St. Fermin, and another part of that festival is drinking all night. And I mean all night.


Then, when the sun comes up, they close the bars, block the exits, and let the beasts loose. Imagine telling thousands of tired, tipsy people to run a 100-yard dash after a full night of Mardi Gras. It would be crazy without bulls.


On my particular night in Pamplona, I saw more injuries during the dark than during the light. I saw a barefoot woman step onto glass and bleed profusely — before dunking her foot into a large cup of beer. I saw several fistfights and shoving matches.


Fortunately, I had a mentor, a local guy named Pablo whom I met that night. He wore the traditional red scarf and white shirt and told me his family had been running with the bulls for generations. He had enough English to ask if I would introduce him to American girls, and I had enough sense to say only if he ran with me come morning.


We made a deal. For all I know, it saved my life.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Here's the way the whole thing works. Around 8 a.m., after a few prayers sung by the masses, the bulls are released from the corral. They stampede through the narrow, cobblestone streets and finish about a half-mile later, in the stadium, where they will soon be killed in bullfights.


So they're racing to their deaths. Can you blame them for wanting to take a few of us along?


What Pablo taught me — in addition to a whole new appreciation for how much sangria one Spaniard can drink — was to stay away from the start of the bull run because they go right past you, and to stay away from the end because it narrows into a tunnel and there is no place to go if the bull decides to use his horns.


Then Pablo rolled up a newspaper and made jabbing movements, although I couldn't imagine using newsprint against charging livestock.


Pablo also said, "the solo bull es muy malo" — meaning the worst thing you could do is wind up one-on-one with a confused and angry animal.


And according to reports, that is what happened last week. A bull got separated from the pack and began goring at spectators. It threw one young man, then went at his neck. The man later died in a hospital, after emergency surgery.


The next day, they did it all again.

UNSPOILED TRADITION
I imagine if the running of the bulls were an American tradition, we would have stopped it by now. Some protest group (People Against Goring, The Pro-Bull Movement, The Society To Prevent Cruelty To Tourists) would have hounded it out of existence.


But I am glad it goes on in Spain. Not because of the occasional fatality (the last one was 14 years ago). Obviously, that's tragic. But people fall over railings at baseball games and get trampled at soccer games and die on racetracks and those things keep going.


No, the reason I'm glad it continues is because Pamplona is not Las Vegas and bull running is not the Super Bowl. It remains a rare old tradition in a small, foreign city that hasn't been co-opted by Visa or Budweiser, doesn't carry a corporate name, has no sponsors or drug tests and offers no prize other than to say you did it.


And maybe you learned from it. Maybe you made a few foreign friends and you have something to look back on and say, "I was young, that was crazy, but I went, it was fun, it got me out of my comfort zone and it gave me perspective on how big the planet really is."


That's what I think when I remember those cobblestone streets. That, and Pablo poking at bulls with a rolled-up newspaper. What words were on those curled pages, I wonder? Perhaps another writer recalling a wild memory from his youth. If so, one story became part of another, which is how life should be.

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