Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Learning From 'Explaining Hitler'

Mr. Rosenbaum in 'Explaining Hitler' finds blackmail done by Hitler's grandmother and counterfeit by his brother and in what Hitler does. Though not the worst crimes, they are the signature crimes. This led me to reflect on a sort of blackmail my German heritage grandfather visited on my mother to keep her from going to law school. It also led me to reflect on that sappy title 'All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten' but with the twist of reconsidering that we all set out to 'adapt' in the world in part using the lessons of who we are from our parents and their view of us and our view of them and how they related. It also resonated with something I noticed for the first time in the Advent Gospels. To slightly bowdlerize the story to frame a question (and imply an answer), Mary thought she was pregnant and came to hear Gabriel talk to her and tell that her child was from G-d and would be a moral ruler. This apparently was accepted by her aunt Elizabeth who in the excitement was also able to conceive. Incidentally, the moral lessons from the third Sunday of Advent I think are wonderful. We have John going out to talk of repentance and I'm all ready for rules that would have you standing on one foot forever when he comes up with, for the police, don't falsely accuse people, for the tax collector, don't collect more than is owed, etc. Anyway, who is Christ to be after having this image from his mother with maybe a little talent for denial?

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