Magazine October 18, 2021, Issue

The Tunnel and the Truck

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with then-President Donald Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

When a question has no acceptable answer it may be abandoned. Or one might search for a more useful question.

A fellow got his truck stuck in a tunnel. Passersby stopped and suggested jackhammering the tunnel’s ceiling or chain-sawing the truck’s roof, each person arguing for his own solution — while onlookers took sides. And then a child said, “Why not let some air out of the tires?” The site of the problem seemed to be the roof, but it was not the site of the solution.

Parents in my generation obsessed with getting our kids to do homework. We shook our

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