The Public Interest

God and the neocons

David Brooks

Winter 1997

I STILL remember the shocked expression on the face of the rabbi who performed my wife’s conversion. We were sitting on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and this nice liberal rabbi asked what being Jewish meant to me. I threw out the first thing that came to mind, a series of names: Kristol, Podhoretz, Trilling, Bellow—a bunch of Jewish intellectuals around Partisan Review, Commentary, and The Public Interest.  The poor rabbi was appalled. He’d prepared my wife for her conversion ritual bath and now here she was potentially emerging from the mikvah straight into a meeting of the Committee for the Free World.

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