got an L.A. Examiner and
a Nehi grape soda down
there. Then I sat down on
a bus-stop bench across
the street from Her-
One old man was walk-
ing down the block with
the most dignified limp
I'd ever seen. He strutted
like he had some kind of
knowledge denied to us
younger fools. He was
probably just proud that
he'd lived so long. Be-
cause behind every poor
old man there's a line of
death. Siblings and chil-
dren, lovers and wives.
There's disease and no
doctor. There's war, and
war eats poor men like an
aardvark licking up ants.
A resident of New York,
Mr. Mosley has written three
other Easy Rawlins myster-
ies: Devil in a Blue Dress, A Walter Mosley
Red Death and White But-
terfly. His novels have been trans- covers 1932-1940, when Ben-
lated into 17 languages.
jamin committed suicide.
e had few close friends, but
In his last letter to Scholem,
his correspondence was Benjamin wrote of his growing
lengthy, revealing and in- sense of isolationism and un-
happiness with the Jewish com-
Walter Benjamin, who died in munity and the population at
1940, is today regarded as one of large: "The number of those who
the leading social critics of his are able to find their bearings in
time. His letters — on everything the world is diminishing more
from Jewish-German identity to and more."
the establishment of Israel — are
Benjamin, the author of Illu-
in The Correspondence of minations , died on the Spanish
Walter Benjamin and Ger- border Sept. 26, 1940. His final
shom Scholem (Harvard Uni- resting place is a mystery.
"A grave with Benjamin's
Scholem (1897-1982), former name scrawled on a special wood-
professor of Jewish mysticism at en enclosure (had for years been)
the Hebrew University in shown to visitors," Scholem
Jerusalem, met Benjamin in writes in a postscript at the end
1915. Both-were students of the of Correspondence.
Martin Buber school of philoso-
"The photographs in my pos-
phy which urged young German session clearly indicate that this
Jews to find a new spiritual iden- grave, which is completely
tity. (Benjamin later would write, isolated and utterly separate
"For me, Jewishness is not in any from the actual burial places, is
sense an end in itself but the no- an invention of the cemetery at-
ble bearer and representative of tendants who, in consideration of
the intellect.") Scholem was the number of inquiries, want-
raised in a modest home; Ben- ed to assure themselves of a tip.
jamin was wealthy. Both were in- Visitors who were there have told
terested in Zionism. Both me that they had the same im-
pression. Certainly the spot is
The Correspondence of Walter beautiful, but the grave is apoc-
Benjamin and Gershom Scholem ryphal." ❑
For Special Needs
"Making the Holidays Work for
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Meet the Special Needs of Your
Family," will be the topic of a pro-
gram Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at
Keshet, 30161 Southfield Road.
The speaker will be Harlene
Appelman, a consultant for the
Whizin Institute for the Jewish
Family. She will discuss how
families who have children with
disabilities can adapt their Jew-
ish holiday celebrations to meet
their special needs. Call Keshet,
(810) 285-9575, for information.
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