Senator Joe Lieberman and I are working at a homeless shelter. We have the following conversation while both of us are sautéing onions. It is election day.
SENATOR LIEBERMAN: You heard I'm retiring?
FREEDMAN: Yes, I heard. I don't think it's a good idea. You still have a lot to contribute in the Senate. I hope you're not just retiring so you can get a job at a big law firm and make a lot of money.
SENATOR LIEBERMAN: Just retiring so I can make a lot of money? No. I'm not retiring just to make a lot of money. I'm retiring so I can make a lot of money and marry a shiksa. (pause.) I'm not going to ask who you voted for.
FREEDMAN: I voted for Eleanor Holmes Norton. (At this moment, I have the urge to say, "Because I'm a good Democrat." I decide not to say this out of fear my comments will get back to Bob Strauss, and Bob Strauss will think I said that only to impress him.)
I think the dream may have been inspired by a news item I read a few days ago about an anti-Semitic comment regarding Jean Sarkozy, son of the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy.
Jean Sarkozy, a French publication wrote without a shred of evidence, was planning to convert to Judaism before marrying Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of a huge electronics chain. "He'll go a long way in life, this lad!" the story commented. The story could be interpreted as making a link between conversion to Judaism and social success and of promoting the old stereotype associating Jews and money. Sarkozy's forbears are Jewish.
Both Jean Sarkozy and I were victims of defamation.
The issue of France lingers in my mind because of my continuing preoccupation with an unidentified party with a Paris IP address who keeps logging onto my blog. (Do I have an unconscious fantasy that President Sarkozy reads my blog?) The unidentified reader of this blog has been logging on repeatedly to view a post that I published a few weeks ago, on June 21, 2011, titled Sheppard Pratt Employee Assistance Program--Employee Statement of Understanding. The post contains the following comment: "I specifically recall that at my 2nd consult with Kathleen Kelly at Sheppard Pratt in September 1989 I gave her a xerox copy of page 476 of Fritz Stern's book, Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichroeder, and the Building of the German Empire (New York: Knopf, 1977). That page was missing from my Sheppard Pratt case file. Prof. Stern teaches history at Columbia University in New York. I formed the paranoid belief that Akin Gump spoke to Prof. Stern about me." Oddly enough, the cited page of Fritz Stern's book (page 476) refers to a German anti-Semitic stereotype current in the 19th century that all Jews smell of garlic (which is related to the onion).
I gave my friend Craig Dye a copy of Professor Stern's book as a gift at lunch on May 13, 1988 (the anniversary of Sigmund Freud's circumcision, incidentally). The opening line of Professor Stern's book reads (and I write this from memory): "Opposites attract--sometimes by complementing each other." (Daniel Cutler, a mutual friend of Craig and me, on one occasion said that Craig and I had nothing in common). Professor Stern's book also contains a quote of the famous line by Heinrich Heine, "Jews are like the people among whom they live, only more so."
Like Jean Sarkozy, Craig Dye, who is not Jewish, married a Jewish heiress. She wrote a book about the Holocaust.
I have described Craig on this blog as "handsome, intelligent, manipulative and a womanizer." Compare Jean Sarkozy. I appear to view Craig (as many Frenchmen view Jean Sarkozy) as an arriviste. Professor Stern's book depicts 19th-century German Jews as "arrivistes who never arrive." (They can't "reach the other shore?" They can't come?--Ejaculatory delay?)
Craig and I had lunch in November 1989 just before Craig took a trip to Paris to visit his future wife who was studying at the Sorbonne.
His wife's grandfather was Abraham Zapruder, who captured the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on film, the so-called Zapruder film.
Senator Lieberman's wife, who is Jewish, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.
I continue to be amused by a YouTube of NBC-TV reporter David Gregory's appearance on the Jay Leno Show. Gregory talks about his irritating President Bush by posing a question in French to former French President Jacques Chirac at a news conference.
I posted the following on a Facebook friend's page last October (and still remember it!). The Facebook friend is a Jewish author of cookbooks who has lived in France and speaks fluent French.
http://www.shalomtv.com/ Internationally renowned food expert Arthur Schwartz talks about his Jewish background, becoming a "food maven," and the joys of Jewish cooking found in his new book, Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited. A Shalom TV original interview. Shalom TV is an America...