MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: September 18, 2017

We continue our chat with Nicole Malliotakis, the Assemblywoman who wants to be the next Mayor of NY. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick are back with reaction after last night’s premiere "The Vietnam War." What was it like for our service members when they left the battlefield and came home to a country at war with itself? Did you ever hear the tale"What the Rabbi asked Albert Einstein?” Neither did we.

AIRED: September 18, 2017 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS,"

MORE WHEN WITH NICOLE

MALLIOTAKIS, THE ASSEMBLY WOMAN

WHO WANTS TO BE NEXT MAYOR OF

THE CITY.

>> I THINK WE HAVE AN

OPPORTUNITY TO FIX THIS CITY.

TRANSITD NIGHTMARE GOING ON

UNADDRESSED AND MAYOR WITH

ATTITUDE ABOUT DOING HIS JOB.

>> KEN BURNS AND LYNN NOVICK

BACK TO CONTINUE THE

CONVERSATION ABOUT "THE VIETNAM

WAR," AIRING THIS WEEK AND NEXT

ON PBS.

ALSO THE LEGACIES OF WAR.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR SERVICE

MEMBERS WHEN THEY LEFT THE

BATTLEFIELD AND CAME HOME TO

COUNTRY AT TIMES AT WAR WITH

ITSELF.

AND DID YOU EVER HEAR WHAT THE

RABBI ASKED ALBERT EINSTEIN?

IT MAY JUST BLOW YOUR MIND.

>> ALL THAT AND MORE AS

"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.

>> Announcer: THIS IS

"METROFOCUS" WITH RAFAEL PI

ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA

FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS

PROVIDE BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR

"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR

RETIREMENT COMPANY AND BY PSE&G,

SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING

THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

THANKS FOR JOINING US, I'M

RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE RACE

FOR NEW YORK CITY MAYOR.

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IS NICOLE

MALLIOTAKIS, MEMBER OF THE STATE

ASSEMBLY REPRESENTING PARTS OF

MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STATUES.

SINCE CHARLOTTESVILLE, A

NATIONAL DEBATE AND DISCUSSION

ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH MONUMENTS.

MAYOR de BLASIO HAS CONVOKED A

COMMISSION TO DETERMINE WHAT TO

DO WITH CERTAIN MONUMENTS.

HE SAYS THAT COLUMBUS IN

COLUMBUS CIRCLE SHOULD BE LOOKED

AT.

WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THE

COLUMBUS STATUE AND COLUMBUS

CIRCLE AND AROUND THE CITY AND

ON MONUMENTS IN GENERAL?

>> I WAS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE

FIRST ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT HAD

COME OUT IN DEFENSE OF THE

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS STATUE.

HAPPY THAT OTHERS ARE ADDING

THEIR VOICE TO THAT.

I THINK MAYOR IS CREATING A

COMMISSION TO PIT COMMUNITIES

AGAINST EACH ORTHOAND BE

DIVISIVE NOT UNITING.

WE NEED SOMEONE TO UNIT THE

CITY.

ALL SAY THAT COLUMBUS STATUE

SHOULD NOT BE UNDER

CONSIDERATION AND I FEAR WE'RE

SEEING VANDALISM OF THE COLUMBUS

STATUES AROUND THE CITY AND I

BELIEVE THE RHETORIC PUT FORTH

BY COUNCIL SPEAKER AND MAYOR

ENCOURAGE THAT BEHAVIOR.

I DON'T THINK THERE'S COMMISSION

NECESSARY, SHOULD DO AWAY WITH

IT AND MAYOR SHOULD BE FOCUSING

ON REAL ISSUES PLAGUING THE

CITY.

HOMELESS CRISIS, EPIC.

TRANSIT CRISIS.

SCHOOLS THAT CONTINUE TO FAIL

OUR CHILDREN.

THOSE ARE THE ISSUES ME AS MAYOR

WILL BE FOCUSING ON.

