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Thursday, June 22, 2017

FirstTrip to Eastern Europe

Dear Friends and Family:

Two of our best friends are currently leading a NFTY group through Prague and Poland and then on to Israel.  My wife and I did this twice in the past few years.  Here is a recall of my first trip to Eastern Europe.

                                                                                                 November, 2000

Dear Friends and Family:

It's unusual for me to find myself in our Beit T'fillah (outdoor chapel) at 10 p.m. on a Friday night in October, all by my lonesome.  But, as I returned, last month, from a UAHC (now URJ) Camp Directors' trip to the Czech Republic and Poland, I didn't feel I had reached my destination until I arrived at our Beit T'fillah.  

We took off on a grueling, six-day, experience, stepping back into the distant and cerebral past of the middle ages, and to the not so distant, emotional past of our Eastern European Jewish history.  It was quite a personal voyage for me.  You see, three of my grandparents came to America in the early 1900's from Prague, Czechoslovakia.  Czech was spoken at our family get-togethers around tables filled with Bohemian foods.  It just wasn't Thanksgiving if we weren't all at my Aunt Lill's on Chicago's West side, digging into the goose, dumplings, and cabbage along with the newer traditions, turkey, stuffing, and cranberries.  The beer was Pilsner Urquell.  We belonged to B’nai Jehoshua, a synagogue made up of mostly Czech families.  Enough said.  I knew I was a Czech Jew.

At several stops along the way that week, the realities of our Jewish past stepped up to splash their ice water in my face.  The first was in a small synagogue in Prague where the living had honored the names of all Czech Jews deported by the Nazis, by listing them on the synagogue walls and ceilings.  I stood there under the names of my Mother's family, the Steiners, who I would never meet or know.  These were the relatives after which my Aunts and even my Grandfather were named.  Until that moment I had never felt so related to our enemy's victims.  I felt a deep connection to that family I would never know, but eternally miss.  The names on that ceiling drew me right into the horrors of that time.      

We left the Technicolor Prague for a black and white Warsaw and Krakow.  Warsaw is a gray, cement block city where most of our Jewish presence has been erased.  But, I did stand on Mila Street to honor the well-known Mordachai Anielewicz, leader of the ghetto revolt against the Nazi monsters.  Standing on that street also gave me the opportunity to honor the not-so-well-known Moshe Pashtan, z"l, who, born on that street, escaped the ghetto as a child to Germany (of all places) and then to Israel, only to wind up sharing a tent with me for a summer as my Assistant Tzofim Unit Head at Olin-Sang-Ruby in 1969.  Moshe and I took a bus to New York after camp that summer.  I was leaving for a year (due mostly to Moshe's summer-long prodding) on my first pilgrimage to Israel.  For me, Mila was Pashtan's street.  It was one of the many spots I stopped to whisper the Kaddish.

I prayed again at the Jewish cemetery of Warsaw.  It's overwhelming to stand amid the 250,000 Jewish graves, to read the Hebrew on the tombstones, to understand the poetry of their old words.  It's another strong connection.  This is where the enormity of our loss starts to become real.  Kaddish seemed inadequate to me.  But it was all I knew to say, a way to thank God for giving me life, to remember and to continue.  In retrospect, Kaddish was the perfect Jewish memorial. 

After a " From Russia With Love" style train ride to Krakow, thirty miles or so from my Father's family's hometown (The Klotz's came from Tarnov), we bused to the emotional apex of our trip, Auschwitz and Birkenau, Nazi work and death camps.  Passing under that wrought iron sign "Arbact Macht Frei" (work will make you free), walking through a gas chamber, seeing the ovens, strips away the distance and protection the filters of film, printed word, even personal testimony of survivors affords.  Being there makes it real. Very real.  The impact is so deep it takes the breath away. 

