Everybody Loves a Good Pope: Especially Jews.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I on March 13, 2013; by December, he was Time’s “Man of the Year”; and in January, the Huffington Post announced rave reviews by the “Forward 50 list of top American Jews” as well.

Calling the Jewish People “Our big brothers” on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht certainly helped, as did his giving Rabbi Abraham Skorka (of the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano) an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Argentina.

But this Jewish adulation is also a sigh of relief following an era when Jewish-Catholic relationships seemed again to be in jeopardy. After centuries of Catholic enmity over the Jewish “rejection” of Christ, Vatican II had surprised the world with its1963 affirmation that God still “holds the Jews most dear” and “does not repent of the calls He issues.” That is to say, Judaism has not, after all, been superseded by Christianity; Jews should not be reviled as Christ killers; and Christian anti-Semitism must cease.

That was the liberalizing era of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, however. With their successors, John Paul II and then Benedict XVI, the revival of conservative forces in the Vatican made Jews suspect the imminent return also of medieval Catholic separatism. When Francis reasserted the “common roots” of Jews and Christians, and the reminder that “a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” Jews concluded that the gains of Vatican II might be here to stay.

But the Jewish love affair with Francis isn’t all about self-interest.

An article in Haaretz (Anshei Pfeffer, “Pope Francis Cannot save Us.” Dec. 11, 2013) got it right: “In the total absence of truly charismatic political or spiritual figures, in a generation where Israel’s elected leaders and rabbis constantly make us cringe with their outrageous statements or despair at their hopeless blandness, Bergoglio… extends some hope that we may yet see some wise old men [sic] of faith in our lifetime.”

We would say “men and women” not just “men”; being “old” has nothing to do with it; and the issue is not just Israel. But otherwise, hurray for Haaretz for observing that the positive public voice of Judaism has been wanting. Whatever happened to the Jewish visionaries who spoke truths instead of platitudes, posited promises of Jewish purpose rather than threats to Jewish continuity, held out hope for a troubled world, and made us proud to know that our Judaism is deep and wise, compassionate and compelling?

Who remembers the days when Abraham Joshua Heschel spoke poetically and prophetically to reassure a worldwide audience that religion still had something important to say? Or when thousands of Reform Jews gathered biennially, to hear Rabbi Alexander Schindler demand that they act boldly, think creatively, and make a difference?

The relative dearth of such voices today is a generational flaw, not because rabbis now are less able, but because of the way they have been trained (their “spiritual formation,” in theological language). Heschel and Schindler took it for granted that as experts in Jewish tradition, rabbis think deeply, speak boldly, and command a bully pulpit. Seeing flaws in this “Big Man” model of leadership, their students (my generation) emphasized alternative strategies like team work, collaboration, and facilitating group process.

So far so good – but we went too far: confusing authoritarianism with authority, we stopped speaking authoritatively.

Congregations aid and abet this downfall of authority by making rabbis managers, bureaucrats and apparatchiks. Success is attending meetings and managing a process that slowly creaks along while people forget why it is creaking altogether.

The economy hasn’t helped either: those in positions of national authority (not just Jews but everyone) exhaust themselves just to avoid closing plants and programs – leaving little time or energy to think or to proclaim anything. The national mood too is at fault for thriving on negativity and crippling great vision with a lethal combination of parsimonious bookkeeping and meanness of spirit.

What is the point of religion in the first place, however, if not to insist on vision, especially where the complexities of life seem to foster helplessness and hopelessness, precisely our situation today?

So along comes Francis, a welcome reminder of religion beyond bureaucracy, and heralding the best that we must become. I do not agree with everything he says – his economics, for example; and, no doubt, he has his own conservative naysayers who cringe at the very things that make the rest of us stand up and applaud.

But most Jews are on their feet and clapping – not just for Francis, but for what he represents and what we miss. The responsibility for making up that loss cannot be laid on the shoulders of the rabbinate alone. We have all colluded in manufacturing our problem; we must all work together in solving it.

Synagogues can insist on rabbis with learning and vision – then expect them to learn and engage them in visioning. Seminaries can demand that students think deeply, not just hurriedly and passingly; philanthropists can invest in big ideas with a future, not just reactive strategies dictated by the past. Jews don’t need Francis; we need rabbis like him, because without them, it remains unclear why we should even remain Jewish in the first place.

