Monday, November 08, 2004

Great Books: "On the Other Hand..."

This book, subtitled "Jewish Words of Wisdom" came into my possession because it was $4.95 on one of those big tables at the Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica, CA. You know how it is, you go spend a half hour/ an hour in B&N or Borders, you read a few magazines, peruse a few books in Travel and Science (as if you will ever go to Egypt or map the genome), and then on your way out the door you get sucked into one of those "little" books that you can't put down because it is such an easy read. I picked up, but then put back, "The Mini Chicken Soup for the Cynical Bloggers Soul," so at least I have some kind of literary discernment, right? But the one that got me was the above "little" book.

What made me buy it was the following two quotes, which had me in hysterics even though my lovely friend L who accompanied me to the bookstore thought I was off my rocker:

1) Jewish Curses: May all your teeth fall out except one, and that one should ache you. [anonymous]
2) L'Chaim (To Life!): I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks. [Joe E. Lewis]

But most importantly, it said the following:

"America has given to the world a precious jewel. It has shown that a government whose concerns are purely secular and which leaves to the individual conscience of its citizenry all obligations that relate to God is the one which is actually the most friendly to religion. It is a precious jewel that we have. We should guard it well."
----Leo Pfeffer 1910-1993

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