The Corner

When Life Is Good . . .

A reader in Israel sends me the following note, which I cannot keep to myself:

Hi, Jay,

Last night, I was invited to a dinner in Jerusalem at which the great Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis was to give a talk. And there, sitting at the table next to mine, was not only Professor Lewis but also David Pryce-Jones, whom I hadn’t even heard was in Israel. Professor Lewis’s talk was amazing, as expected. He covered almost everything going on in the Middle East, with a depth of knowledge and nuance that only he can summon. Then a friend introduced me to David Pryce-Jones, and I actually got to sit down and chat with him one-on-one.

To be in the presence of even one of those intellectual giants is humbling. To be in the presence of both simultaneously was like watching the Sistine Chapel being painted.

Then this morning, on my way to the office, former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon got in the elevator with me. I got to listen to Bernard Lewis, talk with David Pryce-Jones, and say good morning to a former president all within the space of 14 hours. It was like being on a National Review cruise without needing to worry about getting seasick.

Hey, nobody ever gets seasick on an NR cruise. Right, cruisers?

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