Magic Wands, Conductors’ Batons, and Other Miracles

Synagogue goers this week will hear the biblical story of Korach: a revolution in three days of screaming headlines: “Rebels Master Moses in Surprise Israelite Coup!” Then, “Earth Swallows Rebel Leaders!” And, finally, “Aaronide Priests Purge Rebels, Regain Power.” This looks like a banana-republic revolt suppressed by the old-guard that then restores the status quo ante.

But the tale is deeper than that. Look at the two miracles with which it ends. In the first, the rebels die by being swallowed up into a fissure that miraculously opens up in the earth’s crust. In the second, a staff belonging to the Levites suddenly blossoms as if it were still alive.

The story could have ended with the first miracle alone: the rebels perish; Moses and Aaron are vindicated; end of tale. Why then do we get the second miracle, and why precisely here? The answer lies in a deft piece of literary construction — the arrangement of two miracles back to back as mirror images of each other. First the rebels, full of life, are sucked up into the earth to die. Then a dead piece of wood (the staff) flowers as if it were still alive.

From life to death; from death to life: this is a metaphoric treatment of life and death.

The Hebrew for “staff,” moreover (mateh) also means “tribe,” so the Levites’ blossoming staff signifies that its owners will take the Israelites forward in their ongoing struggle against dying in the desert. The rebels go from life to death; the tribes who follow Moses and Aaron will fight off death to celebrate life renewed.

The staff is like a conductor’s baton or a magician’s magic rod, where owning and operating produce music or magic, but only in the hand of the right user. The rebels most assuredly had their own staffs, but wielded (perhaps) the way riot police swing clubs. They produce only death. The Levitical staff is deposited in the sacred shrine where God’s presence is manifest. That is to say, it is used only for sacred ends.

At one extreme, then, Korach’s demonic abuse of power reverses the miracle of life. At the other extreme, we see the possibility of music from a dead baton, magic from an ordinary wand, and flowers from a leader’s sacred staff.

Few of us are actual conductors, magicians, priests or tribal chiefs (who had their own rods, according to the story). But we all work with staffs of some sort: the extensions of our hands, minds, and hearts by which we hope to make life flourish — pen and paper to dash a note to those we love; a preschooler’s paintings that we fasten magnetically to the refrigerator door; or a camera for family photos charting a child’s growth from toddler to teenager. Pens, paint, or cameras: these are examples of modern-day staffs that can blossom.

The death of the rebels is dramatic and memorable. But I prefer the flowering of the staff: not the way the earth opens up to swallow evil, but the way it opens also to let a green shoot of promise reach toward the sunlight. Judaism regularly elects that image. What do we say whenever we eat bread, that staple which we call also the staff (!) of life? “Blessed [is God] for bringing forth bread from the earth.” We do not, upon experiencing an earthquake, praise God for swallowing up evil.

Savor, then, the ability to love, to create, to weave miracles into life’s tapestry. Let your home and work be places where you wave your wands of life and bring forth music and magic. You too can watch the earth on which you walk open up, but for good and not for evil.

“In My Childhood, I had No Childhood,” He Said

“In my childhood,” Anton Chekhov famously said, “I had no childhood.” He said it “famously,” of course, only because he was famous. For lots of people, the idea of childhood raises wistful sadness of something we were cheated out of.

If the bliss of childhood is something we sometimes fail to get but regularly wish we had, the second infancy of advanced old age is something we regularly hope to avoid but will probably have to endure. How ironic to suffer the worst of both possibilities: to miss out on childhood but have to endure the creeping debilitation of old age.

In between, we get the broad landscape of the adult: independent and all-powerful; no longer the child, at the mercy of others, but not yet conscious of advancing time and attrition. Adults are grown up but not yet grown old.

These views of life’s stages are prototypically modern, a function of the hubris that set in with science, the Enlightenment, and the machine age, all of which promised ultimate salvation by and for “can do” adults. Adulthood, we imagine, is time set aside for achievements that we list in a c.v. like notches in a cowboy’s gun. “What do you do?” we ask adults whom we meet for the very first time. When you get too old to “do” anything, we retire you to a “rest” home as uninteresting.

