Colors: Purple Color

A few years ago, I shared with Queens Jewish Link readers the start of my genealogical journey [Treasures from the Attic, 2013], which recently reached an emotional highlight. To briefly recap, while sitting shiv’ah for my mother a”h in 2002, I was intrigued by the visits of cousins whom I had hardly known. That, coupled with the discovery of a suitcase filled with documents, from my grandfather (my mother’s father passed away in 1966), set me on a course where I have created a family tree with over 2,500 names.

This weekend, the nation reacted to the news that there were two mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio. In an all too familiar and an all too predictable reaction, every side of the issues said what they always say. There was little to no mourning for the victims of the tragedy, because the nation is too engrossed in political point-scoring to focus on the humanity.

Travel through the Bronx and one can’t miss the Puerto Rican flags hanging from thousands of windows. Take in a baseball game and notice how many of the players have salsa hits as their walk-up songs. Then there is the biggest parade of them all on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. “New York’s connection to Puerto Rico runs deep,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said to his Puerto Rican counterpart Wanda Vázquez Garced on a visit last week.

I’d like to share my impressions of Germany, to complement Warren Hecht’s article from September 5. Please be forewarned: This essay is part travelogue, part history lesson, and part my personal impressions of Germany. For all those not interested in any of those topics, you can stop reading now.

Astronauts really are made of the right stuff. They are exceptionally bright, have complex technical skills, are in outstanding physical condition, and have perfect vision. They are also exceptionally courageous, reliable in case of an emergency, and trusted with highly prized secrets. Their missions into space helped transform the present into a better tomorrow. Many, interestingly enough, are Jewish.

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