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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 Nov. 22, 2010 / 15 Kislev, 5771

A Certain Slant of Light

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On winter afternoons,

That oppresses, like the weight

Of cathedral tunes.

In the middle of the car wreck or the plunge down the mountainside, or in the mind of the drowning, time slows, then stops -- the way it does for some Americans every year when the page of the calendar is torn away and today's date revealed:

November 22.

It is always 12:29 p.m. Dallas time when the motorcade comes into sight. Nothing ever changes in the immutable past, no matter how much we want it to. Emily Dickinson's certain slant of light is captured forever in the Zapruder film we can't stop watching:

Click. The presidential limousine coming down Houston makes a sharp left onto Elm.

Click. The president is smiling, waving.

Click. Mrs. Kennedy looks at him with concern.

Click. A bystander jerks his head suddenly towards Dealey Plaza.

Click. The limousine is lost behind a street sign.

Click. The president reaches for his throat, slumps toward his wife.

Click. The governor of Texas, seated in front of the president, falls forward.

Click. The shattering impact.

Click. Mrs. Kennedy rises.

Click. She is pushed back into the car by a Secret Service agent.

Click. The limousine disappears from view beneath an underpass, headed for Parkland Hospital and history.

The film runs 15 seconds. And an eternity.

None of us will forget where we were when we heard. I was riding a subway to a job interview in Manhattan. A dirty, disheveled man came down the aisle -- nothing unusual in a New York subway -- but he leaned over, whispered something in my ear, and moved on to whisper it to the next passenger, and the next, and the next. It took me a while to make meaning of the slurred words, and then absorb them:

"They shot Kennedy in Dallas. ... They shot Kennedy in Dallas. ... They shot Kennedy in Dallas...."

I could see him enter the next car and do the same. Like the chorus of a Greek tragedy telling the tale.

At last he knew something no one else did -- at least for the moment. And he had seized the moment. He would finally live in someone else's memories. He would finally be important, memorable, somebody.

Like a man with a secret.

Like a reliable source.

Like a journalist with a scoop.


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I walked up out of the subway station in lower Manhattan to see a man about a job, and everything looked even grimier than usual, the din even more depressing as I walked the couple of blocks to the gray office building.

The old editor I was meeting seemed defeated. We didn't talk about the job. Instead, we looked out his office window and watched Manhattan's flags being lowered to half-staff one by one, as the word spread and the afternoon light turned yellow in New York's canyons.

The editor talked about how it had felt the day FDR died in Warm Springs.

On the way home I stopped at a bar on the West Side to see what the television was saying about the assassination but didn't stay when the bartender started making jokes about it.

Certain days stay in the mind. Like a film that is unwound and replayed again and again. As much as you'd like to stop it. Each time. But you can't.

Years later, the phone would ring and I would turn the television on to see the jetliners strike the buildings again and again. In an endless loop. As much as you'd like to stop it, to turn it off, you can't.

To watch the Zapruder film is like that. It's like seeing the destruction of the Temple again and again. Nothing ever changes. It is always 12:29 p.m., Dallas time, November 22, 1963.

Never again, I thought at the time, would Americans take their country so lightly, their institutions so for granted.

But time passes and fortune changes, and some years the day passes almost unnoticed.

Then some new crisis erupts, and people are reminded again of how fragile all this is. We are jerked awake, and realize that life is shipwreck.

Suddenly alert, we look differently at the uniforms that guard us while we sleep. And all it takes to remind us of the fragility of life and power is ... a certain slant of light.

Emily Dickinson could have been writing about the shadow that will fall sometime tomorrow as a whole generation of Americans notices the date on the calendar, and wonders why it fills them with an inexplicable sadness, and then ... we'll remember.

It will all come back -- like a certain slant of light.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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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.

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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