This fetish for achievement is a modernist critique of medieval Christianity, helped along by capitalism. The medieval church had done its best to convince human beings that they could never accomplish anything worthwhile; that we are all sinners; that being born into serfdom or royalty, poverty or wealth, was God’s will to be endured; and that deliverance arrives only in the afterlife and only for those without pride of self. With no possibility of accomplishment, the point of life was just to get through it and make it to rebirth on the other side of death; hence the idea of life as a “cycle” – from birth, to adulthood, to old age, and, then, to rebirth (a progression evident in Christian iconography of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries).

The capitalist influence attracted a host of early theorists. Max Weber (1864-1920) named Calvinist Protestantism as the force that cast doubt on the medieval narrative: Protestants accepted human sinfulness, but thought that God predestines some people for salvation in the world to come and signals that choice by allowing the predestined chosen to multiply wealth, power and achievements here and now. Werner Sombart (1863-1941) thought Jews the more likely candidate: excluded from medieval guilds, Jews opted for a competitive system that rewarded entrepreneurial individualism. More likely, Ferdinand Toennies (1855-1936) was right in seeing capitalism as a function of individualism and modernity per se. In any event, individualism and capitalism inherited the vacuum opened up by the shrinking medieval sacred canopy, giving us the unquestioned view that life’s purpose is to pile up achievements, preferably quantifiable – enough to fill long obituaries that prove we were once worthwhile.

This rapturous sense of adult possibility takes its toll, however. At the very least, the endless search for achievement comes at the fearful price of never having enough and being only as good as the last healthy bonus, satisfied customer, enthusiastic client, or rave review.

No wonder we romanticize childhood as the innocent time we never got. Did we really never have it or do we just wish, sometimes, we could get it again: abandon the burden of adult achievement and retire – not to old age, of course, but back to childhood, where we still have boundless energy, but don’t have to accomplish anything.

Other cultures and eras carve up life’s promises differently. Classical Judaism, for example, honors aging as a goal, not a falloff from one’s prime. When Rav Ashi, the most cited rabbi of the Talmud, is invited to offer a public prayer but is not sure what prayer to say, he looks to an old man (hahu sava) for confirmation, because elders have what mere adults do not: wisdom. And Judaism values wisdom as a guide to what counts for real achievement and what does not.

To be sure, achievement matters for the Rabbis, who are hardly passive about the world. But they know better than to think that all things are humanly possible, and they had read Ecclesiastes, the very epitome of wisdom, for whom the endless quest for achievements is “vanity of vanities”; it leaves you “pursuing the wind” (Ecc. 2:11). So the achievements they advocate are those that wisdom recognizes as lasting and satisfying, available yet ultimate: acts of kindness and righteousness.

Here is a vision of achievement where childhood is not frivolity nor old age doddering. Childhood inaugurates the search for wisdom and the art of dealing kindly and righteously. As adults, we seek to model such a life. In old age, we are still kind and righteous, but surprise of surprises – freed from other demands of adulthood, we are free to master wisdom.

Why do people label religion irrelevant? The Jewish view of growing up and growing old is as fine a model of life as I can imagine.

Not Just Economics but Fraying Social Fabric: Robert Putnam and His Reviewer

My first academic book (The Canonization of the Synagogue Service, 1979) was a study of the political process by which the first Jewish prayer book came into being. The book was reviewed positively and is still required reading in the field. Imagine then, my surprise, when, a few years back, an Israeli scholar published a related volume but relegated my book to this single footnote: “Hoffman’s“Hoffman’s book is too foolish to bother including here.”

A similar incident occurred when I wrote Covenant of Blood, a historical but anthropological account of circumcision, that demonstrated, in part, how the ritual functioned in the Middle Ages as a male bonding ritual in which male blood and female blood were juxtaposed as primary symbols of positive and negative valence. Once again, the book was greeted warmly, and once again also, one reviewer unaccountably condemned me – this time, as anti-Semitic.

Such minority reports are often more indicative of the reviewers than the book being reviewed. New perspectives can mistakenly be seen as necessarily negating old ones, when, in fact, they simply widen prior understandings.

Truth is seldom such a zero-sum game: new analyses may add to old truths rather than displace them.

