Last week, I was walking in Manhattan getting from one meeting to the next, when I hear a voice slanting the words "dirty Jew" at me. As I turn around to see who had said them, I was slightly surprised to see a young boy, Caucasian of about 11 or 12 years of age. What's even more astonishing is that his mother was standing right behind him, apparently not caring about what her son was saying, nor rebuking him in any way or even apologizing to me on his behalf.
Living in the 21st century, where it is all about equality and tolerance, about acceptance and love for a fellow human being, no matter what their age, race, religion, background or anything else that might make them different from you, has me mistakenly thinking that the world is improving.
The fact that this mother let her son say what he said, and did not reprimand him, makes me wonder what this new generation is being taught. When an 11-year-old boy has no clue about tolerance and respect for one another, and thinks that calling someone "dirty Jew" is acceptable or even cool, then I think it is safe to say that we are in big trouble.
Anti-Semitism alone isn't the only problem, albeit being quite a significant one. In truth, and simply put, it is the lack of acceptance of another human being for whatever reason. These reasons are unjustified and irrelevant. No matter what our differences may or may not be, and at the risk of sounding too idealistic, we can and must overlook them for the sake of living in peace.
Being a sixth-generation American, my family has had the pleasure and honor of living in this blessed country for the past 130 years. I sincerely look forward to continue to reside in this great nation, happily and peacefully.
Therefore it is the job of parents everywhere to educate their children to become accepting and respecting individuals. We must teach our youth how to love and care for a fellow human being, for the country they live in and the planet they live on. We must instruct our future leaders and world inhabitants how to live in harmony among themselves. It is the only way to survive.
Rabbi Hanoch Hecht
Bread instead of cake? All 40 Republican senators and one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, used a filibuster to keep the unemployment extension bill from reaching a vote. The reason was that it would increase the federal deficit which is expected to soar to $1.4 trillion this year, according to DailyFinance.com.
What in the name of all that may be holy and left in this world does this say about our government? A $33 billion sum was recently asked to be voted on for the wars, the president and Mrs. spent $10 million on social functions this past year with Mrs. supporting a personal entourage of 25 people at the cost of over a million in combined salaries each month! I can readily see where cuts could be made, can you?
Congressmen voted themselves a raise this year, and Social Security recipients won't get the yearly cost of living allotment. Something is radically wrong! The consumer report says sales are down more than in seven months! How can sales increase if 10 million people can't buy anything? Shouldn't Congress have thought about the deficit when the new cabinet and president came on board?
Folks, we're at the bottom of the totem pole in the eyes of our government. It is shameful that unemployment extension is denied while billions/trillions are spent elsewhere and our leaders bask in luxury. An awful lot of folks will be eating bread instead of cake and you know where this could lead.
Lifespring adult learning
Kingston and surrounding area retired, semi-retired and other adults are invited to join the Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community for our second year of operation, 2010-2011. Classes are held at the United Methodist Church, which is handicapped-accessible, on the corner of Post and Washington in the Village of Saugerties. Classes start Sept. 21, meeting weekly on Tuesdays for six weeks.
The membership fee is $60 per year for two semesters, fall and spring. The fall schedule offers a total of 13 courses to choose from on a wide array of topics, including but not limited to Hudson Valley wildlife, biology, poetry, creating a handmade book, American democracy, and many more. Go to www.lifespringsaugerties.com for the complete catalog, or call (845) 246-2800 Ext. 452 to request a printed catalog. Registration deadline is Aug. 10.
Lifespring is a Town of Saugerties volunteer-run organization, supported by membership fees and volunteers who perform all necessary functions. There are many ways that Lifespring members help make the program successful, from serving on the curriculum committee, running AV equipment, being a class manager, or in short-term volunteer capacities. If you are seeking a way to share your energy, skills, and interests, we will welcome you and put you to work!
Course instructors are not paid, but volunteer to teach because they have strong interests that they love to share. If you are interested in teaching, please contact Lifespring as above.
Reading Bob Berman's "This Conscious Universe" (Alm@nac, July 1) reminds me that quantum physics has turned scientists into philosophers and metaphysicians. Not since the ancient Greeks has metaphysics and the science of physics been so intertwined. Before the development of modern science one could speculate almost endlessly on the nature of the universe. The scientific method separated metaphysics from physics as the telescope and microscope gave us an understanding of the very large and very small. Now, it seems, we have come full circle as physicists have pushed the bounds of our knowledge to the point where no one really can say what is real. Witness the theory of "Biocenterism" and the concept of the conscious universe as proposed by Bob Berman and Robert Lanza, M.D. If correct the universe is a single intelligent entity that made everything "just right" for beings like us. This is truly a "far out" theory that boggles the mind, but as Mr. Berman states we live in a very peculiar cosmos.