One of Those Things . . .

by Michael Potemra

. . . that make New York such a wonderful place to live. This story in yesterday’s NY Times describes the visit of seven—seven!—Catholic Cardinals to Upper Manhattan’s Yeshiva University to witness Talmudic debates. (Some of the Cardinals—including Schonborn of Vienna–are taken seriously as possible successors to Pope John Paul II.) On a very literalistic plane, this should be hailed as a significant event in interreligious dialogue. But what impresses me is the sheer imagery of a whole squad of red-capped papal princes joining our neighborhood’s yeshiva-bochers. New York: the city where magical-realist fiction becomes the prosaic text of the daily paper.

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