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March 17, 2008

A father bids a loving farewell to his daughter:

In Jewish lore there is a legend of the lamed vovniks, the thirty-six just men on whom the existence of the world depends (Sarah would have had something to say about the gender prejudice of that). According to the legend, God had become so disgusted with his creation that he was determined to destroy it. But an angel came to plead with Him and to ask for a reprieve if she could find thirty-six just men in the world. In every generation, so the legend goes, there are always thirty-six just men – the lamed vovniks on whom its continued survival depends. The lamed vovniks are not conscious of who they are. They perform their acts of compassion and love out of the purity of their hearts. And the rest of us owe the world to them.

You are a light in our lives Sarah. You are a lamed vovnik. You have set the standard that we all must strive to reach. To never give up hope. To see ourselves in others. To be always putting up candles against the dark.

To be a candle against the dark.

A character in a favorite novel of mine asks, "For what may a man honorably strive?"

That is not a bad answer.

Posted by Cassandra at March 17, 2008 05:27 PM

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Normally, I'm with the "light a candle" crowd but somedays, like today, I feel more like cursing the darkness.

Posted by: a former european at March 17, 2008 10:48 PM

I always try to strive for being my highest and best self.

Being human, of course, I often fail...miserably.

Posted by: camojack at March 18, 2008 01:33 AM

For those of us who are fathers of daughters, I must thank David Horowitz for his loving tribute to his daughter, Sarah.

What beautiful hope and service she accomplished in her life.

Magnificent ... even if she thought Obama might provide solutions.

Thanks for the link ... and for pointing us to a better way.


Posted by: George at March 18, 2008 09:26 PM

> She was protesting the apparent approval – or at least the failure to disapprove -- the Randy Newman song “Short People” which she felt denigrated those of diminutive stature.

One hopes she became less clueless in later life, but, living in SF, I suspect 'twas not the case.

This song is ABOUT the stupidity of predjudices, not in favor of them. It uses humor and irony (the real kind, not the Allanis Morisette version) to make its point about stupid, irrational prejudices. To take issue with this song shows a complete failure to grasp humor and its purpose.

> pretty much a member of the Green Party
> Of course she would be attracted to a leader who had written a book called the Audacity of Hope,

I would never point this out to her father, but methinks his impression of his daughter was far higher than mine would have been. I suspect she was a member of that vast array of people who think that intentions are more important than results -- even after the results become apparent and available for study and application to future solutions.

> gathered the momentum to become the first black American to have the prospect of being a presidential nominee and perhaps even a president,

Frankly, the only reason Colin Powell isn't this man is because he *chose* not to be. Powell would have been a shoo-in, particularly in this election, against these candidates. Hence the term "to have the prospect" is incorrect. Powell was that man. A shame he's not the one on the ballot. *Sigh*.

Posted by: obloodyhell at March 19, 2008 04:05 PM

Well, you have to remember that he is grieving for his daughter, and also that he was very liberal for a long time. It is not surprising he would honor the spirit in her that was so loving, even if he did not always agree with where it led her.

I guess that is what I got out of it. I suppose this sounds a bit sappy, but I just hope that we don't lose sight of the fact that a lot of liberalism can come from a good place, too. What bothers me so much about politics is the rancor. There are many people I don't agree with in life, but the capacity to assume basic decency in others unless we've been given reason not to do so is something I think we lost somewhere along the way, to our great detriment as a nation.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 19, 2008 04:33 PM

FWIW, I had many of the same thoughts myself, OBH, when reading the piece :p

But I still thought it was worth posting, for the reasons cited above.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 19, 2008 04:35 PM

I think, for Sarah, everything in life was hard, but she chose to serve others, rather than dwell on her own shortcomings and disapointments.

Yes, I'm sure she was a "liberal" in the current coinage of the word, but she tried to make her life match her ideals. Many of us talk a good game, but don't walk the walk. You may not agree with her, but she nobly tried to do her best, as she saw it, in this troubled world, with much less than many of us are given in terms of strength and physical ability. She seemed to be give a great spiritual strength, which can sometimes move mountains.

RAH once wrote (as Lazarus Long, I think) about what was noblest about Man, in the generic sense of "human being".
To care so much or believe in something so much, that you would "die trying"; to give your life to that which you valued most.
And that is what made little Sarah a noble soul. She carried the flickering candle of her life to serve what she thought were noble ideals, until the light failed.

Were we all so strong in spirit.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 19, 2008 05:01 PM

she tried to make her life match her ideals

This is why I love your comments, Don. You said what I could not, and eloquently.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 19, 2008 05:09 PM