In a recent Facebook posting, I urged people to read Robert Putnam’s recently published Our Kids. Some readers then forwarded to me the review from the New York Review of Books by Nicholas Lehmann (Unhappy Days in America, May 21, 2015) which I had somehow missed. What did I think of it, they wanted to know. Did it change my view of Putnam’s book?

The review is competent, learned, and formidable. But it didn’t change my mind. Here’s why.

Lehmann contrasts Putnam’s work with Thomas Picketty’s recent Capital in the Twentieth Century, a deeply disturbing claim that our economic policies are producing a tiny upper-class “living like feudal lords,” at the expense of an underclass that will be eternally poor. Putnam acknowledges this economic disparity but adds a nuanced sociological understanding to Picketty’s economic one. Most of Our Kids focuses on family life, early childhood development, schools, and neighborhoods — as contributory factors to our emerging two-class phenomenon. These, Lehmann implies, are just subsidiary issues that do not even have proven causal connections to the phenomenon in question.

I am, to paraphrase the prophet Amos, “neither a sociologist nor the son of a sociologist” so I cannot rule on the technical matter of the extent to which the data display clear lines of causality. But Putnam makes no simple causal claims so much as he unveils a set of interlocking factors that combine to magnify each other’s detrimental influence. Both Putnam and Picketty are describing the same phenomenon from diverse points of view: Putnam understands the economics but adds the social factors that make the economic impact even worse than it would be on its own. He expands our purview to see just how insidiously economic privation poisons everything else: families, parenting, schools, and neighborhoods – the very essence of the social fabric that sustains us.

Our Kids should be read as an extension of Putnam’s prior work, Bowling Alone (a 1995 essay expanded into a 2000 book) and even his later American Grace (2010). All three works emphasize the power of social capital, the means by which dense social networks support the kind of mutual engagement that leads people to help one another. If there is a bottom line to Our Kids, it is the fact that the underclass suffers a breakdown in every aspect of social life: not just grinding poverty, but fear of violence that shuts people off from their neighbors; families under stress; parents too tired or strung out to communicate with their children; schools that barely educate, and then phase out extracurricular networking that would provide social capital for its overworked and under prepared students.

None of this necessarily implies that we ignore the underlying economic causes of class disparity. On the contrary, I suspect that Putnam was deliberately understating what everyone knows to be the case anyway, not papering over the need to provide equal economic opportunity, but suggesting important ways in which social realities can be restructured to ameliorate the situation. These social issues are not just Marxist epiphenomena, smoke screens that divert us from attending to the real culprit, the economy. Of course the economic disparities lie at the core of it all; and of course they deserve our attention; but so too do the other issues that Putnam details with such care.

Putnam’s work expands economic analyses with insight into the fraying social fabric that is devastating the subjects of this book, “our kids.”

A man falls overboard….

A man falls overboard, and the captain rushes to the rail hoping to locate him. Unable to see through the heavy fog, he shouts into the PA system: “We are here by your side, but cannot find you. What is your position? What is your position?” A moment later, a voice responds: “President of a bank! President of a bank.”

That’s a “Navy Parable” (as I like to think of it) that I heard while working for a year designing continuing education courses for Navy chaplains. How sad, we say, that even in what may be his last and dying moments, the man thinks his professional identity is what will save him.

By contrast, consider Jonah, about to fall overboard, and accosted by sailors who think him responsible for the storm that is capsizing their vessel. When asked, “Who are you?” Jonah replies. “I am a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made both sea and land” (Jonah 14:9).

The difference is not just hubris versus piety. Sociologists point out the long-term trend from identity that is ascribed to identity that is achieved. Jonah’s identity is ascribed – – a simple given into which he is born and from which he has no intention of escaping. The bank president’s identity is achieved – – it is the pride and purpose of his life, something he has built and nurtured as the self he wants to be.

We can imagine both Jonah and the banker shouting avid affirmation of who they are as death threatens to annihilate them. Faced with the possibility of no longer being anything at all, they scream aloud just who they are and who it is that will go missing when they are gone. We may be born with just an immediate sense of self; but as we grow older, we learn to interpret that immediacy in ways that justify it. We are Hebrews, we decide; or bank presidents; or other things that matter.

