PO Box 58
Mercer Island, WA 98040
My trusty computer didn’t come up with an answer when I asked it who H.W. Westermayer was. Perhaps someone reading this knows. I do know that when I read this quote of his, it resonated with me.
“The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”
I have often wondered at the celebrations on V-E Day when the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender or the song the Israelites sang at the Red Sea. In both cases, immense suffering led up to the day of victory and there were still bloody battles ahead.
The triumph at hand did not bring back anyone who had been killed or restore the health of the wounded. It didn’t fill the holes in people’s hearts and more sorrow was imminent.
Yet, like the Pilgrims, the people of those generations expressed words and feelings of gratitude to God. What is it about human nature that responds to ease and comfort with ingratitude, yet recognizes the need for thanks after passing through tough times? Each year, Thanksgiving gets erased a little more with revisionist history changing the meaning of the day and dreams of scoring low prices on wanted items pushing to the front of our consciousnesses. Let’s take a moment to picture those graves and the courage of those who came searching for a better life and willing to pay a dear, and often final, price to acquire it.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. General Douglas MacArthur
The simple answer is, “No one.” It has been many years since there was one spokesman like Moses. Even King David had a counterpart in the prophet Nathan. So, while I am aware that columnists do not get to pick the titles of their pieces in newspapers, the heading of William Galston’s piece in the Wall Street Journal of Oct. 31, irked me.
The headline proclaimed, “Jews Are Proud to Stand with Refugees,” and Mr. Galston extols HIAS – the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society – founded in 1881. HIAS indeed has done admirable work in its more than a century of existence. What Mr. Galston failed to point out is that HIAS used to be a case of the Jewish community, not the government, supporting Jewish refugees. If it urged the government to allow more refugees to enter, it encouraged legal channels. I am not familiar with HIAS today, but most likely they, like so many once worthy Jewish organization, have instead become mediums for far Left politics.
I don’t draw any commonality between the honorable work HIAS has done in the past and its new focus. Obviously, being upset with HIAS, as murderer Robert Bowers was, doesn’t entitle one to enter a synagogue and start shooting. HIAS and any Jews who support it, have a voice in our open society. So do the many Jews who see the flouting of American law and the invasion by hordes of people illegally crossing the border as a threat to both the United States and safe Jewish survival here.
Neither group speaks for the non-existent “the Jews”. Only our enemies see as as one indivisible group, united as they are in wanting our death whether we are Democrats or Republicans, political conservatives or political liberals, religious or secular. I assume that Mr. Galston is embarrassed by the title given to his piece. He speaks only for himself and those who agree with him, not for an entire people.
In observant Jewish households, Saturday night brings more breaking news than other nights of the week. The reason is simple. Since we turn off phones, computers and other technology as the sun sets on Friday night and Shabbat begins, we are out of touch with the greater world for 25 hours.
This past Saturday night followed a too-frequent pattern of holding the closing ceremony for the Sabbath and then quickly hearing of tragedy. This time is was a mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Eleven people, ranging in age from 54 to 97 died, while others were injured.
Today, the correct response of all decent people is sorrow and prayer. Later this week, there will be time for more reflection.
There are a number of times in the past that my husband and I voted for third-party candidates as a way of sending a message to the GOP elite. They didn’t get the message, by the way. We weren’t alone and ignoring what we were feeling is what led to the election of President Trump.
This year, however, with elections coming up, I would vote for any Republican candidate, including ones I distrust and dislike. Things are so volatile that I don’t know if there are any foregone conclusions and the danger of giving the Democrat Party any more control is present and real.
I will extol thee, O Lord for You have raised me up and have not suffered my enemies to rejoice over me. Psalms: 30.
Now is the time to step up to the plate. Please call and email as many Senators as you can. Thank Sen. Manchin for standing against bullying and for civility. Plead with Sen. Collins, Flake and Murkowski to reject the politics of personal destruction and the assumption of guilt until proven innocent. Of course, pray, pray and pray that our country has a future.
We have a neighbor with whom we have a congenial relationship. We exchange greetings when we pass and keep an eye on each other’s apartments.
We don’t know this neighbor’s politics, but if we had to guess my husband and I would assume that she swings left. The day after the Kavanaugh hearings we met her outside our building. “Hi. How’re you doing?,” was our admittedly perfunctory greeting. That unleashed a floodgate.
“I am so upset,” she said. “That’s why I’m pacing up and down here. I was in tears yesterday.” Without exchanging a word, my husband and I telepathically exchanged thoughts: What do we do now? If she starts ranting about how awful Republicans were not to believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, do we let her know our views on the matter or do we just get out of this conversation?
She continued. “I have been a victim of sexual abuse and I know when a woman is lying. I can’t believe the way they have tried to destroy a good man.” Our neighbor then said that she is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and, although an Independent, has often voted for Democrats. “I will not vote for a Democrat again and I am praying that Judge Kavanaugh gets on the Supreme Court.”
How many unreported tales like this are there around the country today?
The Senate Kavanaugh hearings, ostensibly to seek justice, were a disgrace for America. Pray that God turns it into an opportunity for people to see how corrosive hatred is and how fragile is the veneer of civilization. We need a reformation.