In 2006, the State of Israel proclaimed Martha and Waitsill Sharp “Righteous Among the Nations” – an honor bestowed by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and memorial in Jerusalem, upon non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. The Sharps became two of only five Americans so recognized.
Simon Levis Sullam, who teaches modern history at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, has written a well-researched book that shatters the widely-held belief that Italians were brava gente, “good people,” who protected their Jewish fellow citizens from the horrors of the Holocaust.
Martin Fletcher, the former NBC bureau chief in Israel, describes his 409-page novel in three words: “Exodus meets ‘Dallas.’” And indeed it is.
What do we choose to show to others, and what do we keep hidden? How do we curate our public face?
Tom Segev’s voluminous biography, A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion, gives new meaning to the Latin phrase – carpe diem – seize the day. That is just what David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) did when he proclaimed the independence of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948.
At the core of being Jewish is a fundamental demand for justice. Demanding justice involves asking others to work toward a more just world, but it also involves asking ourselves to do that work.