Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Meander, 1-05-09 The headline was a heartbreaker and a headshaker, “Herman Rosenblat's Holocaust memoir of love is exposed as a hoax.” A love story meant to inspire hope in the harshest circumstances, the Rosenblat’s tale could have been just the grace note needed in a tough time. But in a time when distrust rules and people are craving the truth, Herman Rosenblat’s children’s book was doomed. I don’t mean to imply that the Rosenblats were right. Facts matter. The “principle of veracity” recognizes that trust depends on truth telling, especially in a context as important as the Holocaust. I’m just saying that I sympathise since some of the tales closest to my heart have certainly grown with the telling. Was that childhood Christmas really as white, as witty, and as wild as you’ve told your children? I don’t think the Rosenblats had bad motives. I just think they are bad historians. Had they told the tale as a work of fiction inspired by the immensity of their love, it would have hit the bookstores with no problem. But it does make me wonder about other powerful stories that have been sentimentalized. Is St. Valentine’s love more powerful when offered in candy boxes or when it includes his martyrdom? Is Christmas’ love more powerful when, as the song goes, Said the king to the people everywhere, "Listen to what I say! Pray for peace, people, everywhere, Listen to what I say! The Child, the Child sleeping in the night He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light." Or does that love take on a new power, when we read Matthew’s account of a ruthless king who kills infants in order to hold onto power, and come to understand that the infant Christ embodied a loving God’s determination to show another way? In this new year, may we enjoy the lovely yarns we spin but be moved to loving action by the realities we see through God’s eyes. In Christ’s Joy, Karen

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