>> BUT IF YOU'RE MAYOR AND

PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITIES UPSET

BY THE MONUMENTS THAT STILL

STAND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

>> PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE UPSET

NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.

COLUMBUS STATUE BEEN THERE

NEARLY A CENTURY.

NOT A PROBLEM UNTIL THE SPEAKER

MADE IT A PROBLEM AND MAYOR de

BLASIO EXACERBATED THAT AND

DOING THIS COMMISSION, NOT

SAYING WHERE HE STANDS ON THE

STATUE.

ALL THE OTHERS SAYING THEY

SUPPORT KEEPING THE STATUE,

OFFENDED MEMBERS OF THE

ITALIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

HE REPRESENTS ITALIAN-AMERICAN

IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE.

I BELIEVE NOT HAVE THE

COMMISSION BUT FOCUS ON THE

SERIOUS ISSUES PLAGUING THE

CITY.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT ONE.

SUBWAY SYSTEM.

TELLING YOU ABOUT THE NIGHTMARE

EXPERIENCE I HAD THIS MORNING,

AN HOUR AND 40 MINUTES TO GET

HERE.

NOT FIRST TIME.

BUT THEY'RE UNDER CONTROL OF THE

GOVERNOR IN ALBANY.

WHAT CAN MAYOR DO TO FIX THIS

INCREDIBLE PROBLEM THAT SEEMS TO

BE GETTING WORSE?

>> DURING MY TIME IN LEGISLATURE

SPOKEN OUT MULTIPLE TIMES ABOUT

THE NEED TO FIX MTA BUT NOT RELY

ON TREMENDOUS DEBT BECAUSE THAT

PUTS BURDEN ON THE TOLL AND FARE

PAYERS IN THE CITY.

BUT MAYOR HAS BIGGER BULLY

PULPIT TO MAKE THIS ARGUMENT AND

SUBWAY SYSTEM THAT RUNS THROUGH

HIS ENTIRE CITY.

MULTIPLE DERAILMENTS WITH DOZENS

OF CITIZENS INJURED AND MAYOR

TURNED A BLIND EYE AND WHEN

QUESTIONED, WALKED AWAY FROM THE

CAMERAS.

DIDN'T WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE

PEOPLE INJURED.

MAJOR PROBLE.

AS MAYOR I WILL APPOINT THE FOUR

BOARD MEMBERS MAYOR IS ENTITLED

TO, TO MAKE SURE WATCHDOINGS OF

THE CITY.

RIGHT NOW MAYOR SHOULD BE

WORKING WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO TO

ADDRESS THE CRISIS.

THERE IS A PLAN THAT'S BEEN PUT

FORWARD.

AS MAYOR I WILL WORK WITH

SURPLUS FUNDS OR OTHER REVENUE

STREAMS I'VE IDENTIFIED --

>> WHAT REVENUE STREAMS?

>> THERE'S A BILLION DOLLARS

ROUGHLY UNCOLLECTED FINES OF

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD.

MORE PEOPLE WHO RIDE TRANSIT,

BETTER FOR ENVIRONMENT.

COULD MAKE SENSE.

>> WHAT ABOUT MILLIONAIRE'S TAX?

>> IT'S PIE-IN-THE-SKY PROPOSAL.

LEADERS SAID IT'S DEAD ON

ARRIVAL IN ALBANY.

NOW THE MAYOR IS SAYING SENATE

TAKEN OVER IN 2018, DO IT THEN,

THAT MEANS WOULDN'T GET REVENUE

UNTIL 2019 OR 2020.

MONEY IS THERE.

MAKES NO SENSE.

MAYOR SPENT $15 BILLION MORE

THAN MICHAEL BLOOMBERG DID,

SAYING THERE'S NO MONEY FOR

NUMBER ONE ISSUE IN THE CITY.

>> FOR OR AGAINST A CONGESTED

SYSTEM TO PUT TOLLS, ET CETERA.

>> I'M OPEN TO THE PROCESS.

