A few years ago, at the age of eighty, Samuel Menashe became the first recipient of the “Neglected Masters Award” from The Poetry Foundation.
And a master he is, without much doubt. I suppose that almost any worthy contemporary poet might qualify to be described as “neglected,” at least relatively speaking. After all, in these modern times when our entertainment comes buzzing down wires at the speed of light directly into our veins and our neurons, even to slow down sufficiently to pick up and read a book of poetry is to flirt with a possibly fatal whiplash injury.
Nonetheless, Samuel Menashe’s work has a kind of Continue reading Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems
Rabbi Leon Klenicki died this past January 25th, and may he rest in peace. By all accounts he was a giant for the last several decades in the field of Jewish/Christian dialogue.
In 1989, a book was published called “Believing Today: Jew & Christian in Conversation.” It was in effect a conversation between Rabbi Klenicki and Richard John Neuhaus (then a Lutheran pastor). I’ve found this little book to be endlessly fascinating, and I get some fresh illumination every time I pick it up again. Neither Klenicki nor Neuhaus are pretending to represent every practitioner of their respective faiths; it is just what it is: a conversation between two intelligent and knowledgeable believers who value being faithful to their respective traditions. There is no subject from which the two men shy away, be it the history of Christian anti-Semitism, the holocaust, the Messiah, the secularizing impulses of American Jewry, etc, etc. The book is not about holding hands and pretending that everyone believes the same things, but rather about understanding differences, and probing for genuine and firmly-based common ground. Which seem like good goals for Jewish/Christian relations in general. Continue reading Rabbi Leon Klenicki
Oh, Jesus: if only You could sue. From the Associated Press: NYC cabbie mistakenly beaten by good Samaritans.
Police said a cab driver who tried to take a purse from a woman fare beater was beaten by a group of good Samaritans who thought they were seeing a robbery. Police said it happened Saturday morning near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal when four woman[sic], who had been club-going, got into a fight with the cab driver over the fare. Continue reading The Parable of the Bad-Ass Good Samaritans