The Pittsburgh Tragedy and Its Aftermath

I have been a Jew for 73 years. Our people have but one thing in common. Anti-Semites don’t care if we are Democrats, Republicans, Orthodox, Conservatives, etc. They still want our hides. We are all in that one boat. May God bless Israel and all the pro-Semites.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?


World Series, Game Three

So what happened through the night last night while you may have slept? The longest World Series game in history was played into extra innings.

In the 13th both sides scored once, but, in the 18th, a man his prior team had given up on, Max Muncy, drove the ball over the opposite field fence to finish the marathon after midnight. The game had started at about 5 PM ending with the walk off home run by the Dodger’s nifty lefty. In his postgame interview he indicated he had made numerous tactical and mental changes to his hitting.

What had really happened? Muncy being a left handed hitter had significance in the two losses for the Dodgers and the one win. Alex Cora, the Boston manager, had pitched only left handed starters in games one and two, minimizing the effect of Muncy. Roberts, for the Dodgers, stacked his hitting line up with righties. This becomes quite important when one considers Muncy hit more home runs than any Dodger in the regular season.

With a right handed starter Muncy started and in 18 innings had numerous at bats. In fact he had just enough as he produced prodigously even to the opposite field.

Alex Cora now finds himself having used up his likely fourth game starter, Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched extensively (97 pitches) and lost game three. Not surprisingly, Alex Cora has announced his starter for tonight, Eduardo Rodriguez, a lefty. This Series has gotten a lot more interesting, particularly with game four on LA’s home turf again.

H. Robert Rubin, best selling author of two memoirs available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?

Starters You Say?

Last night’s World Series opener at Fenway was billed as the battle of two great lefties. Sorry folks, but so far the hitters have taken charge. In fact the difference was Nunez’ pinch hit three run homer that put the game away for Boston in the late innings.

Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw, dominating lefties you say? Neither won this ballgame.

There is this one star, the remarkable JD Martinez who made it all look easy but even he had his moment striking out in a key situation to Mr. Madsen.

If this could all be foreseen, we wouldn’t watch. Would we? Enjoy the Series.

H. Robert Rubin, best selling author of two memoirs available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?

Casablanca, the Movie, a Review

Casablanca is one of the finest movies I have ever seen. It mixes two strong human passions, the need for justice and the sparks of young love.

The justice expresses itself in the strong anti-Nazi feelings in Rick’s Cafe. It’s expressed in the singing of the French national anthem despite the hated Nazi presence.

Equally engaging is the love between Rick and Ilsa. It is a love that has never died despite her marriage to a hero of the resistance. But as Rick said, “We will always have Paris.”

It speaks to our first love, the iliusionary one with no children, mortgages or financial shortfalls. It is that part of our lives to which we can’t go home again. We were but puppies.

Their love gives the film an incandescent quality elevated by their song, As Time Goes By.

This best picture academy award was no accident. This is a picture which is unforgettable in it’s portrayal of heartbreak mingled ever so delicately with justice or more simply, fair play. It is a sweet haunting melody that lingers on. It is a picture that took a piece of our hearts.

Our Greatest Gift, a Meditation on Caring and Dying by Henri Nouwen, a Book Review

Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest and theologian, taught in the divinity schools of both Yale and Harvard. He wrote numerous books.

One such book was Our Greatest Gift, a Meditation on Caring and Dying. It is a book which confronts death with optimism. I believe he felt distinctly older when he wrote this in his 60’s, but, had no idea his death would be only two years in his short future.

Nouwen declares that all of us that care for others in community can feel a connection with humankind, past,  present and future. He had that sense caring for the mentally challenged at a L’Arche community in Canada as his life ended there.

The professor tells a wonderful story about the mentally challenged Maurice (Moe) who would hug Henri whenever he saw him. Moe would then say Amazing Grace and the two would sing it together. Maurice was a precious soul to all who knew him at L’Arche.

Like Amazing Grace this book is a lyrical, beautiful work about the abundant life of caring and staring into new life in eternity.

Give Henri a chance to speak to your heart in this engaging, short work. It is a lovely piece of writing.

Middle to Old Age, the Transition

What do Tiger, Jack Nicklaus and Roger Federer all have in common that is/was prone to slow them down? Back pain. They are and were fluid athletes. Nonetheless they all paid a price for frequent spinal twisting with age.

A young back surgeon once told me that humans were not built to stand up straight. He meant that in jest as he stretched the point.

With age I’ve added stretches to reduce stress and pain in numerous body parts. I also added tai chi to maintain balance. Finally I do my aerobics on a recumbent bike and treadmill.

We are all different as we transition into old age, but in concert with my primary physician, a fellow gym rat, that is what has worked for me between 68 and 73. Yours is your own journey in concert with your own physician, if you choose the exercise route.

Much of cancer prevention is the luck of the draw. Lots of it is lifestyle and diet. I think prevention here is the steepest mountain to climb given how numerous the unknown causes.

For what it is worth I hope my Mediterranean diet will help a lot of things like my heart, my vessels, my brain, my gut, etc. It has crunch, flavor and texture, minimizing sugar. It is not restricted to rabbit food. It has actually been an enjoyable change with a variety of whole grains, beans, vegetables and nuts.

On special occasions I will celebrate and go off diet. I will always celebrate life, a wonderful gift from God. It is good to be alive! L’ Chaim.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and Amazon best selling author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available in electronic and paper formats on Amazon

Book Review: Six Days of War; June 1967 and the making of the modern Middle East by Michael B. Oren

The fascinating aspect of the book from my view was the unique opportunity to get a more in depth understanding of Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and Abba Eban. I really knew little of them prior to the read. Not surprisingly, most of Israel’s key leaders were war heroes. In a country surrounded by nations threatening their very existence, defense became of tremendous importance.

Wikipedia highlights the commencement of Israel’s armed forces as follows “An order from Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on 26 May 1948 officially set up the Israel Defense Forces as a conscript army formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah, incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi.” (

I learned the details of how the remarkable Israeli air forces were successful beyond expectations in their attack upon key Egyptian Air Bases. They had very few losses and significant damage was done to Egypt’s ability to wage an air war. That success bordered on the miraculous.

Both the special assistant to the President Lyndon Johnson for national security affairs and Johnson’s ambassador to the U.N. were of Jewish heritage, Walt Rostow and Arthur Goldberg, respectively. I learned the parts they played as Americans in the ongoing international build up to the short lived war. That was an enlightening read with numerous cross forces at play.

Once beyond the unusual to the details of a land conflict, my joy in military history is diminished. Nevertheless in this book, the buoyancy of the reminder of the material kept me engaged.

If you have a keen interest in part of the genesis of the current Middle Eastern conflicts, I think you would find Oren’s book quite helpful.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and Amazon best selling author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This, available in electronic and paper formats on Amazon


“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” Really?

Some retirees just can’t get performance off their minds. They run, jump, swim, etc. in their current age group until they drop. They follow the advice of one Vince Lombardi who may or may not be accurately quoted as having said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

If retired, does your life seems to revolve around your performance? Do you value yourself only by your performance? I believe that is a long, sorry road and in most of my past I have walked it.

I am 73 and gave that up within the last year. I believe particularly as a retiree one should let your life revolve around loving others. I think one should find peace in one’s loved ones, artistic endeavors and faith in your maker.

Appreciating each of us is different, I believe a “gold standard” of performance with the onslaught of age is a dead end. I think it is hurtful to one’s overall peace and contentment.

“Contentment consist not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire. So said the clergyman Thomas Fuller. (

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and Amazon best selling author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This, available in electronic and paper formats on Amazon.