Thursday, March 5, 2009


Rebbegeld is what one pays the rebbe for teaching the kids; figuratively it means the costs we bear to learn life's lessons.

Herb Kenion thinks he's sees a pattern of the Obama administration learning curve in matters of foreign affairs. First, assume Bush had it all wrong, and we'll do it better. Second, send some representatives to listen to the putative Bad Guys, to find a way of engaging them. Third, recognize that they really are problamatic, and revert to a stance that's quite similar to the previous one. (Fourth, he doesn't say, never ever admit that the previous gang more or less knew what it was doing).

So it was with Durban 2, with Iraq, now with Syria, soon to be with Iran... I can live with it. If it makes more Americans happy for having tried to play nice, while enough of their adminsitration are capable of admitting failure, I have no problem with the rebbegeld.


joseph said...

Dr. Lozowick,

This is off topic, but does pertain to your field of expertise. Pius XII was in the news today. It seems that the Vatican just released some archival evidence that he had directed monasteries to shelter Jews from the Nazis. Having read a little on the issue of Pope Pius and the Holocaust, I remain without a firm conclusion to the issue. What is your opinion of his culpability?


Yaacov said...

Hi Joe -
I'm no expert on the subject - but then again, no one can be, since the Vatican has yet to open its full archival record of the period, which means no-one can see the documents. Given that documents are the closest one can come to knowing what was going on between people who are no longer with us and can't be asked; and given that even if one could still ask, documents often tell a different story than the narratives of the participants, not having access is a bit of a problem.