One morning in tenth grade, my Bible teacher started class by holding up a copy of The New York Times. He was the one we called Little Adler, to distinguish him from his older, taller brother, Big Adler, who also taught at the school. Little Adler was a good guy, at a place that was notably short on them. A modest, bearded man, slightly pstooped, he was compassionate, he had a dry sense of humor, and he was the only teacher that I came across, in my ten years of yeshiva day school education, who told us that it was okay to ask questions — meaning fundamental questions, questions of belief. “Every story on the front page today,” he announced that morning, “is about the Jews.” Then he proceeded to point at them one by one, explaining why. Some were obvious. This was the year of the Camp David accords, and there were one or two articles about that. But the front page of the Times, back then, had eight or nine stories, and as he worked his way around the page, his reasoning became increasingly Talmudic. Nonetheless, in every case, he managed to find a way to connect the events in question to the fortunes of the Jewish people. “And,” he concluded, “you can do this every day.” Every day, in other words, one way or another, every story on the front page of the New York Times was ultimately about us. I grew up in a world that had a thick black line down the middle of it. On one side were us, the Chosen People, the “holy nation.” On the other side were them, the goyim. Each day in morning prayers we thanked the Lord for not making us Gentiles. On Saturday nights we recited the havdalah,

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