Saturday, October 24, 2009

This week I had the honor of meeting Chanrithy Him at the National Organization for Human Services annual convention in Portland, Oregon, where she was the keynote speaker.  After the keynote she held another question and answer session, and book signing session, which I also attended.  Chanrithy Him is the author of When Broken Glass Floats which tells her story of growing up during the Viet Cong invasion of Cambodia and the subsequent American bombing under president Richard Nixon.  When the weak Cambodian government finally fractured  it was followed by the horror of Pol Pot and the Khamer Rouge which began a psychotic episode of horror and mayhem that swallowed up her family.  You may be familiar with the Khamer Rouge from the movie The Killing Fields

Being in her presence was being in the presence of history.  When she spoke it was the voice of a witness who survived to tell the story for those who could not.  It was an honor to meet her and I urge everyone to read her book.


Was is it about the human condition that brings about the ability to commit unspeakable atrocities?  The Talmud teaches us that in this world good and evil is mixed together and we have to sort one out from the other.  Isn't that the truth.

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