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Richard Lawrence Cohen

The few times I've been in the desert, I've understood why monotheism arose in that kind of landscape. Looking at a red hill or butte against a pure blazing blue sky with a morning moon sinking, you can feel the presence of something that made it all and is eternally watching over it.


I who do not confine myself within my Jewishness, and have never yet felt compelled to "make Aliyah," adored the desert (in California, Arizona and New Mexico) at first sight, and have sometimes wondered whether there is some collective memory at work there. The following comically chauvinistic dream would suggest there's something to that:

I am in Israel, walking along a flat road in a desert of reddish-yellow sand. I see Ed Koch coming towards me and I give him the radical raised-fist solidarity salute.

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