Monday, June 11, 2012

An Undated Memory:

I attended The Central High School of Philadelphia from September 1967 to June 1971.  My French studies were accelerated.  I had studied French in junior high school in grades 7 and 8.  At Central I began with 10th grade French in the ninth grade.  In tenth grade and eleventh grade there was a fellow student in my classes named Fredric L. Cohen, who was a year ahead of me at Central.  He graduated in 1970 (229th class).  We were not acquainted.

One day after school, on my trip home on the L Bus route in Philadelphia, I sat adjacent to Fred Cohen who was talking to a friend about an arcane point of Jewish law.  Noting the fact that work is forbidden to Jews on the Sabbath, he questioned how a rabbi may accept compensation for his work on the Sabbath.  Wasn't this a violation of Jewish law?  Fred Cohen's intellectual investment in this issue of Jewish law seemed odd for a young man his age and suggested to me an unusual maturity and an admirable stake in his Jewish heritage.  I took note of what I witnessed that day.  It was a significant moment.


Gary Freedman said...

"An undated memory:" is a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre's autobiography, Les Mots -- The Words.

Dr. Fredric L Cohen MD practices obstetrics & gynecology in Exton, Phoenixville and Royersford, Pennsylvania.

I sent Dr. Cohen a copy of my book Significant Moments several years ago.

I only send the book to people for whom I have a special admiration.

Dr. Fredric L Cohen, MD
Valley Forge OB/GYN
400 Gordon Drive Suite 703
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 933-2440

Gary Freedman said...

Fred Cohen, Class President

My Fellow Students,

We mark today the passing of a period of uncertainty and inherit a time of decision. We can no longer rely on guardianship as a recourse for incompetence, nor can we justify indifference with unawareness. For today we assume full responsibility not only for ourselves, but for all men, for we are the foremost benefactors of man's greatest gift -- his ability to reason and discern. We share that gift with only a precious few, our challenge thereby increased. Our task is not an easy one, but our goal is well defined. We call ourselves different names, but we surely must share the same vision -- liberation of man. We must refine that vision with study and understanding. We must share it with those around us. But this is not enough. We must live and work to realize it, all our lives. This is our responsibility.

Toward this endeavor we gratefully and sincerely thank all those who sought to guide and help us -- our parents and teachers, our brothers and friends. We respect their confidence, take pride in their trust, and draw strength from our common experience.

Finally, amid all the strife and confusion in the world there are some who complacently remind us that nothing is new. However, for us, it is all new and solely ours. If we are not a unique generation, we are, at least, a new one. And if our cause is not new, we at least offer new vitality and determination. Realizing that success is not guaranteed, we maintain that hope is all we have.

Best of luck always,

Fred Cohen

Gary Freedman said...

"We maintain that hope is all we have"

Gary Freedman said...

"amid all the strife and confusion in the world"


"in this time of harm"

Gary Freedman said...

"If we are not a unique generation, we are, at least, a new one."


President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address:

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.