Finally, it's Birkinau.  This is where the train tracks end; the camp built solely for the purpose of killing Jews.  A million and a half of our grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins stepped out of their cattle cars and departed this world at that wrenched place.  Men to the left, women and children to the right.  Being there brings the inescapable thought that it could have been me.  It could have been you.  Then the reality, it was me and it was you.  To the left and to the right; stripped, gassed, cremated, ashes dumped into two small pools of water.  All that remains are those pools.  We were numb standing by the water.  We neither cried nor screamed.  Just numb.  Rabbi Allan Smith, our guide that day began our ascent from those depths with a worship service in the area adjacent to the water pools filled with ashes.  We shared some of our thoughts along with the prayers.  Then he led us in the opposite direction the 800,000 women and children took as they marched to their deaths down a half-mile brick path.  They are in the pools.  We rise from the place of the ashes to carry on and do our work and live as Jews.  I stopped and dug up a few pieces of brick from that path.  So many children had stepped there.  I needed something in my pocket to hold on to.  When my group talked a bit about the experience I told my colleagues that, after the sadness and the anger, I felt an intense sense of pride and confirmation.  Pride in carrying on our Jewish heritage.  Pride in my ethnicity, my faith, my membership in Am Yisrael.  This was an experience that confirmed all of the above and even more, the work we do, not only here at camp and in NFTY, but in every synagogue, and in every home where our kids learn to sing the Shabbat blessings and light the Chanukiot.  I've always maintained that it is sacred work, teaching kids to love Judaism and strengthening their Jewish identities.  But now, after having been in this place, I felt I was carrying home the blessings of those who walked that brick path.  I'm honored to carry the torch into the future.

So, I returned late on a Friday night, exhausted after over thirty hours of travel.  On the way home from the airport I took a left instead of a right and wound up at camp (just a minute out of the way).  Closed and dark, it's still GUCI.  I took ten minutes to sit in our Beit T'fillah imagining and remembering the voices of our campers and staff, singing our prayers, fanning away the heat with prayer cards.  That's how I completed this extraordinary trip.

And so, I headed home, my pockets lumpy with pieces of brick.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rainy Days and Mondays Never Get Me Down

                                                                                                                        May 2017

Dear Family and Friends:

Sounds crazy but when I was a kid I used to hope for rain on Saturdays.  We lived on the Northside of Chicago, on Greenview Avenue, a couple of blocks from the lake.  There was always plenty to do when the sun shone.  I could ride my bike up to Gale school on Ashland and find a ball game to play, or ride down Sheridan Rd with a few buddies all the way to Northwestern U. or the Bahai Temple.  But rainy Saturdays were special.

My dad, Arnold, loved to play golf.  He played every Saturday morning until the snows came.  I can’t remember waking up on a warm Saturday morning to find my Dad home.  He’d be out on the course.  I think he used to get up around five so he could make his foursome way out south on a course somewhere around 95th and Cicero.  He’d come home around one.  Dad’s usual routine was to eat lunch, put on the Cubs game and fall asleep on the couch.  If I changed the channel he’d bark…”Hey.  I was watching that.”  So of course, I’d go out and play…something.  But when it rained on Saturday afternoons the routine changed.  We’d grab our raincoats and hike down Howard Street to the Howard Theater to see a movie.  In my imperfect memory I remember doing this every time that rain came down.

As I think back, I don’t remember doing many things with my father, just the two of us.  Maybe that’s why those afternoons were so special.  There are two other summer father/son outings I remember.  Once each summer my dad would take me horseback riding and once a summer we’d go to Riverview Park to ride the roller coasters.

 At Riverview we’d ride the Silver Streak and the Blue Flash, and never miss the Shoot the Shoots.  Shoot the Shoots was a boat ride through dark passageways and then on to an elevator and then down a steep incline.  At the bottom it plunged into a small lake, water splashed up everywhere.  Everyone got wet.  We loved it.  On the roller coasters we’d usually sit in the last two seats if we could.  That’s where you get whipped around the most (at least that’s what we thought).  Except when we rode the Bobs.  The Bobs was the fastest coaster at Riverview.  On the Bobs we’d wait in line until we could sit in the first two seats.  With nothing in front of you, that first drop and first turn would scare the you-know-what out of you.   Both my dad and I always laughed from start to finish on the roller coasters.

Riverview trips were great, but I seem to have more of an emotional memory of going to the movies on rainy Saturday afternoons.  So today it’s late in May, university students gone for the summer, Hillel closed, the perfect time to get out on my boat and sail, but for the rain.  I’m sitting here looking out the window at a rainy day and thinking of my dad.  It’s good.  I’d love to sail, but thinking of those days long gone is OK too.

