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15.4.16

My Dad and the path of Torah and Science. He would not have put it in that way. He would have said "menschlichkeit"--"Be a decent human being." But much more. To be a mensch is to be honest loyal trustworthy hard working etc. All things that my father and mother were.

My Dad as a rule showed me his places of work. I went to visit the factory where he was producing his invention, a super sharp copying machine called the "copymate." Then we moved to Beverly Hills and his new place of work was very far away. (We were there for the high school. And was  a great school, but I think I was frustrated being in a place were I was no longer the star. My friends were super achievers, and I was a distant second place in everything I did.)
But I still managed to visit his place of work once. It was on an upper floor in the TRW building where he was working on a laser beam for the sake of satellite communication for the SDI project. I showed interest in science myself when I was young and also in elementary school. But in high school that interest went out the window. My interests were at that point in other directions like Philosophy and Music. Here is a piece I wrote then



But today I think the problem was that I did not have a good method for learning science. Still for me to have gone into science would have taken a lot of time. Nor was I aware of the Rambam's opinion about science at the time. I do not have pictures but here is a link to the Life Magazine article about my Dad

In high school I had a continuing interest in science but it was hard to do well in anything because of time constraints. I felt pulled in lots of directions. Not just philosophy and Music, but I found all my classes interesting and worthwhile. I wanted to do well in all of them. But there was the same old problem of time. I tried to solve it by applying to a private school, and  a college, and UCLA where I could concentrate on one thing alone. But nothing came of it. 

[I was accepted in all three places but did not have the guts to actually leave home.]

 By the time it came time to chose a career, I thought going to Mir Yeshiva in N.Y. made the most sense-- because it appealed to my philosophical side.  In other words, I was able to concentrate on one thing, and in fact the one thing that I really loved--learning Torah. 


My father and mother represented Torah with Derech Erez.
But I admit there are some people that sit and learn Torah all day and succeed. Rav Shach clearly held from the basic Litvak yeshiva model: learn  Torah and everything else will work out.


I never mention my mother because my Mom and Dad functioned as one unit. There was never a case where one or the other said I have to ask what the other one would say about this. Their coordination was extremely fine tuned. They always knew and agreed with what the other would say on any issue. They never argued. They never disagreed. And they loved each other and us kids with intense self sacrificing lobe as parents ought to be.


Appendix:

He entered active duty on July 20, 1944, and was an aircraft engineering officer 4823. His medals were the American Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal and World War II Victory Medal. He served 1 ½ years in the US and almost 8 months in Europe. He left active duty on September 29, 1946. His serial number was 0 872 281. He was promoted to captain just before he left the US Army, and served in the US Army, Headquarters and Base Service Squadron 413th Air Service Group 40th Bomb Wing United States Air Forces European Theater. In the US, he served at Great Bend , Kansas and was in charge of maintaining 6 B-29 aircraft for the unit. He supervised the work of 75 enlisted men. In Europe, he was a civilian personnel officer. He served 8 months in the European Theater of Operations (France, Germany and Switzerland ) with the 413th Air Service Group and was in charge of 1500 German civilians, supervising 1 officer and 20 civilians. He spoke German fluently at the time.