The ultimate injury to our humanity is being told we are nothing. Consider the testimony of Primo Levi, recalling Auschwitz : “They have taken away our clothes, our shoes, even our hair…. They will even take away our name…. I have learned that I am Haeftling [“prisoner”]. My number is 174517.” [1] Dehumanization is precisely the exercise of taking away everything we thought we were and reducing us to numbers.

Nobody wants to be reduced to a numbered nothing. But if not a number, then what? Bank president or Hebrew? What we have achieved or what we have been given? We live nowadays with a profusion of both. “Identity” says photographer Juan Fontcuberta, is “validation of my roles…. I’m an artist, or a husband, or a father, or Catalan.” [2]

We do not all have this privilege of profusion. The poor have little room for selecting the luxury of identities beyond their day to day struggle to survive. But anyone reading this is likely to have just the opposite problem: too many choices with insufficient time and energy to satisfy any single one of them. Hence the struggle to be good spouses, good parents, good professionals, good friends; good conversationalists, good musicians, good cooks, good gardeners; not to mention just plain good people; and still have room each day to be good to ourselves.

Knowing he was first, foremost, and altogether a Hebrew, Jonah had only to worry about being the best Hebrew he could be. When Hebrew is just one of many selves we might say we are, we face the need to order our priorities. A healthy exercise is shifting the question from what we think we are to what we want other people to say we are – not just now, but at our eulogy, after we are dead.

From the Navy Parable, I wonder if it will suffice to have the rabbi say, “Above all, he was a terrific president of a bank!” I rather doubt it.

[1] Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (New York: Collier ed., 1993), pp. 26-27

[2] From Adam Bly, ed., Science is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science + Society ((New York: Harper Perennial, 2010), p. 83.

Toxicity In The Camp

If you were raised in an age of dental pain – that’s “pAIn” not “pLAn” — you probably still flinch at the word “decay,” a hideous pronouncement of dire things to come.

The fear of decay runs deep among us. Anthropologists associate it with the horror that premodern societies accord to ritual impurity, precisely the concern of this week’s Torah reading (Naso), which describes gonorrhea, leprosy, and contact with a corpse as matters of physical decay, so contagious that their victims must be quarantined “outside the camp.”

Biblical men and women probably thought the decay of these particular impurities was passed along through everyday physical contact. No wonder they feared them.

The Rabbis, however, date these impurities only to Sinai, thereby implying that the problem was not just physical. Revelation could hardly have changed the diseases — leprosy is leprosy, after all. What changed was the nature of society.

Pre-Sinai society exemplified what philosophers call “the state of nature” – the “every man for himself” perspective that Thomas Hobbes described as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Torah is the ethical and social glue that imposes order on primal anarchic chaos. Envisioning Torah as an elemental social contract, the Rabbis transformed the biblical fear of contagious physical impurity into a symbolic warning against mind-sets that threaten the social order with decay.

Itturei Hatorah thus reads “leprosy, gonorrhea, and contact with a corpse” metaphorically. Since the Rabbis thought leprosy a punishment for slander, leprosy is taken to represent the jealousy that lies behind our speaking ill of others. Gonorrhea signifies the extreme selfishness of wanton personal desire at the cost of others. Corpse-contact symbolizes the danger of despair – seeing death as our end anyway, we might mistakenly question the very point of life. Jealousy, selfishness, and despair are indeed disorders that corrode community. Hence the need for ostracism — putting these blights “outside the camp.”

What goes for society goes for institutions as well. Organizations regularly find their best efforts spoiled by destructive jealousies, intense self-centeredness, and nay-saying pessimists whose gloom and doom prevent the good from ever happening. For-profit organizations fire such miscreants. Not-for-profit organizations do not always have that option because they rely on volunteers. They should focus, therefore, on how the Torah concludes this section.

After being warned to ostracize carriers of social decay, we read “The Israelites did so,” and then, “Thus did the Israelites do.” Commentators solve the redundancy by referring the first instance to the Israelite leaders who dutifully obeyed the demand; and the second instance to the offenders themselves who are said to have agreed to be quarantined. The assumption is that problematic people are capable of transcending their own anti-social behavior and getting out of the way to let the communal work proceed. Why would they do that?

