Thursday, May 6, 2021 -
Print Edition

Blessed is the ache

I could rue Israel’s endless political gridlock, or bemoan the missing screw in the Pesach pot that used to hold its knob in place, or wonder what will be, given mass shootings all over America, or doubt my car dealer’s ignorance of any place to repair the ever widening tear on my Xterra’s driver seat, or see red over the misguided Biden outreach to Iran, or marvel that even seemingly permanent fixtures in life die (Jack Greenwald comes to mind), or mourn the full year it will take for Passover to roll around again; or, I wish I could find the unpaired sock that disappeared in the wash, or photocopy the hardbound copy of three years of my high school newspaper, whose edges are swallowed up in the binding, without tearing the book apart, or read a new article in The New York Times without reading an admixture of reportage and opinion.

I might do or desire all this.

Instead, I think I’ll position myself around town so that the snow-capped Mt. Evans comes into unobstructed view.

Or maybe I’ll marvel at the poignant greenage poking its head out of the ground in our back yard.

Maybe I’ll savor the fine writing in Betsy-Tacy or the brilliant footnotes in the Artscroll Talmud.

Or anticipate a sweet malapropism from one of my grandchildren learning to speak.

Actually, all I need to do to step outside under the Colorado sun and cool spring breeze, and close my eyes.

Or give thanks for the vaccine.

Or for the blessed ache in my arm as it lifts a weight.

Or for my wife Elaine’s salmon that melts in the mouth.

Alongside all this I can find so many things more enchanting than the political plight or the small annoyances of life. Things like memories of my Uncle Willie imitating the grandfather I never knew. Or a bon mot of Abba Eban: “An expert is someone who knows everything — but nothing else.”

Or the colorful image of the rabbinic sages for Eban’s expert: “a donkey piled high with books.”

I might even indulge my perverse pleasure of getting rid of things, throwing them out, weeding out the dross, which, mirabile dictu, always leaves me with a higher pile than I started with! This, not Einstein’s unified field theory, is the great mystery of life.

All this heavy stuff thrown at us:


Conditional whiteness.

Pay for slay.

Reeducation in China.

Listen to the science (that I want you to hear).

Fairness Doctrine.




I prefer the other, corresponding, yet opposite presences:



No man is an island.


The skepticism that underlies science.

Think for myself.


Our beautiful world.

Copyright © 2021 by the Intermountain Jewish News

IJN Executive Editor |

Leave a Reply