Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

America, Please, Don’t Do This!…by Robert M. Katzman

America, Please, Don’t Do this!

By Robert M. Katzman © July I, 2018 (Canada Day)

Eyes flicker open in the darkness. I hear the battery wall clock ticking, so I must still be living. Pale morning light is peeking past the loose drawn shades covering some of this small house’s dozen large windows. If this were a fort, no way to defend it. But on a sunny morning, cool wind outside, shades up and windows open a bit on four sides, I don’t need electricity to clear the stale air or illuminate my house.

Wearing my usual long black T-shirt with the screaming American Eagle on it, the one that stops near my knees so I always appear modestly dressed to a morning visitor, expected or not, except for the fact that its only about five ounces of opaque cotton, I decide to do my morning routine, parts of which I’m recording here for future anthropologists. Present day people may be less entranced.
(Read on …)

My Fierce Grandma Celia Warman, Her Thousand-Dollar Bar Mitzvah Gift to Me on the South Side of Chicago, 55 Years Ago……………….by Robert M. Katzman © April 13, 2018

    by Robert M. Katzman © April 13, 2018

55 years ago today, April 13, 1963, near the top of Pill Hill on the South Side of Chicago at a very large, very square synagogue named Rodfei Sholem or Chadash on 91st and Jeffery Avenue, I was still 12 years old and it was my Bar Mitzvah. But that Temple was so packed with members, that it had to schedule two Bar Mitzvahs at one time.

Many of the Hebrew School teachers were high-strung Israelis, only 15 years after the new country was formed, and they screamed at me all the time. This Bar Mitzvah, this singularly longed for day represented parole for me from my resented ethnic prison. I was free. I was done.

It took me four more years, on my own running a newsstand in Hyde Park by then, to figure out I really did completely accept my Jewish identity at 17, in 1967 and my personal life long self-education began that year and continues today, half a century later at almost 68.

99% of everyone who was at my Bar Mitzvah party are dead now. It is a lonely time to recall any of it, but I do remember the crowds. Now no one left to call and say: Do you remember…?

(Read on …)

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem (part 12)…by Robert M. Katzman

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem

by Robert M Katzman © December 4, 2017

 

I tilted my head to the Western Wall

Trying to summon the words

Conjuring up Fate to listen to me

Surrendering to that which can’t be seen

But nevertheless

 Heard

 

Why do you keep doing this?

You keep taking so many away

No one left to call and say:

Do you remember this perilous time?

(Read on …)

Sleeping With the Bedouins… (part 11-a) by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Friendship & Compassion,Israel,Jewish Themes,Travel — Bob at 9:33 am on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sleeping With The Bedouins (part 11-a)

By Robert M. Katzman © December 1, 2017

 

Bedouins, originally badawi in Arabic, are nomadic borderless Arabs of the desert.

 

I had been to Jordan before, with Rick Munden, in May 2000, where he and I both had bad problems with our feet at the end of our nine days in Israel. We were on our way to Petra, also known at one time as the Rose City because of the color of the mountains, which is now a world famous destination of a Nabataean civilization buried under the red sand for about 2000 years. Originally a bustling Arab community on the Silk Road to China located in a Roman province, it has incredible temples carved into the soft stone, Roman columns everywhere standing up and lying around like giant carved chips that fell off of a Las Vegas poker game table, a coliseum-like curved and stepped mass of seats facing whatever was entertaining them.

(Read on …)

David’s Star (in Israel-part 10)…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Depression and Hope,Israel,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Travel — Bob at 7:05 am on Friday, November 17, 2017

Copyright June 20, 2016

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

I am never unaware of it

Neither is anyone else

Quiet and discrete

Weighing nothing

But heavy with

Thousands of years

Of a people

The size of a dime

Beautifully carved

Like two interwoven triangles

The six-pointed Star

Never shouts

It murmurs (Read on …)

An American Jew’s Bold New Plan for a Sane, Peaceful and Prosperous State of Palestine (part 9)…by Robert M. Katzman

An American Jew’s Bold New Plan for a Sane, 

Peaceful and Prosperous State of Palestine

(part 9)

© by Robert M. Katzman

Man, I ain’t no dreamer—R. Katzman

Published May 18th, 2007 in honor of my father, Israel, on the seventh anniversary of his death, at age 87. I chose to not update the statistics because they aren’t the point of this article. This is about ideas. About change.

First, some background: My family came to America between 1902 and 1916 from Eastern Europe, where some of my immediate ancestors were murdered during the World War One years and the rest by Hitler later. They were non-combatants. I grew up with grim tales of unending, irrational persecution and in sync with my left-of-center politics beginning in the later Sixties, I wouldn’t wish that kind of terror and life on anyone.

(Read on …)

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