On August 29, 2011, I took my three kids to a New York Mets baseball game and was sitting in the front row. During the last inning, my 12-year-old son Eliezer was hit in the face by a line drive (the clip is on YouTube, “Baseball hits boy, Mets-Marlins”). He was rushed to the hospital and received eight stitches; he was discharged the next day.
Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement, is the supreme moment of Jewish time, a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment. At no other time are we so sharply conscious of standing before God, of being known by Him. But it begins in the strangest of ways.
During a recent trip to Rwanda, former president Bill Clinton lamented his failure in 1994 to intervene in that country’s genocidal massacres. “I don’t think we could have ended the violence, but I think we could have cut it down. And I regret it.”
The year 1984, by Gregorian reckoning, came and went, and Americans seemed to have dodged the Nineteen-Eighty-Four bullet. We weren’t being interned for reeducation by a Ministry of Love. Although conservative, constitutionalist, limited-government ideas came under relentless attack in the mainstream media and the academy, those who expressed the ideas remained free to do so. (They in fact became freer with the lifting under Reagan of the genuinely Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine.”) In 2012, the atmosphere has changed.
Despite the deteriorating security situation along the Egyptian-Israeli border, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has rejected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s request to reconsider the terms of the 1979 Camp David Accords. Morsi wants a substantial increase in the number of Egyptian tanks and armored divisions to patrol what has seemingly become the lawless Sinai Peninsula.