People who are jealous, self-centered, and negative do poison the body politic – but usually because they are hurting, not because they are evil. Having their hurt acknowledged can help them overcome their potential toxicity. Board members who lose an election may be able to step aside and let the board do its work. Complainers can be convinced that if they have nothing good to say, they can at least say nothing bad. People who hurt inside crave understanding. If given it, they may allow the project to move ahead, in effect ostracizing themselves from the further pain of an institutional battle that they are going to lose anyway.

It is painful to see everyone else getting ahead, while you alone fall farther behind; painful to want something desperately but know the institution you love is moving in the opposite direction; painful to awaken every morning, seeing the glass half empty and the world growing darker. People who suffer these inner disappointments are to be understood and helped, not despised and denigrated. Show them some love while still insisting on the greater good, and they just might let the greater good happen.

Emeritus: Out of Merit? Out of Gas? Out of What?

I have reached the age when most of my rabbi and professor friends are retiring. Unlike mail carriers, lawyers, electricians, and pretty much everyone else, however, they are being renamed emeriti. At university commencement exercises just this past week, I observed a cohort of newly designated professors emeriti being ceremoniously awarded their new title as if it were a promotion rather than just a euphemism for “retiree.”

What does it mean, I wondered, to be named emeritus (emerita, for women) — a title that is anything but a study in innocence. From the Latin, ex meritum, it might, with a stretch, be  taken as implying the condition of no longer being in a state of merit – no small matter, after all. Affording myself some homiletical license, let me pursue this line of thought a little.

Practically speaking, professors or clergy emeriti are simply people who no longer merit their normal salary and emoluments: their offices, perhaps, or support staff, and pulpit or library privileges. But psychologically, the condition of ex meritum can seem to mean being “out of merit,” like “out of gas,” stranded on the highway of life with no capacity to continue the journey? When you are “out of merit,” what exactly are you out of?

The issue of “merit” runs deep in western culture, where 2,000 years of Jewish and Christian theology have argued over what constitutes ultimate human merit – “justification” before God, in Christian terminology. Jews typically have argued that we are “justified by works” – that our merit consists in performing the good deeds that God wants. By contrast, classical Christian thought has held that human beings are irreparably born into a state of sin so that no amount of good works can save them. They are “justified” only by “faith” in the grace of God, “grace” being God’s determination to love us even though we are emeritus (“without merit”).

Either way, the matter of human “merit” has exercised western culture for two millennia. I am reminded of it, perhaps, because my newest book (Naming God, Jewish Lights Publishing, June, 2015) examines Avinu Malkeinu, “Our Father, Our King,” a favorite Jewish prayer whose best-known line approaches the Christian position by pleading for God to show us grace “because we have no good deeds” – because we are, that is to say, emeritus, “out of merit.”

It may be more than accidental that we generally reserve the term emeritus for clergy and teachers. Teaching, in western culture, was once the province of the church, after all, and being a “churchman” was a “calling” to do God’s work. Official theology aside, it was popularly thought that preaching the gospel in pulpit or classroom was about as meritorious an activity as one might find. The day you stopped, you were emeritus, “out of merit” — just like everyone else, that is.

Secularism has eroded such medieval metaphysics by now, but not altogether for the better. Our secular society has done away with divine “calling” but replaced it with “professions” – a term that still has religious connotations of “professing higher truths” and that demarcates doctors, lawyers, and accountants, say, as more worthwhile than plumbers, farmers, and mere money-makers, let alone volunteers and unpaid parents. We ought to counter that secular bias by maintaining that we are all called to serve God in our own distinctive ways, whether by parenting, teaching, or blacksmithing; through our professions, our crafts, our businesses, or our artistry; through just being kind and good and helpful, if we cannot or do not work for profit.

God calls all of us, then, not just some of us; and not just to work (as meriti) until we retire (as emeriti). Ultimate “merit,” we should say, is not just what we do for a living. Retirement may be the opportunity of a lifetime to replace dependence on what human institutions decide to reward for what God would have us be.

“What God wants” said the biblical prophet Micah, some 2,700 years ago is for us “to practice justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Divine.” Here is the only calling that all of us can practice, independent of our age, our health, and the accidents that befall us. It is the only calling we carry to the grave and the calling from which we can never be declared emeriti.