JWR Tales of the World Wild Web

Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 25, 2006 / 29 Tamuz, 5766

E-mails between Katyushas

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article



The e-mails I get from Israeli friends display a mix of homey detail and historical crisis. They always get me thinking of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in "Mrs. Miniver" dealing simultaneously with a world war and a used sports car, the Blitz and a flower show, air raid shelters and the servant problem — all with the same British reserve


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | In the middle of another century, when we were both teenagers in a Zionist youth group, his name was Jerrold. Now it's Ya'akov and he's the patriarch of a large family in Israel.


Ya'akov and I went our separate ways long ago. He's now retired as the director of a university library, where he still helps out on occasion, and I'm still scribbling away for a newspaper.


Now and then I hear from Ya'akov, Jerrold, when the missiles are flying in those parts, and I've sent him an e-mail inquiring after his health, safety and nerves. His replies are models of brevity — and assurance:


"We're in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv and far enough north of Gaza to not be a target. Our life goes on as usual. Tomorrow I go into Tel Aviv to work at the university, but they seem to think that rockets able to reach there aren't a problem yet. I well remember the first Gulf War when I was library director and in charge of preparing our building for a possible rocket attack. Life is never dull here."


Life is never dull here. Jerrold always was a model of good cheer and understatement.


The e-mails I get from Israeli friends display the same mix of homey detail and historical crisis. They always get me thinking of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in "Mrs. Miniver" dealing simultaneously with a world war and a used sports car, the Blitz and a flower show, air raid shelters and the servant problem — all with the same British reserve.


Another friend, whom I haven't known nearly as long, is a professorial type who writes from the University of Haifa, where my daughter spent a spring as a resident assistant helping new immigrants get settled in as students.


A picturesque port city, "the Naples of the Mediterranean," Haifa is in the middle of it these Katyusha-rocked days, but the professor, who lives there with his wife and daughter, remains his charming, curmudgeonly self. It seems the Katyushas keep interrupting him while he's trying to read a student's Ph.D. thesis on Maimonides, the great Jewish thinker of medieval times:


"Since I wrote last, Haifa has been hit by 3 or 4 (can't keep track) rocket attacks, each one consisting of 4-6 rockets. Each time the sirens go off we meet our neighbors in the hallway of the apartment building and listen together for the booms of the explosions. This experience is rapidly losing its appeal, to put it mildly.


"It took a few minutes for the news to come on the radio and TV (from the perspective of the Tel Avivians who run the media in this country, Haifa is some exotic place only technically in Israel) and we found out that six rockets had fallen in the Haifa area, and that there are no reports of damage or injury, thank God. We heard none of the booms, so the rockets apparently fell into the sea or a considerable distance from here.


"FLASH! From the next room I can hear Jolene and Rivka consoling themselves over this further scare by watching Oprah on TV."


I particularly appreciated the way the professor talks about those uppity media types in Tel Aviv, much the way we unstylish red-staters talk about those talking heads in New York or Washington.


My professional friend did lose his equanimity when he heard that one of the Katyushas fell near a favorite restaurant: "Now that I take personally, for the following reason. One of the many advantages of living in Haifa is that one need not invest a lot of effort in choosing restaurants, since there are so few kosher ones. One of our favorites, while strictly kosher, is staffed almost entirely by Arabs, who really know how to be hospitable (Jewish waiters in Israel are usually teenagers; enough said); the place is owned by Jews, the maitre d' and most or all of the staff are Arabs, and the patrons (Jews and Arabs) are willing to subject themselves to kosher food. In short, the restaurant is Israel the way it could be, if our neighbors would only allow it. Oh, and the food is also pretty good . . . ."


You can almost picture Walter Pidgeon harrumphing parenthetically while puffing on his pipe as the bombs fall and everyone keeps a stiff upper lip.


Surely, somewhere in Beirut or Baalbek, a professor of Arabic studies is trying to check out a student's Ph.D. thesis on the great Arab thinker Ibn Khaldun while grumbling about the air raids cutting into his reading time. He and my friend would probably get on famously — if only they were allowed to.


As my mother, who knew something of living through a war, might put it in one of her wry moments, which were frequent: Life is beautiful — if they would just let you live.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media 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.

Paul Greenberg Archives


Up

© 2006, TMS