SAM SCHWARTZ HAS PUT OUT A GOOD

PLAN THAT I THINK SHOULD BE

CONSIDERED BY EVERYONE.

GOVERNOR SAID HE'S CONSIDERING

IT.

SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT

THE TRAFFIC NIGHTMARES WE'RE

DEALING WITH AND ALSO A GOOD

REVENUE STREAM.

ISSUE FOR ME AS REPRESENTATIVE

OF STATEN ISLAND IN BROOKLYN,

MOST EXPENSIVE TOLL, I'M

SENSITIVE.

NEEDS TO BE A CAP ON ANY TOLL.

>> PRIMARY NIGHT WATCHING

COVERAGE, ONE PUNDIT FAVORABLE

TO YOUR CAMPAIGN SAYS SHE

WONDERS WHY HAVEN'T MADE MORE OF

THE FACT YOU WOULD BE THE FIRST

WOMAN MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY.

WHY NOT?

>> IT'S OBVIOUS I'M A WOMAN.

I DON'T NEED TO NECESSARILY

POINT IT OUT.

SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THAT TYPE

OF POLITICKING.

I DON'T THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE

VOTING FOR ME BECAUSE I'M WOMAN

OR FIRST LATINO MAYOR AS WELL.

I'M PROUD TO CARRY THAT BANNER.

WHEN WE HAVE WOMEN THAT STEP UP

TO PLATE TO RUN FOR OFFICE,

WE'RE MAKING IT EASIER FOR

FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT WANT TO

DO THAT.

WE NEED TO BREAK THE GLASS

CEILINGS, I FEEL THAT BUT DON'T

VOTE FOR ME BECAUSE WOMAN OR

HISPANIC OR GREEK FOR THAT

MATTER, BUT BECAUSE I'M

PRESENTING BEST IDEAS AND

SOLUTIONS.

GO TO WEBSITE

NICOLEFORMAYOR2017.COM.

PUT OUT GREAT PLANS AND EVERY

DAY ROLLING OUT MORE IDEAS.

WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FIX

THIS CITY.

SEEN A DECLINE IN THE QUALITY OF

LIFE.

TRANSIT NIGHTMARE GOING

UNADDRESSED AND MAYOR WHO HAS I

DON'T CARE ATTITUDE ABOUT DOING

HIS JOB.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US TWICE.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> FOR OVER 30 YEARS KEN BURNS

AND LYNN NOVICK HAVE BEEN MAKING

AWARD-WINNING FILMS, PUTTING

LENS ON AMERICA.

CINEMATIC MASTERPIECES THAT MADE

OUR PAST COME TO LIFE.

NOW TAKEN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT ONE

OF THE MOST PAINFUL CHAPTERS OF

OUR HISTORY, THE VIETNAM WAR.

IT IS AN EPIC SERIES TELLING THE

STORY AS IT'S NEVER BEEN TOLD

BEFORE.

FEATURES TESTIMONY FROM NEARLY

100 WITNESSES INCLUDING MANY

AMERICANS WHO FOUGHT IN THE WAR

OR OPPOSED IT AND VIETNAMESE

COMBATANTS AND BOTH SIDES OF THE

CONFLICT.

HUMAN DIMENSIONS.

TRAGEDY TOOK LIFE OF SO MANY

AMERICANS AND MORE VIETNAMESE

AND POLARIZED NATION.

HERE'S A LOOK.

>> IT WAS FOUGHT IN THE NORTH

AND IN THE SOUTH, IN THE AIR AND

ON THE GROUND.

IT WAS FOUGHT IN THE WHITE

HOUSE.

AND IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS.

IN AMERICA'S STREETS AND

COLLEGES AND LIVING ROOMS.

AND WE CONTINUE TO ASK, WHAT

HAPPENED.

>> I RECENTLY HAD THE

OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH THE

CODIRECTORS OF "THE VIETNAM WAR"

AND BEGAN THE CONVERSATION BY

ASKING IF THEY FELT THEY FULLY

COVERED EFFECTS ON THE MILITARY

IN THE COMMENTARY?

