The World Will Be Saved by Beau[tiful] Breakfasts

“The world will be saved by beauty.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I recently returned to the Middle East to continue my practical education in fundamentally human things.

Among the “courses” that I took was breakfast.

The photo above is of my breakfast plate from the Amani Cafe in Nazareth. A dear friend of mine who has been living there for the past two years told me that this cafe was among her favourites.

I was so impressed by this breakfast platter that I wrote the following comment beneath my social media post about it:

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“Do not lose these special characters.”

Some years ago in Poland, an elderly professor of mine who had been a student of John Paul II told us that, earlier that day, he had been giving a lecture to some high school students, a society of Young Humanists, as they called themselves.

He says he spoke to them about Dostoevsky and said: “In all of Dostoevsky’s books you can find characters who are very poor from the worldly view, especially in The Idiot with Prince Myshkin who is so poor and naive. But can such persons be heroes from the moral point of view?”

He continued to us, “Of course, high schoolers are beginning to look toward their careers and for success. And I wanted to say to them, ‘Look, if you close your understanding of happiness in a human life to this sort of success, you miss these important characters who were definitely not professionally successful. Look out for your goals, okay. But please do not lose these special characters. Sometimes these aspirations cannot be easily held together. Remember, though, that even if you lose this success for which you strive, you do not need to lose your humanity, your heart, your life,’

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A memory to sustain you as you suffer

In this clip, Rabbi YY Jacobson tells a powerful story about what saved a certain man when he was forced to undergo a death march as a child after his father had just been murdered.

Here’s that story:

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