After the funeral of a college classmate, her sister asked me how the Catholic ceremony compared to Jewish rites. I thought a moment. There were the bouquets of flowers piled atop the coffin, buried along with it. That was different, and haunting, but not what I mentioned.
"We tend to say something around the grave," I said.
"I asked the priest if we could do that," she responded. "But he said 'No.'"
And you listened to him?! I thought, and almost said aloud, but held back, out of respect.
We Jews are indeed a chatty, argumentative race, no doubt about that, and we guide our clergy as much as our clergy guides us. Maybe more.
So even though I am convinced that the ideal way to solemnize Rahm Emanuel's departure from the mayor's office is with stony silence—for the city to cough into our collective fist and fix our gaze on the middle distance until he goes away—I'm not going to do that.
First, because of the certainty that Rahm will spend the next few weeks in hyperkinetic victory laps, huffing in circles around City Hall, both hands raised for high fives that aren't returned by passerby who twist away in revulsion as he flies past, legs and jaw churning, uttering the same constant stream of self-congratulatory spin he's been coasting along on, like a slug producing its own smooth track of slime, for the past eight years.
And second, well, can't have a column that's five paragraphs long. My job has forced me to contemplate Rahm and, like any proctologist with a full day's schedule, no point in complaining. Might as well roll up our sleeves and take a look.
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