>> I REALLY DO.

>> I DO.

AND THAT'S THE BINARY NATURE.

CAN BE SUBSUMED BY LARGER TRUTH.

WE HAVE ANTIWAR GUY WHO KNEW

FROM BEGINNING IT WAS WRONG AND

SOLDIERS WHO KNEW FROM BEGINNING

THEY WERE GOING TO VOLUNTEER AND

GO INTO COMBAT AND SAVE THE

WORLD FROM MONOLITHIC COMMUNISM.

GOD BLESS THEM BOTH.

AND YOU CAN FIND WITHIN THEIR

STORIES TRAND FORMATIONS THAT

TAKE PLACE ON THE GROUND IN

VIETNAM OR TRANSFORMATIONS THAT

SAY OUR TACTICS REALLY STUPID

AFTER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON OUR

SIDE WE STARTED ACTING CRAZY AND

GETTING RADICAL AND TURNING

PEOPLE OFF AND PERMITTED BOTH

PRESIDENTS JOHNSON AND NIXON TO

AT TIMES SHINE.

WANTED TO NOT MAKE ANYBODY ONE

MONOLITHIC THING, GOOD OR BAD.

PORTRAITS TO CLES LESSER DEGREE

OF -- EISENHOWER BUT MOSTLY

JOHNSON AND NINETY-SIXTH.

SHAKESPEAREAN CHARACTERS OF THE

HIGHEST MATTER.

NOT JUST WHITE HAT OR BLACK,

WITHIN A DAY THEY EXCHANGED HATS

MULTIPLE TIMES.

THAT'S WHAT THE FILM TRIES TO

LOVE.

>> I UNDERSTOOD IT AFTER I SAW

IT.

YOU SAID IT WOULD BE

CONTROVERSIAL FOR THOSE WHO

DON'T SEE IT.

>> BECAUSE THAT'S HOW WE LIVE IN

THIS CULTURE.

REVIEWING A FILM WE HAVEN'T

SEEN.

PULL OUT OF CONTEXT, AHA,

THEY'RE THIS WAY.

OR TEN MINUTES LATER, AHA, EXACT

OPPOSITE.

IF YOU STOP AND GIVE US

EXTRAORDINARY HONOR OF GIVING US

YOUR ATTENTION FOR WHAT IS A BIG

ASK, TEN EPISODES AND 18 HOURS,

WE PROMISE YOU WILL BE REWARDED

AND POSSIBILITY OF REARRANGING

YOUR OWN MOLECULES THINKING

ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR.

>> HOW DID YOU HOPE VETERANS

WILL RESPOND?

>> FIRST OF ALL WANT TO SAY ONE

OF THE REASONS WE MADE THE FILM

IS HONOR THE SACRIFICE OF MEN

AND WOMEN WHO SERVED IN THE WAR.

IF WE'VE LEARNED ONE LESSON FROM

THE VIETNAM WAR IS NOT CONFUSE

THE WAR AND WARRIOR AND NOT

FORGET TO HONOR OUR VETERANS.

WE THINK THE FILM GIVES COUNTRY

THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT.

AND ALSO HOPE IT GIVES VETERANS

AND OUR COMMUNITY MORE BROADLY

THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THIS

CONVERSATION.

BECAUSE AS KEN WAS SAYING, SO

POLARIZING AND BITTER FEELINGS

ABOUT WHO FOUGHT AND DIDN'T,

WHY, AND WHAT THE SACRIFICE

REALLY MEANT.

NEVER BEEN ABLE TO REALLY TALK

ABOUT IT.

THAT'S WHAT WE HOPE WILL HAPPEN.

>> YOU SAID FUNDAMENTALLY YOU

WANT A CONVERSATION TO GET

STARTED ABOUT THE WAR.

ELABORATE ON THAT.

>> LYNN MENTIONED IT BEFORE.

