He gathered his friend’s dead flesh,
walked back and sat in a field reciting a psalm.
Kneeling, he signaled the signs of courage
and defeat with his bloody fingers,
each sign for each heart beat before the great dying.
An instinctive act, he ruminates.
He sounds the psalm like a warning bell,
befuddled by what he had done, unexpectedly,
chasing death in an everlasting tunnel,
an unending struggle to choose between
life and death, the blessing and the curse,
bonded like separate and one twin mountains.
New York’s favorite hipster photographer, Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York (or HONY, to those in the know!), just published a selection of portraits from his recent “unscheduled side trip” to Israel.
The photos, posted on his Humans of New York Facebook page, are no different than his other work: they are not politically driven — they just capture a snapshot of regular people’s lives. Israelis and Palestinians shared their hopes and dreams with Stanton as he roamed in and around Jerusalem.
It was a heady gathering of “Jewish Eagles” — ADL’s Abe Foxman, World Jewish Congress’ Ronald Lauder, ** AJC’s **David Harris, American Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations’ Malcolm Hoenlein and B’nai B’rith president Allan Jacobs gathered at the Fifth Avenue residence of Germany’s newly appointed Consul General Brita Wagener for the presentation of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Knight Commander’s Cross) to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel by Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Writing of Kafka’s tales, Walter Benjamin pointed out that Kafka’s tangled meanings “do not modestly lie at the feet of the doctrine, as the Haggadah lies at the feet of Halakah… they raise a mighty paw against it.” Benjamin, ultimately, juxtaposed the Jewish law (halachah) with mythic storytelling (aggadah), envisioning the rise of the latter from the downfall of the former. One can only imagine how pleased Benjamin would be reading Alexander Nemser’s poetry collection “The Sacrifice of Abraham,” released earlier this month from Bookieman.