This has been an interesting week for me as I continue to wait for a house that seems to be just beyond my fingertips. The latest projection has us moving in during the beginning of November, but I am not getting excited until we actually have a closing date. This was the week of the Jewish New Year, and it seemed an appropriate time to read the book Unspeakable Prayers by John Ellsworth. It is a bit of historical fiction mixing the Holocaust with a modern day legal thriller. I really enjoyed the book and the ideas it made me ponder. For example, as a young man, Hitler was an artist who never quite made it. If the right gallery had displayed his works and his art been noticed, would the Holocaust have ever happened? How many forks in the road could have changed the world we know if one person chose to take a different path?
Our Rabbi's sermon interested me this year, too. When he began by mentioning the Iran Treaty, I almost shut down. I needed a rest from politics and expected to find it here. Luckily I persevered, because as usual, his words hit home for me. He started by saying the treaty is a bad, bad thing, BUT not for the reasons we think. He admitted that he was not trained in diplomatic affairs of the world and was not privy to the information that the treaty designers shared with each other, so he couldn't discuss its value. What he did see however, was that it was tearing us apart as a country. He watches people calling one-time friends disloyal to their country, whether they are for or against the treaty. He watches people taking stands without the full knowledge that is necessary to understand what the outcome will be. He never really said whether he personally accepted the treaty but instead beseeched us to come together as a country and stop trying to tear down anyone whose ideas differ from our own. That is what makes this treaty a bad one, he repeated. It is breaking apart a country that needs to stand together in the face of those who might want to do us harm.
If you are on Facebook or Twitter than I am sure that you have been as inundated as I have with political jabs from both sides. The little "news blurbs" that are being shared are equally slanted to the right or left and almost exclusively factually incorrect. I have decided to believe nothing until I put it through the fact-checks that are available, and even then I will take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully, we will all have the wisdom to elect a President who will continue to keep our country strong and respected. Sometimes I think we take these freedoms for granted and need to look at the world around us to gain perspective.
The second book that I reviewed this week was also quite thought provoking. I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui and translated by Linda Coverdale made me realize that much of the world's population desperately longs for a small percentage of the freedoms that we possess in America. Nujood's arranged marriage at 10 left her vulnerable to constant rape and beatings. Reading about this young woman's struggle for freedom and the right to be a child was awe inspiring.
Although this week's books are a bit heavier than many I have reviewed, they are both well written and interesting. Complete reviews will follow this blog.