SPENT YEARS AND YEARS DRAWING ON

THE EXPERTISE OF SCHOLARS ACROSS

THE BOARD, WEST POINT AND

MILITARY COLLEGES BUT NEVER

FAILED TO HAVE SCREENING WITH

VETERAN OR TWO OR THREE OR FOUR.

BS METER SO GOOD, VERIFY WHAT IS

SO HARD, UNIMAGINABLE, COMBAT.

EXPERIENCE OF COMBAT, TALKING

ABOUT THIS SINCE CIVIL WAR AND

THROUGH WORLD WAR II.

WE HAVE A CONVERSATION, OUR

VIOLENT DEATH NOT POSSIBLE AT

ANY MOMENT BUT AS SOLDIER,

THAT'S THE CASE.

PTSD, VIETNAM GAVE US THOSE

INITIALS.

BUT VIVIFIES LIFE TO PLACE YOU

NEVER HAD.

STUFF HAPPENS IN WAR.

REALLY HORRIBLE TO BE SURE BUT

ALSO REALLY AMAZING STUFF.

COURAGEOUS AND GENEROUS AND

SELF-SACRIFICING STUFF,

INTROSPECTIVE STUFF.

IF YOU'RE FILMMAKER AND SPREAD

YOUR ARMS WIDE ENOUGH TO CATCH

THAT AND NOT JUST GOOD AND BAD

OF IT, THEN YOU HAVE OPPORTUNITY

FOR MORE COMPLEX PORTRAIT.

IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ANY MOMENT

FOR PEOPLE WITH DIVERSE POINTS

OF VIEW TO COEXIST WITHIN A

SCENE OR EPISODE AND DON'T FEEL

OUT OF PLACE.

WE WOULD WATCH THE VETERANS,

SOME OF WHOM I WOULD LABEL STILL

COMMITTED TO THE VALUES THAT

BROUGHT US TO VIETNAM HUGGING

AND CRYING AND SMOKING A

CIGARETTE WITH SOMEONE WHO CAME

BACK AND JOINED THE ANTIWAR

MOVEMENT.

WHAT WE'VE ALSO DONE IS ADDED

WHAT QUESTION OF COURAGE IS.

COURAGE IS OBVIOUSLY GOING INTO

BATTLE BUT AT THE SAME TIME

COURAGE IS SAYING NO, THIS IS

WRONG.

I'M NOT GOING TO GO.

WHAT WE TRIED TO DO IS JUST SAY

CAN WE MAKE A TABLE BIG ENOUGH

AND GENEROUS ENOUGH TO CONTAIN

ALL OF THOSE WITHOUT SCOLDING?

>> BUT THE 360 DEGREE VIEW YOU

HAVE OF THIS WAR IS A MAGNET FOR

CONVERSATION.

NEVERTHELESS AS I WAS WATCHING

IT AND KNEW THIS IS WHAT YOU

HOPED TO GET OUT OF IT, I'M

TROUBLED BY THE FACT WE SEEM TO

LIVE IN TIME WHERE CONVERSATION

IS LAST THING PEOPLE SEEM TO

WANT.

>> THAT'S WHAT KEN IS SAYING,

SHOWING THE FILM, RANDOM PEOPLE,

VETERANS, PEOPLE AGAINST THE

WAR, SCHOLARS, 25-YEAR-OLDS WHO

DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT AND

EVERYONE IN BETWEEN, WE'VE SEEN

THIS CONVERSATION HAPPEN.

OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

>> LAST WEEK.

>> INCREDIBLE.

>> LAST WEEK IN ANN ARBOR,

SHOWED AN HOUR OF CLIPS AND INTO

QUESTIONS.

SOMEBODY CAME UP, VIETNAM

VETERAN, THANKS FOR DOING IT.

CAN I ASK THE OTHERS TO STAND

UP?

PLACE EXPLODED WITH APPLAUSE FOR

VETERANS.

THIS IS WHY WE'RE IN PUBLIC

BROADCASTING.

