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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 3, 2012/ 8 Teves, 5772

Signed with their honor

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I think continually of those

who were truly great . . .

What some of us think of as the Last Gentleman's Club lost one of its finest members, and literally highest, when Walter Bonatti died this year at 81 in Rome. "If you had a poll (asking for) the greatest mountaineers of all times," wrote one long-time observer of that sport and calling, "he might win it. It is that simple. Everything he did was out there, pushing a new frontier that no one had dared push."

He may be best known for his solo climb up Petit Dru, a great granite pinnacle in the French Alps, over an untried course that is now known as Bonatti's Pillar. He found a new route up the face of the Matterhorn, too. He preferred to climb alone, which was just as well, for who could have kept up with him? Yet he will be remembered best not for his being a great mountain climber, perhaps the greatest, but because of another ascent, one that took half a century, and all because he refused to lose his hold on his own honor.

He was no caricaturist's idea of the gentleman -- a well-dessed type sitting in some drawing room reading the London Times over a whiskey. He was a great big rugged country boy out of Bergamo in the foothills of the Alps in Lombardy, and from youth he was always looking up at those awe-inspiring heights -- till he could look down from them.

At 24, he was a natural for the team that restored a nation's faith in itself after Mussolini's fascist interregnum by planting the Italian flag atop K2, the second-highest mountain in the Himalayas and therefore the world.

Only he never got to the top. And for nefarious reasons. He and a Hunza porter carrying oxygen to the team's highest camp at 26,000 feet couldn't find it. It had been concealed, and the two were forced to spend a shattering night alone out in the terrifying, unrelenting cold. The porter, Amir Mahdi, lost fingers, toes and almost his mind. The other members of the team, thanks to the oxygen the two had left behind, were able to make it to the summit.

Walter Bonatti, bitterly disappointed in his "team" and how it had deceived him, descended to begin his long, long trek to another summit. It would take him half a century to get there.

When he first told the world of how he had been abandoned, Walter Bonatti was dismissed as a bitter loner. Who was he, after all, but some country boy out of Bergamo?

A decade later, a leader of the expedition, to save his own reputation, tarred him by accusing Mr. Bonatti of siphoning oxygen out of the tanks to hinder the others' climb. That did it. The country boy sued for libel and won, but the accusation still stung, and was the subject of many a dispute in mountaineering circles. Then, in 2004, another leader of the expedition wrote a memoir that basically vindicated Walter Bonatti's account. In a final act of vindication, the Italian Alpine Club endorsed Mr. Bonatti's version of events. His tarnished honor was restored in full. He'd never lost it; it had only been obscured by lesser, meaner, self-serving men. The climber had reached his greatest height at last. Not just justice had been done, but something even higher: right.

Oscar Handlin wasn't just a student of American immigration; he wrote the book. Published in 1951, and never bettered, its title sums it up -- "The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People."

The book would win the Pulitzer for history in 1952, tracing what the great waves of immigration to this country from the 1830s to the end of the 19th century had in common. All these immigrants of motley origin but common purpose would begin as a strange people in a strange land, and become more American than the Americans, unfolding new dimensions of the dream they had come to fulfill.

Later the professor would go on to study other formative immigrations, like those of the Puerto Rican and black Americans from rural to urban America. His death at 95 last September would bring a long and understanding life to a close.

It wasn't just his subject matter that would break new ground for academic historians, but his lyricism and idealism, and his then unorthodox research. For he would rely on diaries, letters, family memories, and, yes, even newspaper accounts to tell his epic story. The result revealed new truths, or rather brought old ones to light. As one reviewer put it, his was "history with a difference -- the difference being its concern with hearts and souls."

Sadly, the profession of historian seems to have become more concerned with statistics than soul-stirring revelations since his time. Indeed, to call it a profession, rather than a calling or passion or delight, is to hint at the trouble with a field that seems to have fallen for every changing contemporary fashion, losing its way in a tangled forest of fleeting ideologies.

All histories may be a reflection of the time in which they are written, but the worst are only that, an exercise in what historians call presentism rather than an immersion in the past.

Oscar Handlin knew all about the dangers of being swept away by the ideology of the moment. By the 1960s, when the academic world was being urged to campaign against the war in Vietnam, he stood almost alone in his support for the losing cause. Perhaps he saw the same spirit he had chronicled in "The Uprooted" reincarnated in Vietnam's boat people and the victims of the killing fields in Cambodia. He understood that these latest displaced persons were bringing with them something far more valuable than material riches -- a richness of spirit, a treasure of hope, a work ethic as old in American history as the Puritans, and a faith that could withstand any earthly hardship.

"Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America," Professor Handlin would recall. "Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history." And his sense of honor would not let him acquiesce in the abandonment of the next wave of the oppressed, the newest searchers for the American Dream. For he was not only a man of memory but of honor.

Fred Ikle, a name now almost lost in the chronicles of Cold War strategy, immigrated to this country from Switzerland in 1946. It was a time when the shadow of Communism hovered over the European continent, and far beyond. His death at 87 this year brought back those now almost forgotten years. For there was scarcely an aspect of that long twilight struggle he didn't shape.

As an undersecretary of defense in the Reagan Years, he was the unheralded George Kennan of his time, under- rather than overestimated. He was one of those scholars who turned the epithet Cold Warrior into an honorary title.

Star Wars, the stationing of missiles in Europe to deter any Soviet ideas of dominance there, crucial aid and cloak-and-dagger operations that doomed Moscow's ambitions in Afghanistan, stealth aircraft and better surveillance tools in general, precision-guided missiles fired from positions safely off-shore. … Fred Ikle helped to introduce all those ideas, but scarcely left a fingerprint on any of them. Even as he played a crucial role in carrying them out.

He wasn't much interested in publicity. Or sweeping rhetoric. He was a thinker, a policymaker, a patriot. A man of the West when it stood embattled, he was also a man of honor.

I think continually of those

who were truly great . . .

Born of the sun, they traveled

a short while towards the sun,

And left the vivid air signed

with their honor.

--Stephen Spender

Paul Greenberg Archives

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