July 18, 2024

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Around the World With Henry Kissinger

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Getting to know Henry Kissinger was a wonderful bonus of serving in the U.S. Senate. Some of the most memorable times I had with him were when he traveled with John McCain and me to the annual security conference in Munich. On one overnight flight, John and I peppered Henry with questions about his peace efforts in the Mideast, the opening with China, ending the Vietnam War and reducing tensions with the Soviet Union.

Sunlight spilling in through the plane’s windows awakened me the next morning, and as a religiously observant Jew, I put on my tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (small black leather boxes containing excerpts from the Bible that are worn on the head and arms) and said my prayers. When I finished, I was surprised to hear Henry’s sonorous voice: “You know, Joe, I was raised religious in Germany and put on tallit and tefillin every morning for a long time after my bar mitzvah. I must tell you, I am very moved to have seen you do that this morning.”

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2023-12-03 18:09:00

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