December 29, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Reflections of a wayward book reviewer

Sandee Brawarsky's year-end confessions in The Jewish Week book review:
The Netsiv used to tell his students that as a very young man, he had a dream that he died and was brought by God to the world to come. When God took him aside to show him a room full of books, the young man was very excited -- he thought that the space had been reserved for him. For someone like the Netsiv, a room full of books would be a great place in which to sit for eternity.

But as the rabbi was reaching to take one of the books down off of the shelf, God stopped him and said, "This is a room full of all of the books that you were supposed to have written. And why did you not write them?"


And the rabbi replied, "So now everyone has to write books? My teaching isn't good enough? I think I reach more people in my weekly radio show than any book author I know. Besides, Mr Big Shot Hashem, as far as I can tell you only wrote one book -- you can call it five, but let's face it, that's more marketing than anything else. For someone who's eternal, that's not a lot of output -- I mean, I'm not asking you to be Joyce Carol Oates, but even Herman Roth started writing again in his 70s. And Thoms Pynchon also "hid his face" early on, but he still takes pen to paper now and then. So spare me the guilt, okay?

Posted by: Silow-Carroll at December 30, 2004 9:41 AM
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