Karen Carpenter sang, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down.”  She didn’t have those rainy Saturday afternoons with my dad, Arnie.  I’m glad I did.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Being Jewish In your Heart

Dear Family and Friends:

Well, this blog of mine seems to have reached a sort of milestone.  As of today it has been opened 60,540 times.  Thanks to Linda Ross Brenner who started me on this path a couple of years ago (she argued. "you need a blog to preserve all of your 'Staff Letters' for your grandchildren."  How could I refuse?). So for the sake of nostalgia, even though it isn't throw back Thursday, here's the first old Staff Letter...or the oldest i could find.  


                                                                                                September, 1989

Dear G.U.C.I. Staff:

Now that most of us are back to it in the world of school and work, footballs
are (thank goodness) finally flying, and thoughts of last summer surround
themselves with a hazy glow, it may be an appropriate time to consider our own
personal religious connections.  For me, the autumn (perhaps my favorite season
of the year) is a season of conflict.  On the one hand, it is such a colorful
season and vigorous time of the year that I feel uplifted, kind of ready to
start tackling the challenges and opportunities of the next camp year.  On the
other hand however, I most certainly feel a Jewish letdown with the ending of
camp and all of its intensity and spirit.  These mixed feelings have led me to
thoughts concerning our ongoing Jewish connections and commitments.

I have often heard the saying "It's hard to be Jewish," and accepted it as a
matter of fact.  Now I wonder if that acceptance isn't just an excuse to lay
off some of the burdens of Jewish living.  It is hard to be Jewish because we
have to go out of our way to be it.  I think this is especially true for those
of us living  on campus.  As I recall, my undergraduate years were almost a
complete vacation from Jewish activity.  During those years,  camp was my
"Jewish fix" and had to last me from one summer to the next. My new found
college "freedom" allowed me to exercise a certain rebellion against anything
"organized" and/or "institutional" like my synagogue, or even Shabbat services
on campus.  Looking back on that time now, I realize that those feelings
created a void in my life that even camp couldn't fill.

The Rabbis tell us that one cannot be Jewish alone; that a Jew must be a part
of his or her Jewish community.  The great Rabbi Hillel taught, "Do not
separate yourself from the community."  I would argue that one must be able to
first be Jewish alone, before he/she can really connect with the community. 
Being Jewish in your own heart and mind, carrying with you a sense of
Jewishness, yes, even "Looking at the world through Jewish eyes," is the first
essential ingredient in that catch-all phrase we use so often, "Jewish

I hope that the spirit and sense of community we built together at
camp this summer helps each of us feel Jewish in our hearts and minds.  But I
also agree that this is not enough.  Ultimately the Rabbis are correct.  Jews
need other Jews.  Consider sharing your Jewishness with others.  Just as it is
at camp, your own spirit can be renewed and enhanced when it is shared. 

As the High Holy Days approach, I hope you will think of the warm and wonderful
Jewish community we created together this summer at G.U.C.I.  I also hope that
same spirit will move you to make your place among our extended Jewish family. 
Along with many of the important things life has to offer us, being a part of
Klal Yisrael can be most fulfilling.  When it is, being Jewish ceases to be a
burden and becomes a gift.

I wish you and your family all the best in the coming new year. L'Shannah Tova,


Friday, April 14, 2017

From Holocaust to Vegetables

Dear Family and Friends:                                                               April, 2017

You know, I meet some interesting folks during my rabbi hours.  I have told you about some in the past.  I still stroll over to the Indiana University Memorial Union every Thursday afternoon, sit at a table at Starbucks, and put up a table tent that says something like, "Rabbi on Duty.  Keep Calm and Ask the Rabbi.  Ask me anything."  Interestingly, most of the people who do stop by are not Jewish, but have questions about Jews, Judaism, or sometimes Israel.

Last Thursday an older gentleman sat down across from me and introduced himself as, let’s call him Robert...something.  His last name was long, unpronounceable, and filled with consonants.  He told me that (in this order) he was Polish, a botanist, and from the south side of Chicago, now living in Bloomington.  So we immediately had three connecting points.  One of my grandfathers came from Tarnow, Poland, I grew up in Chicago, and I too now live in Bloomington.  Robert proceeded to say that he wanted to know everything about his Polish heritage.  He had studied Polish, traveled to Poland, etc.  And his goal in life was to help people grow better plants.  We did a little Jewish (in this case Polish/Chicago) geography and discovered that he had been a landscape architect in Indianapolis and as a matter of fact had done work for a family that lived directly across the street from the camp I directed.  He knew the camp but not exactly what it was all about.  I knew the family he had worked for.  OK.  That was the small talk.