WHAT WE'RE INTERESTED IN IS

WHERE CAN WE DO THIS, ENGAGE A

HUGE SECTION, TENS OF MILLIONS

OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS

REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY COME

FROM?

AND WE'RE PROUD WE HAVE HIGH

RATINGS NOT ONLY IN UPPER WEST

SIDE AND SAN FRANCISCO BUT

ARKANSAS AND OKLAHOMA AND

ALASKA.

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE CAN FIND A

PLACE.

NEW ELECTRONIC CAMP FIRE, WE'RE

NOT TOO FAR DIFFERENCE.

HUMAN BEINGS, SHAKESPEARE,

REALTO SCENE.

IF YOU PATRICK US, DO WE INTO

THE BLEED.

ONE SCENE, VIETNAMESE, TAPPING

HIS HEAD, WAS THINKING AMERICANS

HAVE THE SAME THINKING AS

VIETNAM, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER

LIKE WE DO.

SHORT CIRCUIT OF THE NEURAL

PATHWAYS SO WORN THAT WE ALWAYS

TAKE.

WE'RE HONORED WE HAVE A NETWORK

WILLING TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT,

18 HOURS, YOU BET.

>> KEN BURNS AND LYNN NOVICK'S

SERIES "THE VIETNAM WAR" IS

AIRING ON LOCAL PBS STATIONS.

CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS.

>>> SCIENCE AND RELIGION HAVE

HISTORICALLY BEEN DIVIDED INTO

TWO VASTLY DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

BUT HOW DEEP IS THAT DICHOTOMY

OR IS IT?

ONE RABBI NAOMI LEVY IS

CHALLENGING THAT DIVIDE IN HER

NEW BOOK, "EINSTEIN AND THE

RABBI: SEARCHING FOR THE SOUL."

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT EINSTEIN

SAID THAT PROMPTED RABBI LEVY TO

DIVE INTO WHAT HE THOUGHT AND

HUMAN CONDITION AND HOW WE'RE

ALL CONNECTED.

RABBI NAOMI LEVY, WELCOME TO THE

SHOW.

>> THANK YOU JENNA, IT'S A JOY

TO BE HERE WITH YOU.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

FOR VIEWERS AND EVERYONE WHO

DOESN'T KNOW, WHAT WAS QUOTE

THAT SPARKED YOUR IMAGINATION?

>> I STUMBLED UPON THIS

STATEMENT BY EINSTEIN -- A HUMAN

BEING IS PART OF THE WHOLE,

CALLED BY US, UNIVERSE, A PART

LIMITED IN TIME AND SPACE.

THE EXPERIENCE OF SOMETHING

SEPARATE FROM THE REST, A KIND

OF OPTICAL DELUSION THAT IS

CONSCIOUSNESS, THE STRIVING TO

FREE ONESELF FROM THIS DELUSION

IS THE ONE ISSUE OF TRUE

RELIGION.

>> FIRST OF ALL INCREDIBLY DEEP

AND UNEXPECTED FROM SCIENTIFIC

MAN LIKE EINSTEIN BUT WHAT ABOUT

THAT SPOKE TO YOU AND SAID

THERE'S SOMETHING MORE HERE?

>> JUST CONFIRMED EVERYTHING

THAT I'VE COME TO BELIEVE ABOUT

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE IN

THIS WORLD AND WHAT CAUSES SO

MUCH SUFFERING ON OUR PLANET IS

THAT WE SEE OURSELVES AS

SEPARATE BUT WE'RE INTIMATELY

CONNECTED.

THE FACT THAT A PHYSICIST

SOUNDED LIKE A MYSTIC.

HE WASN'T TALKING ABOUT

MOLECULES, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT

HUMANITY.

AND EVERYTHING THAT UNITES US.

AND I WANTED TO KNOW MORE.

>> HOW DID -- WHEN YOU STARTED

WRITING YOUR BOOK AND EXPLORING

THIS THEME, HOW DID THAT FIT

INTO THE WIDER NOTION OF

RELIGION?

