May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Jan. 9, 2013/ 27 Teves, 5773
Angle of repose
It is quiet out here today. It often is at the old graveyard. A soft wind plays over the monuments. Not a cloud in the sky this cold but bright weekday. No one else appears.
Now and then I see others here, the walkers and talkers. Like the man who stood quietly addressing a gravestone, but it wasn't the gravestone he was talking to. Maybe he was sharing the news of his day, or hearing the news of eternity. No one else is here just now, but the place is scarcely empty. It is full of presences. But none disturb. You may listen to them or not.
Why do we whisper in graveyards? Surely not because we're afraid of waking the dead. Or have anything to fear. "It ain't the dead who'll hurt you," as an old black man told me when I was a boy passing another cemetery. Maybe I'd looked uneasy. It's hard to imagine being afraid here. Any more than you would in a cathedral. Or a little church.
Our voices drop in these surroundings out of respect, maybe reverence, or maybe in relief at being among so many friends. But not in fear. We are at home here. And will be.
We stand at peace among the rows and rows of names, all different, but sharing a common bond. They would never think of intruding. Like unseen neighbors who live in different houses along a quiet suburban street "whose rhetoric of shadow and marble/ promises the desirable/ dignity of having died."
That is Jorge Luis Borges describing La Recoleta, a city of the dead, a metropolis of the dead, in the heart of Buenos Aires. Beyond its ornate gates, tree-lined boulevards dwindle away into side streets, then little lanes. The famous cemetery has both its high-rent neighbohoods and economy class forever awaiting gentrification. What a rich selection of tombs to chose from: art deco, art nouveau, baroque, neo-Gothic . . . .
The variety is impressive. There's a style for every taste and pocketbook. The towers tower, the more modest gravestones seem to bow. Many of the mansions are scrupulously maintained, others have fallen into ruin. Like any other sprawling neighborhood in a great city, it attracts all kinds. But here the tenants are all equal, having shared a common mortality.
An elegant city, Buenos Aires, both in life and death. Among the notable tenants of La Recoleta is Evita Peron, as stylish in her environs as when she was exhorting the masses in life. So little changes when everything does.
Here in Little Rock, it is only fitting that the quiet cemetery be a parochial capital of the dead rather than some great, sprawling necropolis. Much preferable, I think. Not as showy.
Here the scandal of materiality -- birth and death, and all the ills that flesh is heir to -- has faded into a rough equality at last. Distinctions once considered important have become immaterial.
I place the little stone I've picked up somewhere and put it on her marker, as is the custom. In the same way, in a different era, you'd leave a calling card. There is no need to exchange words. She understands wordlessly, as she often did in life, while I still see through a glass darkly.
I remember when we chose this address. The man who was going to help us choose a plot was late. It was hot and I was uncomfortable, ready to have done with it. Like the buyer in any real estate market, I gave a glance around, thinking of location, location, location.
There was a shady patch under the trees up a small incline where the principal streets ended. It looked good to a boy from the piney woods. When I indicated it with a nod, the look on her face needed no words. She was horrified. A girl from deep in the heart of Texas, she didn't want to be fenced in. She wanted wide open spaces, under starry skies above. A place on the main drag, where all who passed would be welcome to linger. She was always that way -- hospitable. But never pressing. A friend once said that to be in her presence was to be aware of a great intelligence but one that never imposed. Wouldn't dream of it.
It was hard to leave. But back at the newspaper, deadlines loomed, the usual mass of unimportances awaited, the sweep-second hand on my wristwatch went on sweeping, just as it does outside the cemetery gates. But here there was time, all the time in the world. And beyond.
Even here things were required. I had to find the water faucet. A levite, I am obliged to wash my hands after visiting burial grounds. I lingered for a last look. There was my own grave beside hers, waiting. It promised -- what? Surcease, indifference, a pause forever? No one knows this side of it. But it looked inviting. I tore myself away. It was all right. I'm sure to be back.
Paul Greenberg Archives
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
if (strpos(, "printer_friendly") === 0)
© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K