When I asked him what prompted him to sit down with me he said that he had a question.  

"What do post-Holocaust Jews think of the Polish people?"   

I get questions about Jewish holidays, philosophy, and life after death, politics, bible.  This was a question with no easy answer.  I told my visitor about the two trips my wife, Juca and I made, chaperoning groups of high school students to Prague and then on to Krakow and Warsaw, including the concentration camps.  I said that we really wanted Poland to be ugly so we could totally dislike it.  But no, it was beautiful and the Poles we interacted with were very nice.  But I also told him of conversations I had with a few on those trips regarding World War II and the Holocaust.  In each case the Poles were adamant that all of the troubles were the fault of the Germans. 

Robert responded with a single word, "Bullshit!"  We both knew that some Poles had saved Jewish lives at the risk of their own, but most had no love for the Jews.   

We talked a bit about the Partisan underground resistance to the Nazis in Poland and Russia, and about the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt.  Then our conversation shifted gears toward botany.  This fellow, at sixty-nine years of age had decided that he wanted to change the world by teaching regular, everyday people how to grow better vegetables.  He asked if I had any ideas as to how he might accomplish this.  I responded by telling him of the cartoon I had in my office for years that preached, "First the socks...then the shoes."  Start small and build.

I had two ideas for Robert.  I described this blog to him and that it has had almost 60,000 openings since it began.  I recommended that he look into beginning his own blog; just with friends, students, and colleagues.  It just might grow and expand as one person shares it with another.  He liked the idea.

Idea number two (because I am so social media minded...not) occurred to me from hearing one of my former camper's podcast about summer camp.  A recorded podcast/radio program, featuring Robert’s ideas with guests etc, might just catch on.  I asked him if he had any connections with either students or professors in the school of informatics.  He said that he did.  I was sure that any one in that field could advise him as to how to initiate either a blog or podcast.  As a backup he could turn to Google.

I think this Robert….something is going to look into these two ideas.  We left off by noting that I'm here every Thursday (like a stand-up comic) and that I'd love for him to drop by and let me know how it's going.  

That was a good talk; from Holocaust to vegetables.  You know, I meet some interesting folks during my rabbi hours.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

On Being Your Own Best Friend

Here is an old post .  I put it up again in response to a conversation I had with a student here at IU.  Still a good thought, I think.

Dear Family and Friends:                                                               March, 2017

Here's a question I'm pretty sure you haven't been asked before, "What's your
ace in the hole?"  An ace in the  hole, you know?  That's the one thing that
bails you out when all else fails.  The one thing that only you know, that is
sure, that you can always count on.  What is your personal ace in the hole? 
Let me give you a couple of tips.  ONE:  everyone needs one, and TWO:  if you
haven't thought about this, you should.

The real point here is that life is hard and often filled with disappointments.  What do we do when things fall apart?  What is our last line of defense when the blitz is on and there are no more blockers (sorry for the football analogy, but I'm still grieving over this Bears' season)? 

I think it is crucial that we all realize how important we are to ourselves.  That's
right!  No matter what happens, I am going to continue to be my own best
friend.  I like me.  And even at those times when I don't like me that much
because I have screwed something up (impossible, not the great Ron Klotz?), I
try to pep myself up, regroup, so to speak, and inevitably I regain my
friendship with myself.  I'm not talking about being conceited, cock-sure, full
of myself, or anything like that.  This is a personal thing - no one else knows
about it (until now).  It's strictly between me and myself, and it certainly is
my ace in the hole.

If you're interested, find a copy of Paul Simon's recording of "One Trick
Pony."  It is not a very well known album, actually the soundtrack from the
movie he starred in (I digress).  You will find a song there called, "Ace In
The Hole."  I have been thinking about that song and this idea for a long
time.  Paul Simon always asks important questions - you won't be disappointed
in this record.  He says, "Ace in the hole - lean on me - don't you know me,
I'm your guarantee."  And that is just what we all need, a guarantee.

