So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn's conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality, ' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.
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APAChristopher Hitchens Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=so-i-close-this-long-reflection-on-what-i-hope-is-nottooquaveringly-semisemitic-note-when-i-am-at-home-i-will-only-enter-synagogue-for-bar-bat-mitzvah-friends-child-in-order-to-h
ChicagoChristopher Hitchens Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2020. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=so-i-close-this-long-reflection-on-what-i-hope-is-nottooquaveringly-semisemitic-note-when-i-am-at-home-i-will-only-enter-synagogue-for-bar-bat-mitzvah-friends-child-in-order-to-h, accessed .
MLA"Christopher Hitchens Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2020. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=so-i-close-this-long-reflection-on-what-i-hope-is-nottooquaveringly-semisemitic-note-when-i-am-at-home-i-will-only-enter-synagogue-for-bar-bat-mitzvah-friends-child-in-order-to-h
Writing is what's important to me, and anything that helps me do that - or enhances and prolongs and deepens and sometimes intensifies argument and conversation - is worth it to me. [It is] impossible for me to imagine having my life without going to those parties, without having those late nights, without that second bottle.
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Jesus, it is true, shows no personal interest in gain, but he does speak of treasure in heaven and even of mansions as an inducement to follow him. Is it not further true that all religions down the ages have shown a keen interest in the amassment of material goods in the real world?
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To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness.
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To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty.' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.
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