THERE'S EASY ANSWER OF COURSE

THAT RELIGION GIVES US SOMETHING

TO TIE US ALL TOGETHER.

BUT YET, THERE'S STILL SOMETHING

ELSE THAT'S THERE.

>> I FIND IT SO BEAUTIFUL TO

THINK ABOUT WHAT I WAS THINKING

ABOUT IS WHAT PART OF US HELPS

US TO SEE THE UNITY THAT

EINSTEIN WAS DESCRIBING THERE.

AND TO ME, IT'S THE SOUL.

IT'S THAT PIECE OF US THAT

UNITES ALL BEINGS IN ONE.

AND I JUST BEGAN SEARCHING AND

EXPLORING WHAT IS THE SOUL AND

HOW DOES IT SEE DIFFERENTLY THAN

OUR OWN EYES SEE.

OUR EYES SEE IN VERY LIMITED

WAYS AND THERE'S A PART OF US

THAT SEES IN MUCH MORE EXPANSIVE

WAYS AND IF WE CAN LEARN TO SEE

EXPANSIVELY CAN HEAL A LOT OF

RELATIONSHIPS AND HURTS.

>> WHAT WAS IT THAT YOU FOUND

WHEN YOU STARTED LOOKING INTO

THE NOTION OF THE SOUL?

>> I GUESS I WANT TO STEP BACK A

SECOND TO SAY THAT I LEARNED

THAT EINSTEIN -- I KEPT ASKING

WHERE DID THIS ESSAY COME FROM,

WHERE DID HE WRITE IT?

HE WAS WRITING IT AS CONDOLENCE

LETTER TO AN ORTHODOX RABBI, WHO

WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO

ENTER THE BUCHENWALD

CONCENTRATION CAMP UPON ITS

LIBERATION IN 1945.

AND THIS RABBI DISCOVERED A

THOUSAND CHILDREN ALIVE IN

BUCHENWALD, WHICH IS PRETTY

REMARKABLE THAT CHILDREN

SURVIVED THAT HORRIFIC

SITUATION.

AND ACTUALLY ONE OF THOSE

CHILDREN WAS A YOUNG BOY NAMED

ELI EZER WHO LOOKED MORE DEAD

THAN ALIVE AND THAT BOY WAS ELEE

WEISEL, REMARKABLY.

RABBI TAKEN CARE OF SO MANY

CHILDREN AND WHEN HE RETURNS

FROM THE WAR, HIS 11-YEAR-OLD

SON DIED OF POLIO.

HE WAS THRUST INTO A DEEP

SPIRITUAL CRISIS.

AND WHO DOES HE TURN TO FOR

SOLACE IN THE MIDST OF

SUFFERING?

NOT A SPIRITUAL COUNSELOR, A

SCIENTIST.

HE TURNS TO PHYSICIST AND WRITES

TO PHYSICIST FOR COUNSEL WHEN

HE'S FACING THE MOST HORRIFIC

CHALLENGE THAT ANY PARENT CAN

EVER FACE.

AND THESE ARE THE WORDS OF

COMFORT THAT EINSTEIN WRITES TO

THIS RABBI.

>> GIVEN THAT EINSTEIN AS

PHYSICIST WROTE -- HAD ALL THESE

AMAZING DISCOVERIES AND PAPERS

THAT WERE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED,

DO YOU THINK THIS LETTER AND

NOTION THAT HE WAS TALKING

ABOUT, CONNECTEDNESS BETWEEN

HUMANITY, IS ALSO SOMETHING THAT

CAN BE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED

ACROSS RELIGION LINES, RACIAL

AND COUNTRY LINES, ET CETERA?

>> I THINK IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL

THAT EINSTEIN CALLS THIS STATE

OF MIND OR STATE OF BEING TRUE

RELIGION.

BECAUSE HE'S NOT TALKING ABOUT

ONE RELIGION OR ANOTHER

RELIGION.