We all know another great songwriter's work, Rabbi Hillel, who wrote, "Im Ain
Ani Li Mi?"  If I am not for myself who am I for?  The rest of the song is
important too, but without this first statement we are lost.  I think it is
good for a person to talk to him/herself (not out loud or people will start
looking at you funny).  Remind yourself of just how good you are, when things
are bad.  Be good to yourself.  Be a friend.  Do for yourself what you would do
to help someone else who is down in the dumps.  It's a private thing, and it

If this all sounds silly to you, well you can just toss this letter.  After
all, it's a private thing.  It's about MY ace in the hole - what's yours?


Thursday, March 2, 2017

It's an old fight...but Stand Up, Speak Out and be PROUD!

Dear Friends and Family:

I posted this three years ago.  I am sorry to say that it seems to take on added importance today.


Please find below the latest blog from AJC’s Executive Director David Harris. This blog was published in The Huffington Post and The Jerusalem Post.
By David Harris
(This blog was published in The Huffington Post and The Jerusalem Post.)
When my mother turned 80, she spoke out for the first time in “Letter from an Octogenarian.”
At the time, she wrote: “I never thought I would live to see the day when ‘Death to the Jews’ was again heard, as it has been heard in Europe, the Muslim world, and even North America, much less read the unsettling cover story in New York magazine (December 15, 2003) entitled ‘The New Face of Anti-Semitism.’”
Now, 11 years later, she feels the need to speak out once again. Here’s what she has to say:
My name is Nelly Harris.
I was born on August 4, 1923, in Moscow.
My parents, Ida and Lova, had moved there from Belarus, when it became possible for Jews to leave the Pale of Settlement and live in a major Russian city. Their hope was for a fresh start after the fall of the czarist regime and the end of the Romanov Dynasty.
But it wasn’t to be. The Bolsheviks imposed their own tyranny, and the Jews, among others, were to face daunting new challenges.
In 1929, at the age of six, I left the Soviet Union with my parents and older brother, Yuli. We were among the last to leave before Stalin totally shut the exit doors.
We arrived in France as refugees.
We had to start over – new language, new culture, new everything. And not everyone was especially welcoming to a Russian Jewish child, as I quickly learned in my new school.
Still, we were away from communism, and being Jewish became a personal choice, not the government’s decision.
All went more or less well until 1940, when the Nazis invaded France. Those who believed in the power of the French military and the invincibility of the Maginot Line were quickly disabused of their trust.
Once again, my family and I were on the road, this time trying to stay ahead of the advancing Nazis and their Vichy French allies.
For 17 months, we fled, feared, hid, waited, and hoped.
In the end, after knocking on the doors of the American consulate and countless others, we were lucky. We were able to get entry visas for America, when so many others could not.
In November 1941, we boarded a ship from Lisbon for New York.
We arrived in America on the eve of Pearl Harbor, refugees for the second time. Again, we had to start over.
But it didn’t matter. Most important, we were free, even as we worried about the fate of those Jews, including family members, still in Europe.
I’m not sure a native-born American can fully appreciate the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. When we saw it for the first time, it wasn’t the stuff of tourism. Rather, it was like a protective blanket, a message to us that we were now home and welcome.
Within months, I went to work. I learned English wherever I could, and continued working for the next 65 years. It wasn’t always easy, but not a day passed that I didn’t give thanks for the blessing of America.
Sure, this country has its flaws, but there’s no other nation that holds out as much hope for humankind. I only wish more Americans realized the gift they’ve been given by the chance to live here.
So, if all is so good, why do I now write? For the same reason I did 11 years ago.
The world is a more dangerous place and I fear for the future – not my own, as my life is nearing the finish line, but for those who follow me, including my precious grandchildren.
True, I’m a Jewish grandmother and worrying is part of the job description. But I also worry because I lived through some of the most tumultuous events of the past century. Even though America too often gives short shrift to the elderly, believing instead in a cult of youth, there’s one advantage older people have – real-life experience.
I know the world needs American leadership. Without it, a dangerous vacuum is created and bad actors step in.
I know the slippery slope that begins with anti-Semitic rants and chants in the streets of Europe. If allowed to continue, the path to dehumanizing the Jews becomes all too familiar.
I know what happens if Jews try to bury their heads in the sand, wishing to believe there’s no danger, or if there is, it’s about “other” Jews, not them.
I saw it in France. When the warning bells began to sound in 1940, some Jews tried to convince themselves it was about foreign-born Jews, not French-born Jews, or about religiously observant Jews, not assimilated Jews. How wrong they were!
Since the war, I’ve seen some Jews try to shed their identity, just make it go away. I can’t understand why. I’m proud to be a Jew and won’t give anyone the satisfaction of disappearing voluntarily because of their irrational hatred. 
And I see much of that irrational hatred now directed at Israel. It’s a new form of an old disease. Israel has as much right to live in peace as any other nation, yet it’s not allowed to. Moreover, it’s judged in ways no other country is.
Oh, and by the way, the Palestinians are not the world’s first and only refugees, though from listening to the discussions and reading the newspapers, you might think so.
The Arabs started wars. What wars don’t create refugees? But unlike other refugees, including my family, the Palestinians, it seems, would rather wallow in self-pity than build new lives. How sad!
Those newspapers, incidentally, include the New York Times, the paper I’ve read daily for over six decades. No longer. I just cancelled my subscription. There’s not a lot I can do at my age to fight back, but that’s one small gesture. I’m not paying for a newspaper that has a strange obsession with Israel, and fails to grasp the true nature of its enemies.
But then again, my neighbor’s daughter, Laurel Leff, wrote an entire book, Buried by the Times, on how shamefully the paper dealt with the Holocaust 70 years ago.
I don’t know where I’ll be on August 4, 2023, my 100th birthday, but I can only hope there won’t be the need for another cri de coeur.
Instead, I pray the world will look back on the past century, learn its central lessons, and ensure that others, Jews and non-Jews alike, don’t have to endure what we did.
Wouldn’t that be a worthy legacy to pass on to future generations

