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« on Chairman Zero's foreign policy | Main | For Barry Rubin (and me) »

Monday, 29 March 2010


Mannie Sherberg
One little known fact about Norman Podhoretz is that, early in his career, he was more of a literary critic than a political commentator. He went on, of course, to edit "Commentary," socialize with many famous people and not a few great people, and attain a degree of influence few of us even aspire to. All of this sounds like the resume of an elitist -- a certified member of the meritocracy and an establishment insider. And yet, remarkably, Mr. Podhoretz has never -- to my knowledge (and I've read a huge amount of what he's written) -- demonstrated the slightest hint of elitism or condescension. There is a wonderful passage in "Pirke Avot": "Don't crave to sit at the king's table; your own table is better -- and so is your crown." Mr. Podhoretz has always shown the greatest respect for those who sit at their own tables and are satisfied with their own crowns. Yiddish has a word for people such as he; it is much overused, but in Mr. Podhoretz's case, genuinely deserved. He is a mensh. How fortunate the Jewish people are to have him!
Amen. Agreed. And we are fortunate to have you as well. Chag Sameach! to you and to MannyJ and to Ilan and Devorah, Omri, Ester Sarah, Nachum, Shmuel, Yehudit, Chaim, Ezra, Rivka, Dina, Yitzi, Yitzchok, Yonatan, Avigdor, Ruth, Hope and Uncle Bob, and all the rest of the family.
And Yael.
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