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Strictly personal

By Frederic Raphael   January 1997

April may be a cruel month, but can it be the cruellest? There is an old Jewish joke about the man who died and whose relatives and the usual obligatory mourners gathered, in accordance with custom, for an evening of prayers and-as today’s cant would put it-“coming to terms with” the loss. On such occasions people usually stand up and pronounce a few words of eulogy. On this particular evening, however, when the rabbi called for someone to speak well of the departed, no one stirred. He chided the company for its reticence, but still no one moved. Finally, he…

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