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gemilut Hasadim, Acts of Loving Garbage

                                                                                                            February, 2017

Dear Family and Friends:

I am indeed fortunate to live in Bloomington, Indiana.  Besides the great university that brings music, art, even Broadway to town, I find this town filled with folks who want to do good things for others.  Bloomington is like an oasis of liberal and caring people in the very conservative state of Indiana.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our fair share of narrow-minded, let’s go back to the 1950’s folk as well. But what stands out in my mind are those around me who actively work to make this a better world.  Just among the small circle of people we know there are those advocating for abused children in our court system, those promoting solar energy, friends working to help settle refugees in Bloomington, folks working to ease the homeless problems here, interfaith initiatives, Muslim/Jewish relations, groups promoting less use of plastic bags in grocery stores, and on and on.  It is quite inspirational to think that so many people in this small community are concerned about the world, the future, equality, and safety for all.

But what I really want to talk to you about is garbage.  That’s right; garbage.  You see, every Monday morning around 8:30 our garbage men arrive to collect the trash.  You know the drill.  I think it must be the same everywhere.  At least it has always been this way wherever I have lived.  It goes like this.  The garbage truck, which looks like a hump-backed whale with its tail cut off, comes lumbering down the block…one person up front driving and one or two hanging off the back ready to attack the cans.  Just before the truck comes to a complete stop the tail-boys jump off.  One to the other side of the street and one to my yard.  First they throw off the can lids and frisbee them into the yard.  Then dump the trash into the truck and toss the can toward the house.  Now it does not bother me to find my can lying somewhere on the front lawn and the lid somewhere else.  That’s just the way it is.  These trash men have a tough job.  They work in all sorts of weather, have a large territory to cover and so must work quickly.  Well, not always.

Our across the street neighbor is Dick.  He’s a retired Indiana University professor who has lived in his house over sixty years.  You see, Dick is 98 years old.  Nevertheless, every Sunday night he wheels his trash can out to the curb.  Somehow the garbage crew knows that there is a senior, senior, senior citizen living in that house.  I watch them gather his trash.  But I also see that just after sailing my trash can through the air they put the lid on Dick’s can and walk it all the way up his driveway and place it next to his garage door.  This seems to me to be such an act of loving kindness that once I waited outside for the truck to come so I could tell them how much I appreciated the way they cared for my neighbor, Dick. 

Sometimes, if we just look around, we can see human beings caring for other human beings.  From the Bill Gates foundation to the garbage men on my street, there is good happening in this world.  Let’s hold on to that thought during these troubling times.