I THINK THE WAY I READ WHAT HE'S

SAYING, I BELIEVE WE CAN ALL

SIGN ON TO SOME SORT OF

UNIVERSAL SPIRITUALITY, NOT TO

DENY INDIVIDUAL FAITH TRADITIONS

AT ALL OR UNIQUENESS AS

INDIVIDUALS, BUT THERE'S A TRUE

RELIGION WE CAN ALL SIGN ON TO,

IT'S RELIGION OF SIMPLY

UNIVERSAL CONNECTEDNESS, JUST

ACKNOWLEDGING HOW WE'RE ALL

INTIMATELY TIED TOGETHER.

AND I PERSONALLY WOULD LOVE TO

BE A RABBI IN THAT RELIGION.

>> VERY QUICKLY BEFORE I LET YOU

GO, IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU

WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM,

TO HAVE A DEEPER INSIGHT INTO

THEMSELVES OR DEEPER INSIGHT

INTO THE MAN THAT EINSTEIN WAS?

>> YOU KNOW, THE BOOK OPERATES

ON MANY LAYERS, THERE'S A

HISTORICAL PIECE TO IT, DISCOVER

THE ROOTS OF THIS LETTER

INTERCHANGE, AND THERE IS A

SPIRITUALITY TO IT, THAT IF WE

CAN TAP INTO -- I CALL IT,

INSTEAD OF TAKING SELFIES, IF WE

CAN LEARN TO TAKE A SOULIFY,

LEARN TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTOURS

OF OUR OWN SOULS, WE CAN

RECOGNIZE OUR SOUL AND OTHERS.

IF WE CAN DO THAT, SEE HOW WE'RE

ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS, HEAL

OUR COUNTRY, SOCIETY AND WORLD.

BECAUSE SO MUCH OF THE HATRED IN

THIS WORLD COMES FROM INABILITY

TO SEE AN OTHER AS A BROTHER OR

SISTER.

>> RABBI LEVY, THAT'S A

BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT AND WOULD LIKE

TO END ON THAT NOTE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US

AND OF COURSE, HAPPY NEW YEAR.

>> JUST WISH A HAPPY AND SWEET

YEAR TO ALL JEWISH BROTHERS AND

SISTERS AND ALSO BLESSINGS TO

ALL.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> BEFORE WE LEAVE YOU TONIGHT

I'D LIKE TO GIVE YOU PREVIEW OF

INCREDIBLE FILM, "LEGACIES OF

WAR: VIETNAM," A NEW DOCUMENTARY

THAT EXPLORES THE CONFLICT

ITSELF AND THE STRUGGLES OUR

SERVICE MEMBERS FACED WHEN THEY

CAME BACK TO THE TRISTATE REGION

AS CIVILIANS AFTER LEAVING THE

BATTLEFIELD, FROM TOURS OF DUTY

TO LESS THAN TRIUMPHANT RETURN

HOME, IT'S A POWERFUL FILM YOU

DON'T WANT TO MISS.

TAKE A LOOK.

>> 1968.

>> BEST FRIEND AND I DROPPED OUT

TO ENLIST.

>> TWO DAYS BEFORE 19th

BIRTHDAY.

>> WE LOST A LOT OF SOLDIERS

KILLED IN ACTION THAT DAY.

>> WANTED TO BE GOD, TO HEAL

THEM, AND YOU COULDN'T.

>> PEOPLE WERE JUST OPENLY

HOSTILE.

>> FULL ANTIWAR DEMONSTRATIONS

FACE-TO-FACE.

>> FELT I SHOULD GO DO MY PART.

>> "LEGACIES OF WAR: VIETNAM"

AIRS ON SEPTEMBER 18th, 9:30

P.M. ON WNET 13.

CHECK FOR MORE INFORMATION AND

SUBSEQUENT VIEWINGS.

>>> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD NIGHT,

OFFER YOU A GIFT.

NOW TAKE "METROFOCUS" WITH YOU

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