I was trying to figure out what to write about the holiday of Thanksgiving, when I decided to revisit the posts I had written on this subject in the last four years. These posts brought back memories, good ones, and terrible ones; and changed my mood from happy, to somber.
In 2007, I wrote about our family tradition of making homemade pizza on Thanksgiving day, and having a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings (except for the green beans; we rarely made green beans, I don't know why; 'cause I love 'em) Friday night, for the first Shabbat meal.
In 2008, Pakistani terrorists murdered 164 people in the Indian city of Mumbai, including torturing and murdering Rabbi Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivka Holtzberg in Nariman House, the Chabad Jewish Center there. Rebbetzin Holtzberg was six months pregnant.
As we have not learned the lessons from this attack, and evil still exists in the world and is called by many other names but its true one, I have decided, upon this Thanksgiving, to re-post that post from 2008, and to link my first Thanksgiving post which I wrote in 2007 (I began this blog in March 2006, after the holiday). May all of you learn the lesson.
I get increasingly uncomfortable with the convention of journalism that requires us to say that so far, we don't know the motives of the people who carried out this week's attacks in Mumbai.A word like "motive" seems to imply there was reason or purpose. It suggests that, however profane their actions, the terrorists had the incentive of some goal in mind.
But after covering too many killings, as a reporter or host, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Oklahoma City or Somalia, I've come to the conclusion that the perpetrators of such crimes might just be ... evil.
Evil is a word that many people of my generation shrink from using. It seems so imprecise and uneducated — biblical, rather than cerebral and informed.
But there are times and crimes that remind me how often the Bible gets it right.
Let me end on a positive note, with my Thanksgiving post of 2007, here. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.