Congratulations to JTNews on their well-designed attempt to rehabilitate Rabbi Schwartz’s image. The first article painted a vivid picture of the rabbi’s remarkable wisdom and learning (sadly his wisdom did not lead to his learning that he might be better off taking the bus).
Once the rabbi’s credentials and menschdom are established for those who don’t know him (or have forgotten he’s the Demolition Derby Rabbi), readers are treated on the next page to a thoughtful and evocative article on the nature of life’s often tragic but necessary lessons. And it is sensitively pointed out that the Japanese-American community does not have a monopoly on premature death.
Finally, in the third article, the wise and erudite and much-loved rabbi is clearly revealed as a victim of an unfair law, and Mr. Nakata, the victim of the rabbi’s flawed (but very human) multi-tasking skills, is rightfully portrayed as equally responsible for his own early demise. The JTNews deserves a Pulitzer for such inspired journalism. Karl Rove couldn’t have devised a more brilliant strategy. One can only wonder what prayer or Kabbalistic spell the rabbi used to free himself from the safe-driving constraints that afflict the rest of us.